May 15, 2014

By Scott Walker

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Dame Kiri Te Kanawa talks about retirement by saying it’s something she never talks about.

The New Zealand soprano is touring Australia to celebrate her 70th birthday. In fact, she says she’s not ruling out returning to Australia for an 80th or even 90th birthday tour.

“You never know,” she says.

Te Kanawa visited the Australian Parliament yesterday. She bowed to the applause of the country’s lawmakers, which she called “pretty special.”

Te Kanawa regards the longevity of her career as her greatest success. She says, “I think living and being healthy and doing all the things I want to do, I think that’s a highlight in itself.”

She credits her good health to “a lot of hard work.”

Her eleven-concert tour will end in her native New Zealand in early June. She will also visit Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and Finland before the end of the year.

And she has reached new audiences with her appearance as Dame Nellie Melba on Downton Abbey, which is seen on our sister station, Vision TV.

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