Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to sing aboard Saga Sapphire

Tuesday 24 March 2015

• Galicia to Greece cruise to salute the fallen at Battle of Gallipoli

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to sing aboard Saga Sapphire

Amongst the 700 guests on board Saga Sapphire on this 100th anniversary cruise of the Gallipoli Campaign will be the much loved New Zealand soprano, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, along with young Maori baritone, Kawiti Waetford.

Thrilled to be joining this cruise, Dame Kiri will give a special recital on board. She said: “Anzac Day is marked in our nation’s history.  I am sure the commemoration service will be profoundly moving - and it will be a privilege to perform on this cruise.

Dame Kiri says being in Gallipoli for the centenary is hugely important to her. “The Anzacs hold a very special meaning to me. I have visited the Turkish peninsula but it will be a poignant moment when Saga Sapphire sails in on such an important day to allow time to reflect and pay our respects.”

On April 25, 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed in what is now called Anzac Cove and for eight months it was their base during the Battle of Gallipoli, where thousands of lives were lost on both sides.

Dame Kiri said: “Through a contact in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission I have been able to make a few visits and I have walked from Anzac Cove to Lone Pine. I have also ascended the Sphinx, the outcrop so-named by the Anzacs, and covered most of the battle areas. I have swum in the cove and seen some of the sunken landing craft but this year’s visit will mean I can be personally involved in the commemorations.”

Dame Kiri’s first experience of singing on a ship was almost 50 years ago when she sailed from Auckland to Southampton on a Greek-owned steamer. She said: “It took three weeks and I sang for my passage. I was with my mother and this was the big move to UK to study music at the London Opera Centre.

“I remember the food on the ship was excellent and we stopped in Panama and Fort Lauderdale.

“I have also launched a few ships and recently spent a week on a musical cruise around the Mediterranean on a four-masted yacht and then sang at various ports of call. I did enjoy sailing at night on warm evenings.”

The Saga Sapphire cruise, From Galicia to Greece, will include visits to the Gallipoli battlefield and the Greek island of Lemnos, near the entrance of the Dardenelles, which acted as the muster point for the landings.

Passengers on the 31-night sailing will also be invited to join the ship’s War Literature Club – a chance to read and discuss poetry, novels and letters from World War One, hosted by an expert on this literary genre.

-ENDS-

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