Dame Kiri retires from stage

Last updated 16:12 05/03/2014
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

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Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is closing the curtain on her 40-year operatic career.

The Pokarekare Ana singer turns 70 tomorrow and will perform a birthday cameo at London's Royal Opera House.

She hinted at her pending retirement on ITV News.

"My knees don't like the stage at all now," she said.

"There's relief in that it's a very, very high-energy job and a lot is expected of you - you're really expected to do ... more than you can cope with sometimes."

Dame Kiri said she would keep singing and mentoring younger performers and had a "whole year of work" ahead.

Among that work is a return to New Zealand in May and June for her 70th Birthday Gala showcase.

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