Kiwi opera diva Te Kanawa announces retirement

Wellington : New Zealand opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, hailed as one of the greatest sopranos of the modern age, officially announced her retirement Wednesday at the age of 73.

Te Kanawa has not performed publicly for about a year but told the BBC she did not intend to perform in front of an audience again.

"I don't want to hear my voice, it is in the past," she told the British broadcaster.

"When I'm teaching young singers and hearing beautiful young fresh voices, I don't want to put my voice next to theirs."

Te Kanawa's career spanned more than five decades and included performances at the world's top opera houses, although she is best known as the diva who sang at Prince Charles and Lady Diana's wedding in 1981.

"I've had such an amazing career," she said, adding that it had taken her five years "to say the goodbye in my own mind".

Her big break came in 1971 at Covent Garden when she was cast as the Countess Almaviva in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro".

She soon found herself among opera's elite, sharing the stage with the likes of Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo.

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.

"It got me a lot of recognition," she later said. "But it was only a wedding and my job was doing opera at the time, so I wasn’t into weddings. I just happened to sing at a very important one."

Te Kanawa was also invited to perform at Diana's funeral in 1997, but declined as she was too upset over the princess' death.

She was made a dame in 1982 and the British recording industry gave her a lifetime achievement award in 2010, calling her "one of the most loved sopranos of the past century".

She stopped performing the most demanding of her signature opera roles in 2004 and, while still making concert appearances, concentrated on a foundation to encourage young New Zealand opera singers and musicians.

Te Kanawa won over a new generation of fans when she made a guest appearance on the television show "Downton Abbey" in 2013 playing Australia's Dame Nellie Melba.

article-image

With you... 9 months and beyond

As an obstetrician/gynaecologist, there is nothing that gives me more pleasure than helping my patients through the miracle of childbirth. It is the culmination of all my studies and clinical training to help deliver a new baby into the world.

article-image

Ramadan preparation for diabetic patients

With less than a month away to start the holy month of Ramadan, all patients with diabetes who wish to fast during Ramadan should undergo the required arrangements to undertake the fast as safely as possible. These include medical assessment and educational coun

article-image

Top DJ Avicii dies in Oman at 28

Muscat : Avicii, one of the world's most successful DJs has passed away. He was 28. Two years after his unusually early retirement, the Swedish DJ was found dead on a visit to the Gulf kingdom's capital Muscat, a statement said without specifying a cause.


article-image

Qatar cuts ties with their rivals too…

Almost a year after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, the country has decided to stop consuming goods from its rivals. Qatar’s economy ministry ordered shops to strip shelves of products imported from the four countries, according to a circular s

article-image

Bats not to be blamed for Nipah virus, experts say

The deadly  Nipah Virus outbreak in Kerala, India which has claimed 12 lives so far many not have been caused by fruit bats, experts have said. After the blood and serum samples of 21 bats was tested at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal, this claim has tu

article-image

Manama Central Market gets air conditioned

Air conditioners installed inside the Central Market in Manama offer special blessings to vendors as well as consumers alike. Air conditioners have been a long time demand from the part of vendors here. And now the cooling system will boost the massive fruit and veggie shopping extravaganza durin

article-image

A single pair of Japanese melons can cost you a fortune

A single pair of premium melons yesterday fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at auction in Japan, where the fruit is regarded as a status symbol. Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attr