Rarotonga’s Opera in Paradise is now an annual event and once again it proved to be a great night out – in spite of the weather.
We’d had heavy rain and strong winds and the temperature dropped to about 18C at night - real winter weather – but Oceans Restaurant at the Crown Beach Resort was elegantly set up and the welcoming glass of bubbly put everyone in a good mood.
The format was for three sessions of music in between the courses and with good food, good company and good music the evening was a sure-fire success.
Our opera singers this year were Mere Boynton and Deborah Kapohe, two New Zealand sopranos.
Deborah, a Southlander, has a wide range of talents and has performed in operas, musicals, arts festivals and more. As well as traditional opera roles her repertoire also includes contemporary Maori music and classical guitar. She has performed in the UK, South Africa and China as well as New Zealand and Australia.
Mere is an actor as well as a singer. Her most famous role was as Mavis in the film ‘Once Were Warriors’ but her true passion is singing, especially in te reo Māori and because of her experience in Māori performing arts and music she has developed a style of singing that draws on her classical training and her taha Māori.
Deborah and Mere sang separately and together with music ranging from opera classics to modern hits and including Maori waiata and Spanish folk songs.There was indeed something for everyone.