Opera legend Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is to retire from the stage.
The New Zealand singer, who turns 70 on Thursday (06Mar14), has confirmed her performance in La Fille Du Regiment, a production running at London's Royal Opera House this month (Mar14), will be her last.
Te Kanawa admits she is struggling to keep up with the physical demands of big productions, but she could be tempted back to the stage for one-off performances.
She tells Britain's ITV News, "You can't say final, can you... (but) it's a small part and it's not going to take up too much of my energy except for my knees. My knees don't like the stage at all now... There's relief that the pressure is off... It's a very, very high energy job and a lot is expected of you - you're really expected to do... more than you can cope with sometimes."
Te Kanawa's professional career has spanned more than 40 years. She famously sang at the wedding of British royals Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981.