Everyone was there

Trafalgar Park filled up nicely.  We looked back at the sea of people all around us and marveled that so many had purchased tickets for the annual event.

Opera in the Park - Nelson

More than two weeks before, we had arrived in town and saw the banner for “Opera in the Park,” and we decided then that it was the thing to do in Nelson, New Zealand.


The day arrived with a good weather forecast – sunny and warm.  We packed a picnic and walked down to the park to get there as the gates opened at 5:30 PM.  We had to stop a block away to get “in the que” at the entrance—quite a crowd.  Who knew so many people would come out for Opera?  By dusk, 6800 people and 1 plastic iguanadon attended the event.

We spread out our blankets and our traveling companion, Solbit, the plastic iguanadon, perched on Joe’s hat for a photo op.  (If you want to know more about Solbit, check out her blog.)

Opera in the Park - Nelson

The music started at 6:30 PM with a warmup performance by Lisa Tomlins and Twinset and an hour later Orchestra Wellington found their seats and Conductor Marc Taddei took the podium. 

Opera in the Park - Nelson

The Opera singers, Amina Edris and Pene Pati, sang a well-known duet from Rigoletto. 

Opera in the Park - Nelson

Hinewehi Mohi and Tama Waipara sang their own compositions, and in a duet, sang a piece he had written, “Tangihia”.


James Morrison, the only non-New Zealand performer, entertained the crowd with stories. He played different instruments – trumpet, trombone, and soprano sax — for his selections. 

As the sun lowered in the sky, the crowd seemed to become more receptive and the performers seemed to be giving more heartfelt performances.  By the end of the concert when the 25-year old Samoan-born New Zealander, Pene Pati, took the stage and performed “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, everyone was hanging on his every note.  The orchestra played “Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1″, as fireworks lit the sky in a rousing finale.

When we got up to leave, we were surprised that the park was still full of people.  And why not?  “Opera in the Park” had been a memorable night in Nelson.


February 2014

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Around-the World - 2013-14, New Zealand and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Everyone was there

  1. Pingback: What’s happening? A food festival! | simpletravelourway

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