Kiri Te Kanawa, the Australian aborigine, had a voice as clear as a bell, and a church bell, I might add. To hear her sing Gounod’s “Sanctus” is to hear music fit not only for God, but us humans awed by his works, including her voice. The disc that carries that precious swatch of melody also carries Franck’s “Panis Angelicus.”
I heard it first on my wife’s soundbox the sunny morning after we got eight more inches of snow. All ailments and sorrows were forgotten as I listened to that pristine voice render in music the part of the Mass that precedes the reason people come.
Kiri had the finest teachers her people could find for her, and with her God-given talent and voice, that was dynamite. She became an opera singer of repute, hitting all those high notes without a hitch. What a wonder of Creation!