Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pasefika Opera Greats (O.Gs) get together for special concert

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Soana Aholelei | Reporter / Director

Auckland Arts Festival hosts one-off concert of amazing Pasifika opera talent

Samoan Siliga Sani Muliaumaseali’I is the writer and director of the O.Gs, a production which brings together six, seasoned Pasifika opera greats for a one-off show.

“I just wrote it and I said let’s do a concert, let’s call it the OG’s,” Siliga says.. 

“Let’s get everyone together that started out in the eighties and nineties before you get to the end of our careers and just do something here, in Aotearoa.”

Siliga, who is also a Tenor is one of the singers taking part on the show, the others are: Uitualagi Aivale Cole (Sāmoa/Niue), Soprano; Ben Makisi (Tonga/ Sāmoa), Tenor; Eddie Muliaumaseali’i (Sāmoa ), Bass Baritone; Lotte Latukefu (Tonga/Germany), Mezzo Soprano; and Deborah Wai Kapohe (Aotearoa NZ), Soprano.

“Debroah Wai Kapohe we start the show with her as we start the creation-ship with her and we end with her,” Siliga says.

“Aivale, I’ve worked with in London. She stayed with us when she came to London in 2008. 

“Ben’s come to London and he sang with a group that I started over there as well. 

“My brother, obviously I’ve sung with my whole life, and Lotte Latukefu fromTonga, the first Tongan international mezzo soprano. I went to college with her.”  

Much of this is a family affair for Siliga, with siblings working behind the scene as well his older brother Eddie, who credits Siliga for his career in opera.

“I would not be singing in opera or theatre or anything if it wasn’t for him, he was the one who encouraged me to come and audition with him. My background? I played rugby,” Eddie says.

Samoan Soprano Uitualagi Aivale Cole has travelled from London to be here while her Australian-based parents have also come all the way from Perth for the show.

“I’m so thankful that they’re here and they want to be here,” Uitualagi says.

“When they heard that I was coming to do this they were like, determined to get here so they booked their flights and everything and just got here.” 

Most of this ensemble have travelled from Australia and the United Kingdom to be here for this one-off event

Mezzo Soprano Lotte Latukefu says she will be leaving with some fond memories.

“You know, singing with Pacific Island opera singers who are at such a high level and our voices blending so much,” she muses, before highlighting some of the added benefits of the visit. 

“ I never speak Tongan in Sydney, where I live in Australia, but as soon as I come here it’s like all this Tongan is coming out of my mouth in rehearsals and that sort of thing. it’s truly been overwhelming.” 

Tickets can be purchased here



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