Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa


3/6/1944, Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand

Birth Name

Kiri Janette Te Kanawa



Also Known As

Kiri Te Kanawa
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The Maori soprano, Kiri Te Kanawa, is the adopted daughter of an Irish mother and Maori father. After winning the John Court Aria Prize and the Mobil Song Quest, Kiri shot to stardom in New Zealand and was accepted without audition to study at the London Opera Centre…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In the court case against Dame Kiri refusing to perform at concerts with John Farnham, her lawyers told the magistrate that she was worried about performing with him after learning fans threw underwear at him during his concerts.

    • After refusing to perform in concerts with John Farnham in 2005, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will appear in a Supreme Court trial in Sydney in late January 2007. As a result of her refusal to attend, promoters were forced to cancel three shows, with tickets for tables priced at $9500 each. Dame Kiri and her agent are being sued by Australian promoters Frank Williams and Eileen Newbury of 'Leading Edge Events'.

    • Dame Kiri and ex-husband adopted to children together. Daughter Antonia was adopted in 1976, with their son, Thomas, being adopted in 1979.

    • Dame Kiri met ex-husband, Desmond Park, on a blind date.

    • After Kiri was recognised and appreciated world-wide for her success, she was made an Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an honour that was later sold for charity at a police auction for £500. The money went to the Mitchum Amateur Boxing Association.

    • On March 10, 1994, Dame Kiri performed in concert to celebrate her 50th birthday at 'The Royal Albert Hall' in England.

    • In 1982, Queen Elizabeth II made Kiri a Dame of the British Empire.

    • In 1981, Dame Kiri was asked to sing Let the Bright Seraphim at St. Paul's cathedral at the marriage of Prince Charles to Princess Diana.

    • In 1965, following Dame Kiri's success at winning the 'John Court Aria Prize' and the 'Mobil Song Quest', Kiri was accepted to study at the London Opera Centre without audition.

    • In January 1998, Dame Kiri performed the Metropolitan Opera premiere performances of Richard Strauss' final opera, Capriccio, at the Met Opera, in New York City.

    • In February 2001, Dame Kiri made her first performance of Vanessa, at the Monte Carlo Opera House.

    • Dame Kiri's performances of the arias, Ch'il bel sogno di Doretta and O Mio Babbino Caro, were featured in the movie A Room With A View.

    • Dame Kiri has written a book of Maori folk tales for children.

    • When relaxing between performances, Dame Kiri holidays at her holiday home at Lake Taupo, New Zealand.

    • Dame Kiri performed at Royal Albert Hall in March 1998, singing Andrew Lloyd Webber's song, The Heart is Slow to Learn. Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the song for a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.

    • Dame Kiri is half Maori and half-Irish.

    • Dame Kiri was married to Desmond Park from August 30th, until they divorced in 1997. They have two children together.

  • Quotes

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