Soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was all smiles yesterday as she viewed her likeness in a stained glass window at St Paul's Cathedral in Dunedin.

Dame Kiri said she felt "incredibly honoured" to have her face portrayed as St Cecilia - the patron saint of musicians and church music - on a recently commissioned work at the cathedral.

The international opera singer stopped in the city on her way to Oamaru to perform at the recently refurbished Oamaru Opera House this evening.

"It's really lovely. I love church windows, and to be in one is pretty amazing.


"I wouldn't say I've been immortalised in the window - but it's there for hundreds of years now."

The four-panelled artwork was commissioned by Company Bay residents Stella and Donald Cullington, and was created by Maia artist Peter Mackenzie.

Mackenzie said Dame Kiri was the perfect choice for St Cecilia because she was a well-known New Zealander and she embodied the mix of cultures embraced by the Anglican Church of New Zealand.

Also captured in the window was the image of Anglican Diocese of Dunedin's Bishop the Right Reverend Dr Kelvin Wright, as St Paul.

Dame Kiri said her recital in Oamaru would be the last of 10 across New Zealand and Australia this month.

She will return to England tomorrow to prepare for more performances in Europe, and a guest appearance on the British period drama television series Downton Abbey, later this year.

She will play Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba in the series, and will sing as part of her roll.