|Dame Kiri Te Kanawa|
Image ganked without compunction
from a site that lists no attribution
Her singing has always been meltingly beautiful. The following clips demonstrate that claim amply. Unfortunately, critics sometimes called her singing "merely beautiful." I hope the clips below will also show the fallacy of the common belief that she was cold and uninvolved on stage. While her style of performing differed greatly from that of performers like Maria Callas, I believe these clips show to her to be fully involved in her characters and in communicating with the audience.
This 2001 Monte Carlo performance of Vanessa (cond. Lawrence Foster) was a revelation. Here was the intelligent singer we knew, showing much more passion than expected. Likely because the character demanded it, and the director brought it out in her:
The morning after seeing a current great Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier at the Met a few years ago, I found myself watching various performances of the final trio. This is the only one that had me in tears. (With the great Tatiana Troyanos and equally great Judith Blegen, cond. James Levine, Metropolitan Opera, 1982)
I never knew Dama Kiri was such a charming Mimi. Si, mi chiamano Mimi, Victorian State Opera, Melbourne, 1989, cond. John Hopkins:
A 1978 La Boheme Act IV finale at Paris Opera with Placido Domingo as Rodolfo, Wilhelmina Fernandez (think of the movie Diva) as Musetta, Tom Krause as Marcello. Have tissues at the ready.
Otello, Act IV, at Covent Garden, 1983, under Sir Colin Davis:
The Ave Maria that follows it:
A 1988 Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) at ROH under Sir Colin Davis (simply adore the hat!):
And this quality 1980s era concert audio recording of E strano...Ah fors e lui...sempre libera (if I have to tell you what that's from, we need to re-evaluate our friendship), again from ROH, on YouTube.