By Madeline Ziecker
Internationally recognized 0pera Soprano Kiri Te Kanawa will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater on October 1.
Kiri Te Kanawa was born in New Zealand to Maori aristocracy. She moved to England as a young woman when she won a grant to study in London from the Mobil Song Quest for her performance of “Vissi d’art” from Puccini’s Tosca. Dame Kiri’s career launched in 1971 with her debut performance at the Royal Opera Covent Garden as Countess Le Nozze di Figaro in one of the most famous operas of all time, The Marriage of Figaro.
Accompanying Dame Kiri will be New Zealand Professor Terence Dennis, a pianist from the University of Otago’s Music Department. Together, Kiri Te Kanawa and Dennis will perform opera selections from composers Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel and Puccini opera as well as songs from France, Germany, England and South America.
Usually, musicians who have performed with the focus and dedication that Dame Kiri has for years get ready to retire as they approach 50-years-old, but not Kiri Te Kanawa. She continues to dazzle audiences across the globe with her steady and ever-improving talent.
In 2009, London’s Telegraph published an article entitled “The end of an aria as soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa quits opera,” which stated that the soprano would “leave the operatic stage because the discipline was ‘exhausting’,” and that her final performance would be held at the Cologne Opera in Germany in April 2009. Dame Kiri responded to the article, saying that this was false and that she had no recent plans to retire.
This is Dame Kiri’s first performance in Hawai’i, bringing a refreshing and rarely performed genre of music to the islands. Dame Kiri is only in Maui for one night, so opera lovers should snap up tickets before the show sells out.
Tickets are now on sale for $75, $100 and $125 (plus applicable fees) at the MACC Box Office or at MauiArts.org