Opera pair inspire college students

Thursday June 07, 2018 Written by Published in Education
Tereora College music students with opera singers Ipu Laga’aia and William Mataka Vuni after yesterday’s morning workshop. 18053107 Tereora College music students with opera singers Ipu Laga’aia and William Mataka Vuni after yesterday’s morning workshop. 18053107

Tereora College was the scene of the first of three school visits on Rarotonga for the opera duo of William (Taka) Vuni and Ipu Laga’aia last week.

 

The pair were in the Cook Islands to perform at the BCI Opera in Rarotonga, organised by Motone productions.

On Thursday, students from a variety of year groups were treated to a 90-minute workshop by the two singers.

To start the event, the duo gave an impromptu performance. All the students broke into immediate applause, setting the tone for the rest of the morning.

The pair credit New Zealand opera trio Sol3 Mio in creating a pathway for young Pacific Island singers to make it on their own as performers.

After performing for the students and taking them through a couple of vocal warm-ups, Laga’aia took the lead and the pair took the class through “Hareruia” (“Hallelujah”), for the remainder of the session.

Tereora College music teacher Veronica Perkins described the duo’s visit as “amazing”.

“The kids and Ipu and Taka sent shivers down my back every time they sang - it was incredible.

“Every year these workshops just step up, and what a fantastic opportunity for the kids to get to experience these guys.

“It wasn’t about the quantity of the kids but this year we had a smaller group and this year the quality that came out of the song they were taught was very beneficial, more personal for the kids”.

Perkins said the singers were “fantastic” role models for her students and praised the way the pair connected with them.

The singers also visited Apii Te Uki Ou for a special assembly before running a similar workshop at Titikaveka College.

The pair’s weekend performances at The Islander Hotel drew plenty of praise, with large numbers turning out to enjoy the music on Friday and Saturday.

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