Malvina Major (Dame)
(Born 28 January 1943)
Dame Malvina Major, is a New Zealand soprano.
Born into a musical family she received classical training in voice from the celebrated New Zealand teacher, Sister Mary Leo who also taught Kiri Te Kanawa in her early years.
Following a move to Britain to study further under renowned teacher Ruth Packer at the London Opera Centre.
She won the 1963 New Zealand Mobil Song Quest beating Kiri Te Kanawa who was placed second on that ocassion (Kiri won it in 1965). Malvina Major then went on to win the Sun-Aria in 1965, and the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award in London in 1966.
She later performed in international concerts including a BBC concert and an outdoor concert at the Egyptian pyramids with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra. She also performed at a charity concert for Vera Lynn.
Turning down offers in Europe she returned to live in NZ as a farmer's wife but has continued to perform since. Overall she has performed more than 30 opera roles and has been well recorded.
For her contribution to music and opera she was made a Dame. In 1992 she established a foundation to further promote education in the performing arts for young New Zealanders.