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Wellington and NZSO celebrate nation's resilience with free concert on 26 June

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Wellington City Council are to stage a free live concert to celebrate the enormous effort New Zealanders made to protect the vulnerable and eliminate COVID-19.

The 26 June concert NgÅ« KÄ«oro… Harikoa Ake - celebrating togetherness will be performed live in front of an audience and livestreamed at

The evening includes contributions by acclaimed vocalist and composer Maisey Rika, exceptional taonga pÅ«oro player Horomona Horo, internationally renowned tenor Simon O’Neill, star soprano Eliza Boom, singers from the award-winning Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and schools in the Wellington region.

The concert at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre will begin at 6.30pm and is the NZSO’s first performance before a live audience since the COVID-19 restrictions on public events were lifted.

NgÅ« KÄ«oro… Harikoa Ake will also celebrate togetherness by supporting musical development in Greater Wellington. When booking free concert tickets via agency Ticketmaster, concertgoers can make a koha contribution to the NZSO Foundation. The contributions will go towards community musical ensembles of all ages mentored by NZSO players.

Led by NZSO Principal Conductor in Residence Hamish McKeich, NgÅ« KÄ«oro… Harikoa Ake presents a diverse array of music and voices. The NZSO joins with Maisey Rika and Horomona Horo to perform music from the NZSO’s successful 2019 An Instrumental Voyage Pae Tawhiti, Pae Tata concert. The Orchestra also brings two great New Zealand works to life, the first movement from Gareth Farr’s rousing masterpiece From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs and John Psathas’ ecstatic Tarantismo.

Simon O’Neill and Eliza Boom perform some of the best-known highlights from three great operas: Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s La Bohème and Verdi’s Otello. The full power of the Orchestra will be on show for Richard Strauss’ inspirational Suite from Der Rosenkavalier.

For the concert finale, all soloists will join with members of Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and more than 100 school children to sing the beloved waiata Pōkarekare Ana.

"The fact that the NZSO can again play in front of an audience is because of the sacrifices everyone in New Zealand made over the past three months to keep our most vulnerable safe as we all worked to eliminate COVID-19," says NZSO Chief Executive Peter Biggs.

"The Orchestra knows that we need to remain vigilant. However, we also wanted to thank everyone with a concert to lift our spirits and celebrate our success. We’re delighted that Wellington City Council has joined us to present NgÅ« KÄ«oro… Harikoa Ake, along with the superb artists that will join us for this special night."

Mayor Andy Foster says: "the NZSO is a national treasure and great source of pride for Wellingtonians.

"As New Zealand’s capital city we are the storehouse of many of our nation’s treasures, and long recognised as the centre for arts and culture. I am delighted by this new expression of the long term partnership between our national orchestra and the Council.

"It is also an inspiring statement of acknowledgment and thanks to our healthcare workers, community services and the many essential workers who together got us through to this point."

Tickets to NgÅ« KÄ«oro… Harikoa Ake - celebrating togetherness are available via

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