She has performed on the stages of the leading opera houses of the world. She is one of the most acclaimed opera singers of all times. And she is coming to Rotorua.
Legendary international soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is to perform in Rotorua in April next year in her only public recital in the North Island in 2012.
Dame Kiri will be appearing for one night only in her ‘Dame Kiri Sings in Rotorua’ recital on Thursday 26 April 2012 at the city’s recently upgraded Civic Theatre. She is appearing in concert with acclaimed New Zealand tenor Ben Makisi and accompanied by pianist Terence Dennis.
Dame Kiri, who last performed in Rotorua in 2000 in the Lakeside ‘Knight with a Dame’ outdoor concert with the late Sir Howard Morrison, said she was looking forward to coming back to the city.
“I am delighted to be returning to Rotorua for next year’s recital - I have many pleasant memories of previous concerts there.”
Rotorua’s success in attracting Dame Kiri follows months of behind-the-scenes work and negotiations by local performing arts enthusiasts and promoters Ian Edward and Grahame Hall.
Mr Hall and Mr Edward are donating their time and effort to staging the concert and have announced that any profits from the event will go to the Rotorua Lakeside Concerts Charitable Trust.
Mr Hall said they were keen to keep ticket prices as low as possible so that as many people as possible could attend, and with a lead-in price of just $90 that objective had been achieved.
“But Dame Kiri wouldn’t be coming to Rotorua and ticket prices wouldn’t be so affordable if it wasn’t for a number of generous local individuals and businesses who have willingly put their hands in their own pockets to financially back this special event. They share the passion Ian and I have for developing Rotorua as a centre of excellence in culture and the arts, they share our vision for Rotorua, and we are grateful to them.”
Ian Edward said Dame Kiri’s concert was a coup for Rotorua as many other cities would jump at the chance of hosting such a prestigious event.
“This will be a unique and elegant recital in the city’s recently redeveloped Civic Theatre. It’s sure to leave those fortunate enough to attend spellbound and with memories for a lifetime.
“The concert will be a rare opportunity for New Zealanders to experience one of the world’s most famous sopranos ‘up close and personal’ in Rotorua’s intimate Civic Theatre. I imagine tickets are going to be very popular items in Christmas stockings this year.
“However people will need to get in smartly to secure tickets as there are only just over 600 seats available and we expect demand to be very strong from across the North Island,” he said.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s international opera career began with a sensational debut in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1971. She gained almost legendary status from her performances in Figaro and quickly moved into the front rank of international opera.
On the concert stage her natural serenity and vocal beauty have joined with the world’s major orchestras and she was a soloist at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in St Paul’s Cathedral, which was telecast to a worldwide audience of 600 million.
Today she continues to be in demand across the globe and has recently performed in China, USA, UK, Australia, Korea, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Hong Kong.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1982 and in the 1995 Queen’s Birthday Honours List was awarded the prestigious Order of New Zealand. She is also an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music.