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Kiri Te Kanawa at the BBC

New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa looks back at her life in song through 40 years of performances from the archives, including rugby anthem World in Union on Top of the Pops.

The charismatic New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa looks back at her life in song through forty years of classic performances from the BBC archives, from her first TV performance on The Harry Secombe Show in 1971 to her appearances on Top of the Pops to sing the rugby anthem World in Union in 1991, plus performances from the Last Night of the Proms and Terry Wogan's chat show.

Dame Kiri's dramatic and operatic skills are captured in the Royal Opera's production of Puccini's Manon, she describes working with Leonard Bernstein, Georg Solti and on Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio, and she recalls the royal wedding in 1981 at which she sang Handel's Let the Bright Seraphim to a global TV audience of 700 million.

There's documentary footage of the house where Kiri grew up in New Zealand (now a car park), she vividly evokes the East End of London, where she studied as a student when she first came to London, and we see her goofing around on the golf course with Placido Domingo.

As Dame Kiri says in her candid new interview for this programme in which she reflects on her BBC appearances, "If I look back what you have is snippets of my life, I suppose.".

1 hour

Last on

Fri 24 Aug 2018 02:00

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Giacomo Puccini

    Chi Il Bel Sogno Di Doretta

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Peter Knight.
  • Kiri Te Kanawa

    Maori Folk Song

  • Giuseppe Verdi

    Willow Song

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Robin Stapleton. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
  • Franz Lehár

    Love Unspoken

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Plácido Domingo. Conductor: Robin Stapleton. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Rejoice Greatly

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Plácido Domingo. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Let the Bright Seraphim

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Sir David Willcocks.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    Somewhere

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Plácido Domingo. Conductor: Robin Stapleton. Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra.
  • Gioachino Rossini

    The Duet of Two Cats

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Norma Burrowes. Performer: Robin Stapleton.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Memory

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: David Firman. Conductor: Robin Stapleton. Orchestra: BBC Concert Orchestra.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Sola, Perduta, Abbandonata

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
  • Joseph Canteloube

    Malurous Qu’o Uno Fenno

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Roger Vignoles.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    I Feel Pretty

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
  • Leonard Bernstein

    I Have a Love

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Tatiana Troyanos. Conductor: Leonard Bernstein.
  • Henri Duparc

    Chanson Triste

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Roger Vignoles.
  • Frederick Loewe

    The Rain in Spain

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Jeremy Irons. Conductor: John Mauceri. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Composer: Alan Jay Lerner.
  • Frederick Loewe

    I Could Have Danced All Night

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: John Mauceri. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Composer: Alan Jay Lerner.
  • Richard Strauss

    Muttertändelei

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Georg Solti.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    O Mio Babbino Caro

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Roger Vignoles.
  • Paul McCartney

    The World You'’re Coming Into

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Performer: Jeremy Budd. Conductor: Carl Davis. Composer: Carl Davis.
  • Gustav Holst

    World in Union

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Composer: Charlie Skarbek.
  • Alfredo Catalani

    Ebben Ne Andro Lontana

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra.
  • Thomas Arne

    Rule Britannia!

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Sir Andrew Davis. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra.
  • George Gershwin

    Summertime

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa. Conductor: Barry Wordsworth. Orchestra: BBC Symphony Orchestra.
  • 00:00

    Leonard Bernstein

    I Feel Pretty

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa.
  • 00:13

    George Frideric Handel

    Rejoice Greatly

    Performer: Kiri Te Kanawa.
  • 00:26

    Renata Tebaldi, Giacomo Puccini, Francesco Molinari‐Pradelli & Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra

    Manon Lescaut - Sola, perduta, abbandonata

  • 00:50

    Frankie Paul

    I'm Free

  • 00:52

    Sarah Brightman

    La Wally

  • 00:59

    George Gershwin

    Summertime

  • 00:59

    The Mantovani Orchestra

    Summertime

Credits

Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest Kiri Te Kanawa
Performer Kiri Te Kanawa
Producer Andy King-Dabbs
Executive Producer Mark Cooper

Broadcasts

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