Grandma and her boys

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Opera in the Pa

Opera in the Pa:
Yesterday evening saw this a unique event situated on the steps of the beautiful Rotowhio Meeting House at the award winning tourist icon Te Puia.
The stage was the steps of the meeting house with a backdrop of bush and hills covered in steam from the geysers and bubbling hot pools which make up this strange mysterious geothermal area
Opera in the Pa won the NZ Tourism Award for Culture and Heritage innovation in 2002, the standard has remained high to this day.
Artists featured were Elizabeth Marvelly, now travelling the world singing with Paul Potts, Timua Brennan, Bonaventure Allan- Moetaua, Claire Barton, James Ioelu, John Bond, and two up and coming exciting young singers who we will be hearing a lot of in the future.
The supporting singers are internationally recognised and ably supported by Robert Wiremu the musical director and the evening was compered by the acclaimed opera expert Max Cryer.
The programme was a mix of traditional opera, contemporary music and Maori culture.
It was the sort of event that gave you goosebumps and made you wish for a voice just like these amazing young people.
My photographs are not good but will give you an glimpse of the event.
It took place in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. According to tribal history, this was the place where the goddesses of fire, Te Pupu and Te Hoata, emerged from the earth’s core, inhaling and exhaling, creating the geysers, hot springs and mud pools. Some 500 pools and at least 65 geyser vents, each with their own name, are found on this site. Seven geysers are active, the most famous, Pohutu, meaning big splash or explosion which can erupt up to 30 metres high, depending on its mood. you can take a guided walk. Your guide will be a direct descendant of the original inhabitants of the area, back through 25 generations to the 14th century.

Whakarewarewa is pronounced far-car-ree-wah-ree-wah. Or you could be like most Kiwis and just call it "wokker". Not culturally sensitive - but certainly shorter and easier.

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