Kiri: Her Unsung Story

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9780002559423: Kiri: Her Unsung Story

The biography of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, one of the most well-known and well-loved personalities in classical music, revealing for the first time the dramatic story of her life.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa exudes an exoticism, glamour and appeal unmatched by any other diva of her generation. She is the most widely recorded, and most instantly recognisable female face in the world of classical music, yet there are few among her followers who really know the amazing story behind the public figure.

Kiri has brought opera’s most passionate and powerful roles to memorable life. More than any other woman she has been responsible for broadening the appeal of opera and serious music. Kiri: Her Unsung Story charts her remarkable rise from orphanhood and raw prodigy to polished performer; from national celebrity when, at just 22, she left her homeland with hundreds standing on the quayside singing the traditional New Zealand farewell ‘Now is the Hour’, to international icon.

Sydney, La Scala, Covent Garden, the New York Met and her scene-stealing performance at the Prince and Princess of Wales’s wedding – Kiri has risen to the pinnacle of her profession. Of the 700 million watching the royal wedding in 1981, only a handful, who sat 12,000 miles away in the small village of Tokomaru Bay, could appreciate how truly remarkable Kiri’s journey had been. Born Claire Mary Teresa Rawstron 53 years ago, the illegitimate daughter of an Irish immigrant and a Maori, Kiri was adopted when she was six months old, a fact she discovered when she was two. For many years she never knew exactly where she came from or who her real parents were. Now, with a mixture of emotions, she has confronted her past.

The moving and unforgettable story that is her real life is told for the first time. The highs, and the lows – her volatile private life, the backstage fighting, her two miscarriages and her failure to have children (a legacy of her childhood tuberculosis), and the eventual break-up of her marriage to Australian mining engineer Desmond Park – are revealed together with the full details of her past, a past Kiri has never truly known until now, yet has come to terms with and triumphed over in a most remarkable way.

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From the Back Cover:

No other diva has exuded the glamour, appeal and sheer musical excitement of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. She is the most loved, the most widely recorded and the most instantly recognizable female face in the classical music world. More than any other female performer she has been responsible for broadening opera’s audience.

Yet in the tradition of the truly great divas, Kiri Te Kanawa is an enigma, possessing a complex nature she attributes to the mixture of native Maori and European genes that moulded her into the artist and personality she is today. Born in New Zealand in 1944, she was adopted as a six month old baby. The mystery surrounding her birth has simultaneously cast a shroud over her life and acted as a inspirational force, a sense of rootlessness driving a deep desire to make something of her life. Her origins have been the subect of myth and malicious rumour, invention and inveterate lies. Until now.

From humble New Zealand origins to the world-famous stages of Covent Garden and the New York Met, 'Kiri: Her Unsung Story' chronicles the highs and lows of the stunning career and volatile private life of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

About the Author:

Stephen d’Antal worked as a journalist on the Daily Mail, and is now based is Auckland, New Zealand.
Garry Jenkins also worked for the Daily Mail, and is the author of biographies of Daniel Day-Lewis (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995) and Harrison Ford (1996).

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Antal, Stephen d'; Jenkins, Garry
Published by Harpercollins (1998)
ISBN 10: 0002559420 ISBN 13: 9780002559423
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1

Book Description Harpercollins, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002559420

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