Kiri Te Kanawa to retire from public singing

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has announced she will never again sing in public.

The 73-year-old soprano said that she had given her final performance a year ago but not announced it at the time.

However, she admitted it took her five years "to say the goodbye in my own mind".

The singer's last performance was in Ballarat near Melbourne in Australia last October. "And that was the end".

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa says she won't sing in public again.

"I've had such an wonderful career", the New Zealander said.

"I don't want to hear my voice".

Te Kanawa shot to fame after she was cast as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro at Covent Garden in 1971.

She became a household name when performing a Handel aria at the royal wedding, watched by a global television audience of more than 600 million. After Princess Diana's death, she has never performed the song again to honour her memory.

"I was told two or three months before, you will sing this song", she said.

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 sort of respect for her, and the death and everything about it was such a bad thing that I never wanted to hear it again".

Nonetheless, she thinks it is "self-indulgent" to dwell on the past.

"I never actually came off stage saying, 'I've really nailed it.' Never".

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