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[LISTEN] Dame Kiri Te Kanawa: 'I'm so excited to be coming to Cape Town!'

23 February 2020 12:58 PM
Tags:
Cape Town
The Fugard Theatre
Baxter Theatre
Opera
Artscape
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
The World In Union

"There are stunning voices coming out of South Africa". The celebrated soprano talks to Africa Melane ahead of her upcoming visit.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Image: Te Kanawa Foundation

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has been described as having one of the most beautiful lyric soprano voices of her generation.

Since making her name at Covent Garden in 1971 in the role of the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, the New Zealand star has performed at all the major international opera houses and concert halls in the world

Now, after an absence of more than two decades, she's headed for South Africa and the Mother City.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Image: Cape Town Opera, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Residency

Te Kanawa last visited the country in 1995 for the Rugby World Cup. (She was the first singer to perform the RWC anthem World In Union, in 1991.)

That was a big high point of my life, just to be in Africa or South Africa, and then the whole rugby thing. It's a disease in New Zealand as you know... You only talk rugby in New Zealand.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

I'm so excited to be coming down to Cape Town. I'm only two nights away now!

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Te Kanawa now focuses on training young talent and that is the main reason for her visit to Cape Town.

She'll be presenting a master class for opera students at the Baxter Theatre and leading a workshop at Artscape for pupils from Phandulwazi High School in Khayelitsha.

The celebrated soprano will also be featured in a conversation event co-hosted by Africa Melane at the Fugard Theatre.

I am the patron of the Cardiff Singer of the World and we're getting South African singers coming to that competition... There are stunning voices coming out of South Africa.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Hearing these singers coming up, I want them to be the best and do the best... I want to see how they're being taught and what I can do to help encourage them.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Te Kanawa is humble about her own stunning success:

Even when I look back now, I think 'Oh gosh, who is that!'.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

It's one of those things - fate takes over somehow or your destiny takes over, hopefully. Sometimes it works for some people, sometimes it doesn't and I happen to be in the lucky channel.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

The Kiri Te Kanawa event at the Fugard Theatre on 29 February is sold out, but there are still seats for the master class at the Baxter Theatre on 3 March.

Tickets are available from Webtickets.

Hear more about Te Kanawa's life and career in the audio below:


23 February 2020 12:58 PM
Tags:
Cape Town
The Fugard Theatre
Baxter Theatre
Opera
Artscape
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
The World In Union

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