Opera star Kiri Te Kanawa says her public singing career is over

Kiri Te Kanawa considered one of the greatest sopranos in the world has announced her retirement
Credit
DENIS SINYAKOV  AFP  Getty Images

Kiri Te Kanawa considered one of the greatest sopranos in the world has announced her retirement Credit DENIS SINYAKOV AFP Getty Images

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

The 73-year-old New Zealander told the BBC that, after her last public performance in Australia last year, she did not want to hear her voice again.

On the BBC's Radio 4 Wednesday morning, Te Kanawa said that she already hasn't performed publicly in nearly a year - and that she never will again.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa says she won't sing in public again. 'Before I'd gone on, I said, right, this it.

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

"I don't want to hear my voice".

Her big break came in 1971 at Covent Garden when she was cast as the Countess Almaviva in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro". But she will perhaps be remembered best for her rendition of Handel's Let the Bright Seraphim at the royal wedding 1981, watched by an estimated 600 million people. "And that was the end", she said.

But after the death of the Princess of Wales in 1997, she never sang it again.

Her five decade career saw her perform at leading opera houses and concert halls across the world, receiving numerous accolades.

"I never wanted to", she said. In 2013, she played another famed opera Dame, Nellie Melba, on the TV series Downton Abbey.

And she is being honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards. "I never really achieved perfection of the 100% that I would have liked to".

But, she added with a wry smile: "I did keep trying".

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