Dame Kiri in concert

The $10 million refurbishment of Oamaru’s Opera House wasn’t without controversy.

That’s a lot of money for a small town.

But the leadership of the project by then-mayor Alan McLay and then-deputy, now Waitaki MP, Jacqui Dean, prevailed.

Last night the building got the seal of approval from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa who in opening remarks in which she described Opera House as a little gem and spoke of the importance of heritage.

This was the third time I’d heard her in concert. The first was at Millbrook, the second in Dunedin’s town Hall but this was the best.

There was no need for a microphone in the Opera House seats only about 500 people.This created an intimacy as she held us spell bound through a selection of opera and lighter songs.

She had us laughing, and also crying. Danny Boy is a family favourite, we sang it at our son, Dan’s funeral, but we weren’t alone in having tears in our eyes when she sang it.

Her accompanist, Professor Terrence Dennis, was a performer is his own right.

The ODT reports on Dame Kiri’s visit  here and here.

It was a very special night in a gem of a building with a star.

6 Responses to Dame Kiri in concert

  1. I heard Dame Kiri perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York many years ago, and of course watched her perform at Prince Charles’ wedding on the television, but this performance in the Opera House, not to mention listening to her sing in my own house beforehand, was the real standout. An event to cherish for many, many years to come.

  2. homepaddock says:

    Some of the best people stay with you, James. Given the quality of the accommodation and hospitality that’s not surprising.

  3. Viv K says:

    My comment is not about Dame Kiri, I was just wondering who “some of the best people” are Ele? In right wing circles is it ok to be a snob?

  4. homepaddock says:

    I abhor snobbery and my comment was supposed to be gently light-hearted, not a political statement. Though in this context I don’t think it’s out of place to include a world class opera singer as among some of the best in that area.

  5. Viv says:

    I was being a bit snippy and yes Dame Kiri is one of the best opera singers. It’s great that she sang in Oamaru and a fantastic night out for all I’m sure. To speak of ‘the best people’ made me wonder if you were channeling the Dowager Duchess from Downtown Abbey.

  6. TraceyS says:

    How is “best people” any different from saying “best friend(s)” or “best mate(s)”, “best performer(s)”, “best student(s)”, “best man”, “best team” and so on?

    There’s a snob within all of us you know…

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