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Pacific jewel returns: skycity starlight symphony

Pacific jewel returns for skycity starlight symphony

SKYCITY is thrilled to once again bring the magic of the annual SKYCITY Starlight Symphony to the Auckland Domain on Saturday 25 February. This year's event promises to deliver one of its most exciting programmes yet.

Jonathan Lemalu, widely known as opera's 'pacific jewel' returns to New Zealand especially for SKYCITY Starlight Symphony. Jonathan's bass-baritone voice has won him numerous awards and made him one of the most sought-after talents on the international operatic circuit. Jonathan will perform several pieces including Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific and Madamina from Don Giovanni by Mozart. Jonathan will also perform with Madeleine Pierard, one of New Zealand's most promising new opera soloists and winner of the 2005 Lexus Song Quest.

The first half of this year's SKYCITY Starlight Symphony will feature hits from the musical Sweet Charity, including Big Spender and The Rhythm of Life. The 11 strong cast includes Claire Chitham (Waverly ex Shortland Street) and Frankie Stevens. (Auckland Theatre Company will present Sweet Charity at SKYCITY Theatre this year). Norm Hewitt will slip on his dancing shoes with wife Arlene and lead the crowd in a waltz to The Blue Danube by Strauss. The Medlyn sisters, Helen and Margaret will also perform together for the first time singing Butterfly Duet from Madame Butterfly by Puccini.

Well-known kiwi band Goldenhorse, accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia will open the second half with some of their well-known songs including Out of the Moon and Maybe Tomorrow.

Other highlights in the 2006 programme include the return of the Mercury Energy laser light show, the SKYCITY fireworks and annual crowd pleasers Tchaikowsky's 1812 Overture, The National Anthem and Now is the Hour.

Two new personalities join the Starlight ensemble this year, with John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld confirmed to host the event. John Rosser returns in 2006 as choral conductor while Marc Taddei conducts the concert for the first time.

The recipient charity for the 2006 SKYCITY Starlight Symphony will be Variety - The Children's Charity. Funds raised at the SKYCITY Starlight Symphony will support Variety's 'Kids on the Move' mobility programme, a programme that provides hundreds of children each year with much needed equipment including wheelchairs, specialised trikes, mobilised scooters and special chairs. The charity is currently calling for up to 500 volunteers to help raise funds at the event.*

SKYCITY's General Manager - Communications, Megan McSweeney, says SKYCITY is delighted to be involved with the event for the eighth consecutive year.

"It is great to play a part in making this free night of fun and entertainment available to the Auckland community. It is also very satisfying to continue our support of New Zealand's children raising funds for Variety - The Children's Charity" she says.

The Giltrap Motor Group has confirmed it will be the associate sponsor of the 2006 SKYCITY Starlight Symphony for the fourth year.

The concert, also supported by Auckland City, will begin at 7:45pm and is estimated to conclude at around 10:30pm. In the unlikely event of postponement, SKYCITY Starlight Symphony will be held at the same time on Sunday 26 February. Official radio station, More FM, will carry postponement details from around midday on 25 February 2005.

As well as Variety - The Children's Charity, SKYCITY's sponsorship portfolio includes Kidz First Children's Hospital, The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, Starship Children's Hospital, Special Olympics New Zealand and Auckland Rugby.

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