Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

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Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, ONZ CH DBE AC

Ngāti Maniapoto

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is an internationally renowned soprano. In 1965, she won New Zealand’s Mobile Song Quest and with it a grant to study overseas. Since that time, in a most illustrious career, she has headlined in every major opera house in the world. 

In 1981, she performed at the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer and became the first singer in the world to be seen and heard by 600 million people simultaneously. She has 11 honorary degrees, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Classical BRIT Awards, has starred on Downton Abbey and her recording of the Nuns' Chorus from Casanova was the country's first gold record. 

Te Kanawa has retired from singing and has established the Te Kanawa Foundation to provide financial and mentoring support to outstanding New Zealand singers to develop international careers.

In this excerpt from New Zealand’s Top 100 History Makers (episode 4) we hear more about the illustrious career of Te Kanawa.

Find out more about Dame Kiri Te Kanawa:

Read more about Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Find out about the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation. 

Read about Dame Kiri Te Kanawa on NZHistory.net.

Image: Screengrab: New Zealand's Top 100 History Makers.

Catalogue Reference F88832

Year 2005


Director: John Bates, Mitchell Hawkes
Narrator: Rāwiri Paratene
Presenter: Alison Mau

Excerpt: 0:01:52

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