Kiri Te Kanawa

Soprano

Biography

Kiri Te Kanawa gained legendary status almost overnight after her sensational debut as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1971.  From then, she moved rapidly into the front rank of international opera, and has become one of the most famous sopranos in the world.

At the time of her operatic debut she was already an experienced concert and recording artist, and equally at home in front of the cameras as on stage.  Continuing to develop as a recitalist, she is now a much sought-after singer in a wide variety of musical contexts.

In the genre of opera, Kiri Te Kanawa is a familiar figure in the leading opera houses of the world – Covent Garden, the Metropolitan, the Chicago Lyric Opera, Paris Opera, Sydney Opera House, the Vienna State, La Scala, San Francisco, Munich and Cologne.  Her lyric soprano heroines include the three major leading roles by Richard Strauss (Arabella, The Marschallin, and the Countess in Capriccio); Mozart’s Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira, Pamina and, of course, the Countess Almaviva;  Verdi’s Violetta, Amelia Boccanegra, Desdemona; Puccini’s Tosca, Mimi and Manon Lescaut; Johann Strauss’ Rosalinde, and Tchaikovsky’s Tatiana, also Bizet’s Micaela (or Carmen) and Gounod’s Marguerite.
On the concert stage, her natural serenity and vocal beauty have joined with the world’s major orchestral ensembles – Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony and the Boston Symphony under the baton of such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Georg Solti.
She has appeared at venues both vast and specialised including Glyndebourne, Tanglewood, Ravinia, the arena at Verona, the Hollywood Bowl, the festivals of Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg, and the desert outback of Australia.

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Reviews

“For Dame Kiri, the beauty is the voice itself.”

The New York Times