An enchanting evening
Some Enchanted Evening, Mangatarata Country Estate, Saturday night. Reviewed by Hilary Pedersen.
Yes, it was some enchanted evening – and all for only $10 – despite the cool conditions braved by more than 100 well-wrapped-up, mainly senior music lovers.
It was Mangatarata’s third cushion concert and the concept, if only the weather would co-operate, is brilliant.
The event was billed as “beautiful music in a beautiful rural setting”, and there’s no doubt the ambience created by Don and Judy Macdonald’s gracious colonial homestead, and extensive grounds sloping down to a swan-occupied pond with spring green hills in the background, make it an ideal venue.
Artists were the Patrick Power EIT Performing Arts students, backed up by Power himself, and supported by solo and group numbers from members of the Waipawa Music and Dramatic Society.
It was an eclectic programme, 26 items in all, with a mix of musical styles and numbers ranging from M and D’s Rhythm of Life to La Boheme, demonstrating the depth of musical talent available from EIT students and local singers.
Songs from the shows were prominent, among them Memory from Luana Sheardown, Empty Chairs and Empty Tables by James Schaw, and I Still Believe from Wynne de Lautour and Helen Walker.
As I am a lover of folk songs, Neil Faulknor’s hauntingly beautiful Silkie was a personal highlight.
New Zealand Secondary School choir member Amanda Meadows delighted in Summertime and Under The Greenwood Tree.
The EIT students were a credit, among them Erica Stichbury (own compositions), Kararaina Walker (O Zittre Nicht), Angela Conn (Mi Chiamano Mimi) and Patrick Power Scholarship winner Luella Ngauora (Vedrai Carino).
Vesti la Guibba and the rather apt ﬁnale, La Boheme’s Che Gelida Manina (Your Tiny Hand is Frozen) were sung by Patrick Power, whose lyric tenor ﬂoated through the garden, enrapturing the audience.
Even the swans were moved. While a large white swan drifted toward shore to listen, its black companion circled above, white tipped wings ﬂashing, in a lap of honour.
It was an unrehearsed pas de deux – a magic moment.