Belfast Telegraph

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to perform at Belfast Festival

By Anne Madden

International singing star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will join a celebrity line-up in a feast of opera across Northern Ireland, it was unveiled yesterday.

The New Zealand-born opera diva is expected to pack out the Ulster Hall in a one-off concert as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen's.

And budding opera singers will have the chance to join the world famous soprano on stage by taking part in NI Opera's Festival of Voice in Glenarm, on the Antrim coast in September. The winner of the vocal competition will get to sing alongside Dame Kiri at a recital in October.

The high-profile line-up also includes political satirist Rory Bremner. International singer Graham Clark will play the infamous witch in the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale Hansel & Gretel, which will be staged over three days in November 2011 at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.

NI Opera will then make a return trip to Londonderry, following on from the success of Tosca, bringing Hansel & Gretel to the Millennium Forum in January. The Ulster Orchestra will be in the pit for this rollercoaster ride of a show, including a whole chorus of Gingerbread Children.

Oliver Mears from NI Opera said: "We are very excited about the new season and have gone to great lengths to ensure we have an eclectic repertoire."

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