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DAME KIRI TE KANAWA
soprano/opera superstar/mentor/humanitarian
 

A Conversation with Dame Kiri:
Going back to her roots and to the future

She said "farewell" to the operatic stage in 2004 when she sang the title role in Samuel Barber's "Vanessa" at the LA Opera.   In September 2007,  one of the world's most celebrated and beloved sopranos begins a Farewell Tour that will take her to many a major concert hall well into 2008. This time, New Zealand-born Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, one of only a few opera luminaries who have become household names, is saying farewell to the dizzying, jet setting concert schedule that has been part of her fare since she burst into the international opera scene in 1971 - as the Countess in a Royal Opera House / Covent Garden production of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. In 1981 she gained a niche in popular mass culture when she sang Handel's "Let the Bright Seraphim" at the Royal Wedding that was beamed to over 600 million viewers worldwide. Check out her wide discography.

But this Farewell Tour does not spell retirement, as she says in this telephone interview, which took place in eager anticipation of her final appearance in Southern California on October 2, 2007 (under the aegis of the Orange County Philharmonic Society). She is not shutting the door to singing altogether but moving on to a "calming down" phase in which she devotes less time to singing and more hours to growing her Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation and mentoring the next generation of young musicians from her native New Zealand.

In this most delightful interview which we have split into two parts, Dame Kiri reminisces the highlights of her incredibly glorious career (Part 1) and goes back to her roots in the outbacks of New Zealand and to the future she has mapped out for the next chapter of her exceptionally charmed life (Part 2).

[Dame Kiri's October 2, 2007 recital took place at Orange County Performing Arts Center's Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.]


  Interview with Dame Kiri:            Part 1            Part 2           Farewell Program

 





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Interview with Dame Kiri:
Part 1
Part 2

Discography

Farewell Tour Program

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Don Giovanni
Le Nozze di Figaro
Arabella
Capriccio
Der Rosenkavalier
Otello
Die Fledermaus

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