Te Kanawa v. Farnham briefs


SYDNEY, Australia -- Underwear tossing was the deal breaker, a lawsuit brought against renowned opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa contends.

Te Kanawa pulled out of a series of concerts with Australian crooner John Farnham after learning that fans sometimes threw underwear at the pop star, according to testimony in court Monday.

Concert promoter Leading Edge Events is suing the New Zealand-born Te Kanawa and her former manager, Nick Grace, for more than more than $464,000 for alleged breach of contract after the soprano decided not to participate in the 2005 tour.

A lawyer for Leading Edge, Richard Evans, told the New South Wales state Supreme Court that Grace knew Te Kanawa had some concerns about performing with Farnham, one of Australia's best-known pop singers.

"On many occasions Kiri told Mr. Grace that she was not committed, and had some reservations about co-performing with John Farnham," Evans said, but those feelings were never relayed to the promoter.

"So the plaintiff was led into error in thinking if someone's pants ended up on the stage that was not enough to dissuade Kiri from performing with John Farnham," Evans said.

Te Kanawa, who did not appear in court Monday, has filed her own lawsuit against Grace over the failed concert series, billed as "Two Great Voices."

The celebrated soprano has performed with opera companies around the world, and sang at the wedding of Britain's Prince Charles to Princess Diana in 1981.