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Classical Sparks Ready To Shine In Hagley

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Classical Sparks Ready To Shine In Hagley

2 February 2009 - The SummerTimes extravaganza, ASB Classical Sparks will set North Hagley Park alight on Thursday night.

In a prelude to New Zealand's national celebration on Waitangi Day, ASB Classical Sparks will feature live performances from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Opera ensemble and Showbiz Christchurch from 8 pm to 10.30 pm.

The outdoor event will feature some of New Zealand's best musical acts, including Sarah Wilson playing a Haydn trumpet concerto and other well-known soloists backed by the Orchestra. Of particular interest is Esther Kim, from the Queenstown Violin Summer School, who won the opportunity to play with the Orchestra.

Organised by the Christchurch City Council and as part of the 2009 SummerTimes festival, Classical Sparks is the biggest event in the annual programme and is enjoyed by between 80,000 to 120,000 people every year.

This extravaganza is made possible by the support of ASB Bank, who have enabled us to offer Christchurch families a wonderful night out, says Mark Hadlow, Events Production Team Manager with the Christchurch City Council.

Local kapa haka group, Te Ahikaaroa will open the evening in a celebration of our Maori heritage followed by a rich array of stunning music combined with the talented Southern Opera ensemble.

The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra will star at Classical Sparks, conducted by Mr Richard Marrett, a Christchurch arranger, conductor, composer and accomplished musician, involved in a number of musical events in New Zealand.

The other highlight of the evening, Showbiz Christchurch, will perform songs from Musical Theatre ranging from the Rocky Horror Show to Miss Saigon, their main show for 2009.

"Showbiz Christchurch and its musical theatre stars will hit the stage with high impact singing, dancing, lighting, sound and costuming, providing a smorgasbord for the senses," says Mr Hadlow . "People wanted a more classical component for the first half - and ShowBiz, the musical theatre, in the second, and it will be a great combination provided this year."

Showbiz Christchurch director Steven Robertson has put together an extraordinary selection of numbers to capture the musical vitality in live performance, he says.

Mr Hadlow also has a surprise package up his sleeve for the evening; an international historical equestrian event. "And we will wrap up the evening with The William Tell Overture which will accompany and enhance the breathtaking fireworks finale by Fireworks International. The climax fireworks will portray an arrow being shot into an apple, in keeping with the William Tell theme," he says. ASB Classical Sparks marks the eve of New Zealand's national day, Waitangi Day - an event close to the hearts of Cantabrians and much appreciated by visitors. As a prelude to the evening (from 6.45pm), ASB Classical Kids will showcase talented young classical musicians from across the city. Stroll through Hagley Park and be inspired by these wonderful young musicians.

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