Opera in the Garden with Opera North

The weekend chosen for the International Fellowship of Flying Rotarians gathering at Tutukaka, Northland, was predicated around the annual Opera in the Garden concert by Opera North.
Established by Joan and Richard Kennaway, the company was formed to showcase the talents of Northland singers, giving them an audience for opera, classical and musical theatre. It is a testimony to the standard of Opera North that twelve former Opera North singers are studying music at universities around New Zealand and one is at Guildhall College in London.

The Flying Rotarians were privileged to have front-row seating.

The Flying Rotarians were privileged to have front-row seating.

The first part of the programme featured familiar opera music, including the Toreador Song from Bizet’s Carmen, Brindisi from Verdi’s La Traviata, and the Papagena Duet from Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

The women's gowns, in a palette of paua colours were gorgeous.

The women’s gowns, in a palette of paua colours were gorgeous. The musical talent was breathtaking.

The star who took the concert to a whole new level was Kawiti Waetford, a former Opera North singer who is in his final semester of a Bachelor of Music degree, making a return to knock the socks off his Northland supporters. HIs versatility and dramatic ability was captivating as he played every role from the rogue to the nobleman. Kawiti's achievements and potential have been recognised by the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation - well-deserved.

The star who took the concert to a whole new level was Kawiti Waetford, a former Opera North singer who is in his final semester of a Bachelor of Music degree, making a return to knock the socks off his Northland supporters. HIs versatility and dramatic ability was captivating as he played every role from the rogue to the nobleman. Kawiti’s achievements and potential have been recognised by the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation – well-deserved.

Interval gave us the opportunity to refresh our glasses and absorb the vibrant and convivial atmosphere.

Interval gave us the opportunity to refresh our glasses and absorb the vibrant and convivial atmosphere.

The second part of the programme featured music from the shows – Kiss Me Kate, Mary Poppins, The Merry Widow, Gigi, Les Miserables, Oliver, Guys and Dolls and Fiddler on the Roof (which, for me, will forever go by the name given to the show by my hard-of-hearing father – Tiddly on the Roof).

Susan Alves as the wife of the Master of the House was wicked!

Susan Alves as the wife of the Master of the House was wicked!

Kawiti Waetford singing with his teacher and mentor Joan Kennaway filled us with tears and brought us to our feet. As he helped Joan down the steps to her conductor's podium someone around me said "What a gentleman". What a guy, what a performer!

Kawiti Waetford singing with his teacher and mentor Joan Kennaway filled us with tears and brought us to our feet. As he helped Joan down the steps to her conductor’s podium someone around me said “What a gentleman”. What a guy, what a performer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Opera in the Garden with Opera North

  1. Ana says:

    I love any of those outdoor theatre type things – it has been WAY too cold here for anything like that!

  2. Abuela says:

    The upside of the drought has been that we have enjoyed being outdoors so much this year.

  3. Iggy says:

    Outstanding entertainment! Well done to all those involved in both the organisation and the performance. We were most spoilt.

  4. Agreed – time flew and the musical standard was exceptional. Some wonderful voices.

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