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Dame Kiri Te Kanawa 'won't sing in public again'

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa 'won't sing in public again'
From BBC - September 12, 2017

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, one of opera's most celebrated stars, has told the BBC she will never sing in public again.

Dame Kiri, 73, said she stopped performing a year ago, but had not announced her retirement until now.

"I do not want to hear my voice," said the soprano, whose career has spanned more than half a century.

"It is in the past. When I am teaching young singers and hearing beautiful young fresh voices, I do not want to put my voice next to theirs."

Dame Kiri has appeared at all the world's major opera houses and concert halls. She made her name in 1971 when she was cast as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro at Covent Garden. At the time she was barely known.

"I have had such an amazing career," the New Zealander said. But she was adamant she wanted to decide "when it was going to be the last note".

However, she admitted it took her five years "to say the goodbye in my own mind", adding: "I have taken that time."

What turned out to be her final performance was a concert in Ballarat near Melbourne in Australia last October. "Before I'd gone on, I said, right, this it. And that was the end."

Dame Kiri, who is of part-Maori ancestry, said she had no regrets and does not miss singing. She said: "Look what I had. The memories are lovely."

She has certainly achieved a level of fame rare for a classical performer. Six hundred million people heard her sing Let the Bright Seraphim by Handel at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981.

"I was told two or three months before, you will sing this song," she revealed. "Can you imagine holding that inside you for months and months, not being able to mention it to anyone?"

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