Dame Kiri Jeanette Claire Te Kanawa: world-famous opera singer and lyric soprano, is best-known for having performed at St. Paul’s Cathedral for Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding. Hailing from humble New Zealand, she went on to conquer the musical world with her singing. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has been a true inspiration to kiwis across the country. At Macleans, Te Kanawa house embodies her passion for service in their annual fundraisers for the Child Cancer Foundation. 

Two weeks ago on the 14th of March, honorary guest Dame Kiri Te Kanawa visited Macleans College. Although it was a rainy morning, the atmosphere in Te Kanawa House was anything but gloomy as students waited excitedly in anticipation. 

A welcome party made up of the senior management team, the Te Kanawa house leaders (Mr Percival and Mrs Kingsley), and led by the Te Kanawa cultural captains (Felice Yang and Quinn Bevan) awaited Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at the main office. Upon her arrival, the Dame was escorted to the staffroom where she received a warm welcome from the Chorale. Their performance earned encouraging feedback from her and the daunting feeling that came with performing in front of an expert of such high calibre quickly faded away under her praise. 

The Chorale performed Omnia Vincit Amor arranged by Michael John Trotta

After that, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was led to Te Kanawa House (at last!) and the Kapa Haka group welcomed her with a powhiri. This was followed by a heart-warming performance where the whole whānau sang the school waiata. Her presence was felt thoroughly and everyone was in awe that the legendary woman they’d heard so much about was finally in front of them. 

Following a short speech from Mr Percival, the cultural captains delivered their own speech, thanking Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for her positive influence as a role model. She was acknowledged for the impact she has had on the younger generation – particularly with the unwavering support from her philanthropic platforms. A painting of the view from Te Kanawa house with a taniwha drawn in with the clouds was then gifted to her along with a bouquet of flowers (blue, of course). 

The ceremony ended with a wonderful address from the Dame herself, who spoke about seizing opportunities and making the most of them. Her words resonated with the school’s values and reminded students of the importance and power of pure dedication. Te Kanawa house continues to honour her achievements and strives for excellence in all aspects of school life, following in the footsteps of their talented namesake. 

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the staff from Te Kanawa House

The occasion was a great success and lots was gained from this invaluable experience. Well done to everyone who was involved, and go mighty taniwha!

27th March, 2024
Written by Hope Zhang, edited by Ally Chu
Photography by
BC Photography

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Student Alumni Discuss Overseas University Experience

Macleans alumni Annika Lee and Tony Su return to give students a talk on studying overseas

Inter House Chalk Art competition 2023: A Chalklotta Talent!

On Monday 18th of September, every house offered up a team of…

Amnesty Spreads Awareness for #RaiseHerVoice

The annual Amnesty International Day reaches Macleans through student initiative.

Excellence: Macleans 2023 Cross Country

The classic Cross Country.