A celebration and showcase of young NZ Talent
Posted on 2 November 2017
The Rotary Club of Wellington in partnership with The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation recently hosted the third ‘Singers to Listen For’ concert at St Andrews on the Terrace in Wellington. Rodney Macann – a Foundation Trustee and concert organiser filed this report.
‘As usual the evening was focused on providing an opportunity to celebrate and showcase young singing talent and to raise funds for the Wellington Children’s Hospital and The Kiri Singing Development Programme.
The evening included superb cuisine and wine and an auction with many interesting items – some donated by Dame Kiri – signed photos of Dame Kiri with Jonah Lomu and a painting by Dame Kiri (influenced by Picasso) proving very popular. The focus of the evening was to hear the wonderful young singers and they did not disappoint. Natasha Wilson (soprano), Manase Latu (tenor), Ipu Laga’aia (tenor) and Samson Setu (bassbaritone) are all participants in the 2017-18 Kiri Programme. In addition to their solos and ensembles the three male singers were joined
by Mataka Vuni as a quartet called ‘The Shades’ whose performance was impressive – all very fine musicians possessing beautiful voices.
There were many highlights as the singers sang some of the great arias and duets from opera, operetta, musicals and song, always sensitively accompanied by Terence Dennis (a fellow Trustee). Natasha brought a beautiful voice and some sublime stagecraft, Manase and Ipu, the two tenors, very high quality contrasting voices of lovely timbre and in Manase’s case some astonishing artistry for such a young singer, and Samson the joy of listening to one of the finest bass-baritone voices you are likely to hear in a young singer.
As in previous years I had the pleasure of presiding over the evening sharing a mix of stories and repertoire information. I was surprised but delighted to be invited to make an appearance with Natasha and The Shades at the conclusion of the duet La ci Darem, whisking away the Zerlina
from the much younger Don Giovannis!