Opera legend Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has told BBC that she will never sing in public again. “I do not want to hear my voice,” the 73-year-old Soprano said. The announcement comes on a day when she will receive the lifetime achievement award at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards in London.

The opera singer first rose to fame with her 1971 performance as the countess in The Marriage of Figaro at Covent Garden. “It is in the past,” she told BBC. “When I am teaching young singers and hearing beautiful young fresh voices, I do not want to put my voice next to theirs.”

During her career spanning over 50 years, the New Zealander of part Maori descent has performed at all the major opera houses and concert halls in the world. She performed Let the Bright Seraphim by Handel at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981. After Princess Diana’s death, she has never performed the song again to honour her memory.

The singer’s last performance was in Ballarat near Melbourne in Australia last October. “I have had such an amazing career,” she said. “Before I had gone on, I said, right, this it. And that was the end.” She said she does not even sing in the shower and has no regrets about it.