New Zealand-born lyric soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (b. 1944) has performed on all of the world’s major operatic stages during her illustrious career. After relocating to London in 1966, she enrolled in the London Opera Centre, where she studied with John Copley. Te Kanawa made her role debut as Countess Almaviva at the Royal Opera House in 1971, a performance which launched her international career as a leading soprano. In recognition of her services to music, she was appointed to Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1982. Today, she maintains an active schedule as a recitalist alongside philanthropic commitments. The Te Kanawa Foundation provides mentoring as well as financial support to singers in the early stages of their career.
Laura Quinn is a British artist. She was selected to be a finalist of the 2014 Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year Award. The initial sketches of this painting were done in the Britten Theatre as part of a programme that aired on 23 December 2014 on Sky Arts.