Kiwi opera diva Te Kanawa announces retirement

21 views
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa



WELLINGTON - New Zealand opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, hailed as one of the greatest sopranos of the modern age, officially announced her retirement Wednesday at the age of 73.

Te Kanawa has not performed publicly for about a year but told the BBC she did not intend to perform in front of an audience again.

"I don't want to hear my voice, it is in the past," she told the British broadcaster.

"When I'm teaching young singers and hearing beautiful young fresh voices, I don't want to put my voice next to theirs."

Te Kanawa's career spanned more than five decades and included performances at the world's top opera houses, although she is best known as the diva who sang at Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding in 1981.

"I've had such an amazing career," she said, adding that it had taken her five years "to say the goodbye in my own mind".

She stopped performing the most demanding of her signature opera roles in 2004 and, while still making concert appearances, concentrated on a foundation to encourage young New Zealand opera singers and musicians.

Te Kanawa won over a new generation of fans when she made a guest appearance on the television show "Downton Abbey" in 2013 playing Australia's Dame Nellie Melba. - AFP


21 views