Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Auckland honours Dame Kiri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

21 August 2019

Auckland honours Dame Kiri

One of the world’s greatest sopranos is being celebrated in a grand theatre tradition, with a permanent tribute to be unveiled at Auckland’s Aotea Centre on 20 November.

Aotea Centre’s ASB Theatre will be renamed Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, with a gala concert to commemorate the occasion and acknowledge her formidable talent and contribution to the arts. As the guest of honour, the concert will include some of Dame Kiri’s operatic favourites and will feature the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Music Director Giordano Bellincampi, together with the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus.

ASB Bank has held the naming rights to the theatre since it opened in 1990. Working in partnership with Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA) and the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, the bank’s decision to relinquish these rights makes this tribute possible.

According to Vittoria Shortt, ASB CEO, honouring Dame Kiri in this way is a special privilege.

“As a long-standing sponsor of the arts, we are proud to support this recognition of Dame Kiri’s outstanding contribution to classical music in New Zealand, and as one of the world’s greatest sopranos,” she said.

“ASB Bank has been a part of Dame Kiri’s journey from the very start. In 1965, Bill Barrett, the bank’s general manager of that time, recognised her immense talent and established the Kiri Te Kanawa Trust, which enabled her to travel to the UK for extended study at National Opera Studio, London.

“When Dame Kiri’s own Foundation was created for outstanding young New Zealand singers, we were one of the first commercial organisations to support it. Today, it is fitting that we can come full circle and can honour her hard work and prodigious talent by supporting the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre.”

As custodian of the purpose-built performing arts centre, Regional Facilities Auckland has seen a wealth of local and international talent grace the Aotea Centre stage. RFA Board Chair Andrew Barnes said the new name has a very special significance for artists.

“Dame Kiri has inspired so many talented young Kiwi performers to step onto the world stage and follow their dreams, through her example and through her Foundation,” he said.

“With the gracious support of ASB Bank, we are delighted to be able to honour that legacy in Dame Kiri’s seventy-fifth year, and to be able to showcase new and fresh talent in the first theatre to bear her name.”

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says bestowing Dame Kiri’s name on the theatre honours an extraordinary singer and a remarkable legacy.

“It is fitting that Auckland recognises Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in this way. It acknowledges her incredible contribution to Auckland, to New Zealand, and to the classical music world, as well as her strong connection with the Aotea Centre and the theatre,” he said.

“Dame Kiri was an early champion of the Aotea Centre a commitment that culminated in her return to Auckland in 1983 to sing in two fund-raising concerts which raised nearly $500,000 for the campaign.

“I am delighted Auckland is bestowing this honour on one of New Zealand’s iconic artists.”

Dame Kiri, New Zealand’s first Grammy Award winner, opera royalty and performer on the most spectacular stages in the world, expressed her appreciation for the tribute.

“I thank the City of Auckland, ASB and RFA for this great honour,” she said. “To be recognised in this way in my country means the world to me.

“This stage and Aotea Centre have a very special place in my heart; and the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre is a welcoming space for opera lovers and performers alike.

“I look forward to seeing many talented, hard-working New Zealand singers perform the greatest operas right here in future, as my Foundation and enablers such as ASB Bank and RFA build a new opera legacy together.”

Gala concert details

• The celebratory gala concert will be held on Wednesday, 20 November 2019 to name the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre in the Aotea Centre.

• It will be attended by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and feature some of her best-loved opera choruses and arias.

• Produced by Auckland Live, the gala concert is made possible with the support of ASB Bank, the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, New Zealand Opera, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Regional Facilities Auckland.

• The full gala concert programme and line-up of artists will be announced on Tuesday 3 September.

• The gala concert will go on sale to the general public on Friday 6 September, 10am.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Charlotte Yates' Mansfield Project

Katherine Mansfield's vapid verses are of even less interest than her over-rated short stories, but Yates has risen to the challenge of producing a fascinating compilation album by a variety of musicians to accompany her poetry. More>>

Howard Davis: Dazed & Confused by Beats

Beats is both a coming-of-age tale and a romantic movie about endings, set to a nostalgic backdrop of the disappearing tail of the UK's illegal rave scene. More>>

Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite
For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>

Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 


 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland