Kiri te Kanawa returns to Open-Air Theatre

DAME Kiri te Kanawa returns to the scene of her 2010 triumph, the Open-Air Theatre, on Sunday.

The New Zealand soprano performed with José Carreras at the first concert at the venue after its refit. The show sold out.

This time she will be joined by Aled Jones, the Opera North orchestra and Britain’s Got Talent winner Jai McDowall for a concert in the style of the Last Night of the Proms.

Kiri, 67, has had a highly successful international opera career since 1968. Acclaimed as one of the most popular sopranos in the United States and Britain, she possesses a warm full lyric soprano voice, singing a wide array of works in multiple languages from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

She is particularly associated with the works of Mozart, Strauss, Verdi, Handel and Puccini.

Her voice has been described as having “a vibrant but mellow quality that is ample in size without being overly heavy or forced”. Music critics have consistently praised the freshness and warmth of her voice.

She found particular success in portraying princesses, noble countesses and similar characters on stage, as her naturally dignified stage presence and physical beauty complemented the roles well.

Although she only rarely sings in operas these days, Kiri frequently performs in concert and recital, while giving masterclasses and supporting young opera singers in launching their careers.

Aled Jones , 40, became famous for his cover version of Walking in the Air, a song from Channel 4’s 1982 animated film The Snowman. The record reached number 5 in the UK charts in 1985.

Since then, the Welsh singer has become a TV / radio broadcaster and presenter on Songs of Praise for BBC1, Radio 2’s Early Breakfast Show, Good Morning Sunday and The Choir on Radio 3.

He is mentoring choirgirl Isabel Suckling, the youngest classical recording artist signed by Decca Records and the first choirgirl to sign a record contract with a major music label to date. Her debut album, released last year, was greatly endorsed by Jones, who described it as “breathtaking”.

Jai McDowall, 25, is a Scottish singer who won the fifth series of Britain’s Got Talent in June. Some 12.5 million viewers watched him perform a powerful rendition of Josh Groban’s hit To Where You Are.

He won £100,000 and will perform at the royal variety performance in December. He is signed to Syco Records, a subdivision of record label giant, Sony Music. His debut album is slated for released round about December.

Sunday’s show is due to begin at 7pm and will conclude with fireworks.

Tickets cost £39.65 if you buy eight at once, or £51.70 each, including a booking fee and postage.