Talented line-up for Messiah

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TWO rising opera stars will feature in a performance of Handel’s Messiah in Invercargill this weekend.

Madison Nonoa and Filipe Manu will perform as soprano and tenor soloists respectively in the much-loved work at St Mary’s Basilica on Saturday, December 16.

Invercargill-based soprano Rebecca Ryan has organised the event and will be conducting the concert along with assistant conductor Reuben Brown.

Manu said he and Nonoa met Ryan while performing in an opera together in Auckland last year.

When she floated the idea of putting on a Messiah in Invercargill they were keen to be involved, he said.

The couple are studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, but are back in New Zealand during their break.

Manu said they first met through a regional singing competition, and then again at university. They have been together about four years.

Although they are still young, they have had an impressive start to their careers, including placings in the prestigious Lexus Song Quest, and both are former Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists.

He said it would be his first time in Invercargill and he was looking forward to travelling south.

Nonoa and Manu will join Claire Barton (alto), Joel Amosa (bass) and the Invercargill Symphonia and Chorus to perform the work, which was composed in 1741.

Manu said the work was originally performed around Easter, because the story itself was about the coming of the Messiah. However, during the years it had become a Christmas classic.

This weekend’s concert would be his third performance of Messiahthis season, he said.

“This one will be the final one to wrap up the year… I can see why everyone wants to perform it, because it’s such a great piece and there’s so many well-known pieces from it as well.”

The work was performed in English and had many recognisable movements such as the Hallelujah chorus, he said.

“With such a great choir and orchestra, and really cool soloists as well, I think it’s going to be quite a performance.”

He encouraged people to come along.

“I think it’s an opportunity to hear a really good piece put on by a really great chorus, [and] some of New Zealand’s up and coming young singers.”

It was also a chance to “have a great time and get into the festivities of Christmas”.

Handel’s Messiah, St Mary’s Basilica, Saturday, December 16, 7.30pm. Tickets are $45 adults, $35 seniors and $25 students.

For tickets phone 021 233 6654, or email concert@rebeccaryan.co.nz. Limited door sales will be available.

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