May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

You are invited to ‘Opera in the Pa’, Te Puia Rotorua (6.30pm, Sat 29 Jan 2011)

3 min read

Opera in the Pa: a unique event situated on the steps of the beautiful Rotowhio Meeting House at the award winning tourist icon Te Puia.

The stage is set on 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.

The Daily Post reports:

Opera in the Pa is back in Rotorua this month, offering locals and tourists a great musical night out.

Performers this year include tenor Benjamin Makisi and lyric soprano Aivale Cole as well as Rotorua soprano Timua Brennan, a six-voice male choir and three performers yet to be announced.

Chairman of the Opera in the Pa committee, deputy mayor Trevor Maxwell, said the outdoor show at Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute would be beautiful.

He said Benjamin Makisi was a brilliant singer who had performed around the world.

Opera in the Pa committee member Gay Kingi said Wellingtonian Mr Makisi had sung at almost every Opera in the Pa concert since it started, including the last event in January 2009.

Aivale Cole is one of New Zealand’s top sopranos who is living in Perth, and is only in New Zealand for a short time. “We are really lucky to have her here,” Mrs Kingi said.

The six-voice male choir was assembled by music director and producer for the event, University of Auckland senior music tutor Robert Wiremu.

Songs performed will be Italian arias from the World War II era in honour of the 28th Maori Battalion, members of which came home from war singing opera songs.2011 promises to be bigger and better, no where else in NZ will you get such great value for money than at Opera in the Pa.

Opera in the Pa, previously an annual event, is biennial and has been going for 14 years at various locations in Rotorua including on Mokoia Island.

Mr Maxwell said he was pleased with how successful the show had been. He said that in the past up to 1200 people had attended the show and he had received “marvellous, wonderful feedback”.

Mrs Kingi said that so far the ticket sales for the upcoming concert were going well and she expected it to sell out.

The committee started the concerts because in the past people had to go to Auckland and spend money on travel and accommodation to enjoy opera.

The committee wanted to bring opera to Rotorua for an outdoor concert at an affordable price to give performers an opportunity to sing, as well as show locals some great music.

New Zealand entertainer and author Max Cryer will be the master of ceremonies.


– When: Saturday, Jan 29.

– Where: Te Puia Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Whakarewarewa.

– Time: Gates open at 6.30pm.

– Tickets: $20 each from Ticketmaster, phone 350 2244 or go to

– Food and drink: Food and wine will be available to buy on the night.

Many thanks to Mereheni Meads for this panui.

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