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A century of Messiahs 

Every performance of Handel’s Messiah is a special event, and Auckland Choral’s 2018 performance will be extra-special, as it is the choir’s hundredth consecutive Messiah. Since the choir’s founding in 1855 there have only been 2 exceptions – the outbreak of World War I and the flu epidemic of 1918. To celebrate this momentous century of Messiahs, the choir will be joined by visiting singers from choral groups near and far, and a stunning line-up of soloists will lead the choir, including Metropolitan Opera star Heather Johnson, New Zealand’s most famous tenor Simon O’Neill, and bass Martin Snell whose “Trumpet Shall Sound” stays in the memory all year round. Join us again to welcome this year’s Christmas and to be part of our amazing “one hundrednot-out” tradition.

 

Marlena Devoe soprano

Heather Johnson mezzo-soprano

Simon O’Neill tenor

Martin Snell bass

Uwe Grodd conductor

Auckland Choral

New Zealand and international guest choirs including City Choir Dunedin and Brisbane Chorale

Pipers Sinfonia

 

Sunday, 16 December 5.00pm

Monday, 17 December 7.30pm

Auckland Town Hall

 

ticketmaster.co.nz / 09 970 9700

$42–$97.50 concession available

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Who we are: Get to know some of our choir members

  • Neil Hawkes

    Picture of Neil Hawkes in a flying armchairHi, I’m Neil Hawkes - I have been singing for a while: Tewkesbury Abbey choir from the ages of 5 to 30yrs, then a variety of English choirs before coming to NZ. When I arrived in Auckland I sang with the Choral Society, then with the Anglican Cathedral Choir and the Graduate Choir, before being stopped by a heart condition (since fixed 100%).

    Other hobbies include gyrocopters - see photo of the flying armchair…

    I am an engineer, currently studying for a PhD at Auckland Uni in mechanical engineering (carbon-neutral power generation).

     
  • Luis Garcia

    Picture of Luis GarciaOriginally from Leon Mexico, Luis joined Auckland choir in 2013. He is a system engineer with great passion for singing. When he went to listen to the choir practice in an open rehearsal for the first time, he was enchanted by it, and he’s been singing with the choir ever since. His favorite concert has been “Dream of Gerontius” composed by Sir Edward Elgar in 1900. He joined the choir as a Bass and two years later he made the transition to Tenor. 

    Luis first studied overseas in 2005 when he enrolled in an English course at the Australian College of English in Sydney. He’s currently involved in a program by the New Zealand Ministry of Education to upgrade the schools' wireless systems all across the country. Luis is very passionate about music, technology, science, spirituality and meditation.

     
  • Rachel Harrison

    Picture of Rachel HarrisonI am originally from the UK where I studied music. After a few years in London working in Orchestral Management the call of the sea became strong and I spent the next few years yachting. During my time in the Pacific I ended up sailing to New Zealand where I decided to step ashore and have called New Zealand home for just over 9 years. 

    During my time at sea I missed my music, but my clarinet playing days were long gone. I decided I would give singing a try, even though I was a little nervous of my abilities, so I approached Auckland Choral. As soon as I attended my first rehearsal I realised this is what I had been missing and have been a member of Auckland Choral ever since. Auckland Choral became a family to me, and I passionately supported it by being on the Management Committee for several years until May 2016, including Convener of the Music Committee. I love my Wednesday night rehearsals and being able to perform magical works in fabulous venues with friends!

     
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