Dame Kiri Ta Kanawa announces retirement from singing

Te Kanawa as the Countess in Mozart's opera Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House in 1970

Te Kanawa as the Countess in Mozart's opera Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House in 1970 Credit Erich Auerbach Getty Images

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, one of opera's most celebrated stars, has told the BBC she will never sing in public again.

"I do not want to hear my voice", the 73-year-old Soprano said.

On the BBC's Radio 4 Wednesday morning, Te Kanawa said that she already hasn't performed publicly in nearly a year - and that she never will again.

The star, who appeared in TV drama Downton Abbey, made her last public performance in a concert in Australia last October. "And that was the end". She said she does not even sing in the shower and has no regrets about it.

"Before I'd gone on, I said, right, this it". I don't want to hear my voice - it is in the past.

Te Kanawa announced her retirement from opera in 2014, but continued to perform in New Zealand and internationally.

She achieved a level of fame rare for a classical performer.

In a career spanning nearly half a decade, she sang at all the world's most prestigious opera houses, and also performed at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales. "Can you imagine holding that inside you for months and months, not being able to mention it to anyone?" "I never wanted to", she said. After Princess Diana's death, she has never performed the song again to honour her memory.

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. "In sort of respect for her, and the death and everything about it was such a bad thing that I never wanted to hear it again". "When she died, I felt that I should put that song away forever".

She was the first singer to perform the Rugby World Cup anthem, World in Union, in 1991. "It's very, very special", she said.

"I was constantly analysing through the whole of the performance what I'd done".

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