Sunday, February 17, 2008

Amongst the Stars

A magical night to remember amongst the stars. A starlit sky, and celebrity stars to marvel at and enjoy their wonderful talents.

That was my evening yesterday. Our little town hosted Opera in the Park with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa , along with Jonathan Lemalu, Simon O'Neill, Helen Medlyn and Wellington's Vector Orchestra, together with singers from Auckland's Opera Factory.

The concert was sublime, and it was a night that I will never forget.

The day had been cold and cloudy with promises of rain, but when the huge audience arrived at Trafalgar Park, laden down with picnic stuff, warm jackets and raincoats, umbrellas, and chairs, the clouds cleared and the sun broke through.

My friends and I had a "while we were waiting for the concert to start" picnic. It was delicious, we don't believe in denying ourselves anything, and we had the lot..... smoked salmon, special cheese, pickled figs, baguettes, crackers, chocolate, grapes and nectarines, smoked chicken and brie cheese puffs and lots of other goodies, followed by Lesley's beautiful fruit cake. I shall beg her for the recipe and include it in a future post!

That's Lesley in the front, Bronwyn in the red jacket, me (with the glasses)behind Lesley and Jackie and Maria. These are the girls I hang out with every Monday night, we sew quilts, knit, crochet, embroider and sometimes we talk more than doing any of the former!

Jackie is especially very talented and is a stained glass artist. Nelson has a local flea market every Saturday morning, and Dame Kiri Te Kawana called at Jackie's stall yesterday morning, wanting to buy one of Jackie's necklaces, a beautiful glass koru design. Jackie's staff member told her that she was to have it as a gift from Jackie ( J wasn't there, she had hurried away to buy some warm socks as she was so cold, so missed this friendly exchange).

This is a local group called Cairde, they sing Celtic songs and folk music. They entertained us whilst we waited for the main event.
I wasn't able to photo the star performers because the compere asked specifically for no cameras.

We all thought it was great to have the legendary Kiri Te Kawana browsing around our local market. When she arrived on stage at the start of the concert, she appeared very warm and friendly and down to earth...not like a great diva at all, and she had some lovely words to say at the end about Nelson, along with singing Pokarekare Ana. You could hear a collective sigh from the crowd as she sang the first few notes of this, her voice is like molten gold. I have heard her before on CD's and TV of course, but have never seen and heard her live before and wow, what a voice!
All this and more for $15.00 .

We were treated to a magnificent firework display at the end of the evening to cap it all off.


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