13 September, 2017
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, one of opera's most successful stars, who sang at Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer's wedding, has called an end to her long career.
The world renowned soprano, 73, said she had stopped performing a year ago but had not revealed her decision until now.
Dame Kiri says she doesn't miss singing, and she wanted full control when her final note would be.
The beloved New Zealand opera singer hasn't taken to the stage in more than a year, and in an interview with the BBC, said she wouldn't ever again. I don't want to hear my voice - it is in the past.
"I don't want to hear my voice".
Her big break came in 1971 at Covent Garden when she was cast as the Countess Almaviva in Mozart's The Marriage Of Figaro. "Before I had gone on, I said, right, this it".
But after the death of the Princess of Wales in 1997, she never sang it again. She never sang nor listened to Handel's aria again. "When she died, I felt that I should put that song away forever".
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. Her five decade career saw her perform at leading opera houses and concert halls across the world, receiving numerous accolades. The announcement comes on a day when she will receive the lifetime achievement award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards in London.
She 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.
Nonetheless, she thinks it is "self-indulgent" to dwell on the past.
But, she added with a wry smile: "I did keep trying".