The Marin Center has announced that opera star Kiri Te Kanawa will return this month, accompanied by distinguished pianist Brian Zeger, to the Marin Center for an exclusive Bay Area concert on Saturday, March 20 at 8 pm.
Kiri Te Kanawa has enjoyed a forty year career as one of the world’s most celebrated opera singers singing a wide repertoire that encompassed works from the 17th to the 20th century in Italian, French, German, Russian, and English.
In recent years, Dame Kiri founded the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation which provides scholarships to young New Zealand singers and musicians and in 2010 she joined forces with the BBC to launch a “reality radio” show in a nationwide hunt to find the next opera sensation.
In May of 2010 Dame Kiri will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Classical Brits, an annual awards ceremony held in the United Kingdom equivalent to pop music’s Grammy Awards. The soprano joins a list of past recipients which includes Plácido Domingo and Jose Carreras.
A native New Zealander with Maori origins, Dame Kiri began her singing career as a mezzo-soprano, but later developed into a soprano. Her recording of the “Nuns’ Chorus” from the Strauss operetta Casanova was New Zealand’s first gold record. Throughout her brilliant career, she has performed with the world’s major orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony and the Boston Symphony, under the baton of such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa and George Solti. She has also appeared at venues and events as disparate as Gyndebourne, the festivals of Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg and the desert outback of Australia.
As a soloist at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, she performed to a live telecast audience estimated to be over 600 million people. Another record was set in 1990, during her tour of Australia and New Zealand, when her outdoor concert in the city of Auckland attracted a crowd of 140,000. Dame Kiri was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1982 and has also been awarded with the Order of Australia in 1990 and the Order of New Zealand in 1995. In May of 2010 Dame Kiri will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Classical Brits, an annual awards ceremony held in the United Kingdom equivalent to pop music’s Grammy Awards. The soprano joins a list of past recipients which includes Plácido Domingo and Jose Carreras.