Dame Kiri Janette Te Kanawa is an internationally famous opera singer. In 1981, she was seen and heard around the world by an estimated 600 million people when she sang Handel's "Let the Bright Seraphim" at the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. Her recording of the "Nuns' Chorus" from the Strauss operetta Casanova was New Zealand's first gold record.
Dame Kiri at the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981.
Dame Kiri was born on March 6, 1944 in Gisborne and was adopted as an infant. She is the adopted daughter of an Irish mother and Māori father. In her teens and early 20s, she was a pop star and popular entertainer at clubs in New Zealand. She and her husband, Desmond Park, adopted two children, Antonia (1976) and Thomas (1979).