Culture&Arts

'I don't want to hear my voice' - Dame Kiri

'I don't want to hear my voice' - Dame Kiri

Opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has announced her retirement, the BBC reported on Wednesday (September 13).

"I don't want to hear my voice, it is in the past", she told the British broadcaster.

She was adamant she wanted to decide "when it was going to be the last note". Her big break came in 1971 at Covent Garden when she was cast as the Countess Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.

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"I was told two or three months before, you will sing this song", she said. The announcement comes on a day when she will receive the lifetime achievement award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards in London.

During her career spanning over 50 years, the New Zealander of part Maori descent has performed at all the major opera houses and concert halls in the world. In 2009 she said she had sung her last opera because the discipline was "exhausting". "Before I'd gone on, I said, right, this is it".

She's sung all over the world, including at the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, but now this famous soprano has voiced her retirement.

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She stopped performing the most demanding of her signature opera roles in 2004 and, while still making concert appearances, concentrated on a foundation to encourage young New Zealand opera singers and musicians. She retired from performing in full productions in 2014.

After Diana's death in a auto crash in 1997, she stopped performing the song. I always thought there was a mistake in it. "It's very, very special", she said.

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

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