Cher Public

Lady Dada

kiri_surrealismAs if her elegant carriage, pristine soprano and knockabout comedy skills (as enjoyed in La Fille du Régiment) were not sufficient claims to fame, Dame Kiri te Kanawa has branched out into the composition of surrealist poetry.

The Kiwi songbird’s first effort at non-linear verse goes something like this: “I’m doing something classical, not whiz-bang. Whiz-bang disappears. It goes whiz then bang.” [The Sun]

  • La marquise de Merteuil


  • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

    To be scrupulously fair, it was indeed a very wide-ranging interview as the link makes clear. So the odd indiscretion was bound to be seized on by their world-famous interviewer (whose name -- alas! -- escapes them) and turned into supercontroversial fish’n’chip wrapper before you could mouth-sync “Porgi Amor”.

  • LittleMasterMiles

    “You insult me by wanting to bring it into this conversation.”

    Vintage diva. Love it.

    Speaking of vintage: 66? Srsly?

    • Harry

      It was around this time in the mid 60’s (65 to be exact), that Sutherland returned home to Australia for a season of operas. And a journalist at a Press conference (preserved on video somewhere) made the classic statement to her “How well do you trill?”

  • As the old translation of Turandot used to say, “You deride my pride…”

  • quoth the maven

    She can’t be as out-of-it as this makes her sound! Or can she?

    • actfive

      OOOHHH yes, she can.

  • Ah-oh.

  • whatever

    surely they have teeth whiteners in new zealand???

  • SFPhoto

    Wow, writers on this blog are complaining about Kiri not being gracious… The pot calling the kettle beige.

    • Who said anything about “not being gracious?” It just seems peculiar that a woman who has made her living being in the public eye for almost 40 years now has still not figured out how to answer a totally predictable question from a journalist.

      • Baltsamic Vinaigrette

        How can you be so sure that an indiscretion translates into a person’s inability to figure out the media -- even if and when it comes from someone with a ‘bit of previous’? She’s retired and past caring, fully entitled to a bit of interview-related fun anyway. But more to the point, plenty of active performers know full well the value of a bit of media controversy now and then.

      • Harry

        I agree that Te Kanawa at times during her career could have handled some comments she has made, more polite for the public’s moronic consumption for her own sake….but now she virtually has nothing to lose, if she puts a few noses out of joint over this now called ‘The Rampant British Talent Rat Disease’.I am sure in years to come, it will be listed in psychiatric medical journals as a 21 st Century phenomenon.
        Are not sane people sick of those ‘Got Talent’ and ‘Idol’ shows, yet? Whoever said that catch cry line for Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf was dead? You know ‘get the guest, hump the host’. There it all is, in spades before your very eyes. The judges : a collection of arsehole -arrogant D.J’s and radio jock oafs or tarted up painted bimbos whose only claim to fame was probably shagging in the right quarters with the equally right -influential casting people.Attractive candidates of both genders in turn, have been known to want to act and return similar gestures, likewise. Some of these judges’ comments to these sickly fame-seeking, talentless, wannabee candidates: if said on the street, would promptly generate ‘a good smack in the mouth’ for rudeness.
        Finally to see those ‘judges wet their pants’ for the camera and jump up and clap every time some pimply faced kid even attempts Puccini’s Nessum Dorma is laughably insane. If only, it was not too, a sad indictment on general public perceptions, what talent actually is.

        About time someone was blunt enough to hold the mirror, up. Go Kiri…. even if at times in the past I had reservations about some of your actions.

        • Pelleas

          Oh, dear.

    • CruzSF

      pot calling the kettle beige Surely an ungracious reference to Dame Kiri’s teeth. :-)

      • whatever


        I have to say: I’m not generally a gratuitously catty person (not clever enough, for one thing), but those chompers really need some TLC.

        • Harry

          Ever thought the Kiri ‘teeth business’ could appears that way due to the color gradient of the photo. Anyway, some of those teeth whitening treatments presently being done…..whacko!!!??? Some people are certain to find out the sorry consequences of their ‘perfection vanity’
          Especially when being carried out in booths, in shopping malls by untrained people using dubious Government -- unapproved machines and /or chemicals.
          Was it only recently they found cheap laser machines being used for unwanted body hair sapping at a radio wave factor intensity more than 240,000 times the rate emitted from a mobile phone. Poor darlings , their shin looked liked it had been jammed and burnt in a hot ripple-grooved grille. Ah Life!
          That sounds a bit like those old large X-Ray machines they used to use…Mothers, getting shoes for their children. Assistant: “Come put the kid’s feet in the shoe shop X Ray machine….Now look see where the feet bones are….the shoe appears to fit…and you can see right through …the shoe nails in the underneath shoe soles” And the X ray machines was on…. ticking away as they took their time considering the shoe.

          Toothpaste , thanks!

      • havfruen

        The Sun is known for “yellow journalism” so teeth don’t stand a chance.

  • Harry

    Correction: The radio wave figure should have read 24,000 times the intensity not 240,000 The mobile phone radio wave rate was a factor that came in, at 32. The body hair removal machine from Asia, was 800,000.

  • MontyNostry

    In my personal (if brief) experience, Kiri is not an especially gracious woman, but at least she has the courage to say it how it is with all this popera dreck. Better than Villazon coming out with his motivational bullshit — and Kiri still has a voice!

  • dallasuapace

    Extremely white teeth look ridiculous & artificial. I’m glad she has taste enough not to fall into such nonsense as teeth whitening.

    • Harry

      I agree. Such attention to one’s appearance, I keep asking mentally..why? Are they focusing on their mouth to give some sublimated message to people they meet. Wickedly, I think….maybe they are perhaps trying to send the message to the right people (who they themselves, find appealing)…. ‘that, with those white choppers they intend to give a good if not a better head j*b’! What a silly shocking notion.
      Is that why there’s a fad for it? I hope not.
      Like that tattoos are for people, that have ran out of toilet wall space to write graffiti on, and instead continue, on their own shin.

      • Buster

        Perhaps Roberta Alexander will treat this topic in her upcoming masterclass:

        Dress and make-up advice by Roberta Alexander


        When I was being fitted for dentures, I decided that finally I could provide for myself a decent smile. So I asked the dentist for the whitest teeth possible. He chided me gently by saying that really white teeth would be inappropriate and looked fake. I gazed intently and pointedly at the poster advertising tooth whitening just over his shoulder. He saw what I was looking at and at least had the decency to blush.

        • whatever

          i realize this topic is getting long in the tooth, but as parterrorists keep taking bites at the apple:

          can we at least acknowledge that there are shades of, er, grey here? and that public figures for better or worse do need to be mindful of their appearance?

          nowhere was it suggested that dame kiri should have her teeth turned “radioactive white” (NZ being a nuclear-free zone and all), but their current appearance is just unflattering …

  • uwsinnyc

    I had no idea that Kiri had an unpleasant side ? To the contrary she always struck me as one of the most gracious singers around.
    Can someone elaborate?

    • soubrettino

      She used to criticize her fellow Maoris for relying too much on state welfare. I think this was around 2002-2003. The Maori Album was produced in part to soothe ruffled feathers.

      Then there’s the panty-throwing business: she was supposed to headline a pop concert with another big-name but pulled out after hearing the star’s fans would throw lingerie onto the stage. The thing went into court. I believe Cieca covered this a while back.

      There’s also the infamous feud with Katherine Jenkins and Hayley Westenra, or rather with the PR of those gals. It was very much similar to this débâcle with Boyle.

      Kiri may look gracious, but she knows how to slam ’em. It still amazes me that they said she cried after a battle with the Battle. Of course, “cried” also means “screamed”, so…

      • CruzSF

        That’s right. Dame Kiri might be an old coot, but she’s OUR old coot.

      • soubrettino

        Amen to that.


        Hanging offsenses, all.

  • Thanks to a member of the cher public, we have video of Dame Kiri reading her poetry.

  • sensibility

    The entire article is interesting.
    Kiri is allowed to any opinion.
    Don’t we express freely our thoughts on this blog?And who are we?

  • werther

    c´mon people!

    I really don´t like miss kanawa as a singer, but her remark “it goes whiz then bang” is freakin hilarious. totally bitchy, dead on, and witty. it´s like she turned into a gay guy!! ;-)

  • Two corrections -- Kiri does NOT live in NZ (She comes from there). Her teeth are more than respectably white-the hue of the photo is wrong.
    As for the rest- bah humbug! She’s had a brilliant career, still looks great and is rich- good luck to her.
    To add an unecessary addendum- I have to admit I loved her remarks to the NZ Maoris in 2002 to “pull their fingers out”. How spot on she was! If you want to argue that point, just take a look at the movie “Once Were Warriors”- go Kiri!