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Dame Kiri Te Kanawa - Photo by John Swanwell
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa; Photo by John Swanwell
Kiri Te Kanawa in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro
Kiri Te Kanawa in Mozart's Marriage of Figaro

Press Release - 13 May 2005

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to be given honorary doctorate by University of Bath

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the acclaimed opera star, is to be given an honorary doctorate by the University of Bath in July.

The soprano, who sang at the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, will be awarded a Doctorate of Music at a ceremony in Bath Abbey on Thursday 21 July at 2.15pm.

Dame Kiri was born in 1944 in Gisborne, New Zealand. By the age of 20, she had won several major vocal prizes in New Zealand before coming to London when she was 22.

In the early 1970s she became one of the most acclaimed and popular lyric sopranos and appeared with London's Royal Opera, New York's Metropolitan Opera, the Munich Opera, and other major houses worldwide. She moved rapidly into the front rank of international opera, and has become one of the most famous sopranos of recent times.

Her warm voice and stage personality have won her many fans, and she is noted for such roles as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1982.

The graduations of around 1900 students will take place at the Abbey during nine ceremonies over three days, Tuesday 19 July to Thursday 21 July. The ceremonies will be preceded by a public procession of the University of Bath's senior officers, presided over by its Chancellor, Lord Tugendhat.

Other honorary graduates will include: Sir Martin Evans, Director of the School of Biosciences and Professor of Mammalian Genetics at Cardiff University; Professor Dame Julia Higgins, Chairman of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); and the poet Miss Ursula Fanthorpe.

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