Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Last updated: 03 March 2011

Jury member: BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

Kiri Te Kanawa moved rapidly into the front rank of international opera after her sensational début as the Countess Le nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House in 1971. Since then, her lyric soprano voice has become one of the most famous in the world, especially in Mozart, Richard Strauss, Verdi and Puccini.

As well as performing on the greatest opera stages worldwide, Dame Kiri has made countless appearances with many great orchestras, conductors and pianists, her wide repertoire also embracing contemporary popular music. She has recorded extensively in opera, oratorio, art and popular song, on CD and DVD.

In 2004 she founded the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, a charity which supports New Zealand singers and musicians. She is also the Honorary Artistic Patron and principal guest teacher of the Solti Te Kanawa Accademia di Bel Canto, a summer opera course based in Italy.

In 2010 Dame Kiri headed BBC Radio 2's quest for a gifted singer of the future, The Kiri Prize. Always passionate about young singers, she regularly conducts master classes and coaching sessions throughout the world.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa holds honorary doctorates from ten universities and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. She has been awarded Dame Commander of the British Empire, the Order of Australia and the Order of New Zealand.

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