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Starlight Symphony - Auckland Domain this Saturday

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

21 February 2006

SKYCITY Starlight Symphony - Auckland Domain this Saturday


SKYCITY Starlight Symphony takes place this Saturday, 25 February and promises 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 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, an ATC production performing at the SKYCITY Theatre late this year. The 11-strong cast includes Claire Chitham (Waverly ex Shortland Street) and Frankie Stevens. Shane Cortese and Nerida Lister will slip on their dancing shoes 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 Flower 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 popular songs including Out of the Moon and Maybe Tomorrow.

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

John Campbell and Carol Hirschfeld will MC the event, John Rosser returns as choral conductor, while Marc Taddei conducts the concert for the first time.

“SKYCITY Starlight Symphony, supported by the SKYCITY Auckland Community Trust is a celebration for our city, and an event which seems to grow year on year, making it one of the country’s largest free community performance events,” said Megan McSweeney, SKYCITY General Manager, Communications.

The concert, supported by associate sponsor Giltrap Motor Group and assisted by Mercury Energy, Auckland City, The New Zealand Herald and More FM, will begin at 7.45pm and is estimated to conclude at 10.30pm. A postponement date at the same time on Sunday 26 February will apply if heavy rain occurs on Saturday 25 February. Official radio station, More FM (91.8) will air postponement details if required from around midday on 25 February.

An army of volunteers will move among the crowd, collecting donations for this year’s recipient charity: Variety – The Children’s Charity.

SKYCITY is proud to support Variety – The Children’s Charity. Funds raised at the SKYCITY Starlight Symphony will support Variety’s ‘Kids on the Move’ mobility programme, which provides hundreds of children each year with much needed equipment including wheelchairs, specialised trikes, mobilised scooters and special chairs.

EVENT ADVICE:

- Make sure to bring sun block, a blanket or rug (chairs make it difficult for people to see behind you), refreshments (water especially) and cash for the official volunteer collectors (who will be clearly marked and wearing white vests).

- Be wary about donating to any non-official collectors.

- Each year there is some confusion over a liquor ban, which only extends directly around the museum and therefore doesn’t affect the SKYCITY Starlight Symphony. There is no problem with people packing a picnic hamper with wine/beer and snacks as they have in the past.

- Transport and parking should be taken into consideration with such a popular event (approximately 200,000 people each year).

- Directly around Auckland’s Domain, parking is limited and those wanting a quick get-away after the event are encouraged to leave their cars further away from the park as congestion is heavy for around half an hour or so when the concert is over (at around 10.30pm).

- With some road closures from 7am and numerous road blocks around the Auckland Domain throughout the day, it’s recommended to walk or catch a taxi or bus from a central city location to save time and frustration.

- An area in front of the stage will be available for the disabled to view the concert. Able-bodied drivers are asked to drop off disabled passengers at the ‘Drop Off Zone’ in Park Road, and then move off to find a park in the surrounding streets. If the driver of the car is disabled, limited car parking will be available in the Medical School car park opposite the Park Road entrance to the Domain.

- Concert-goers are requested to remain clear of Auckland Hospital grounds and facilities on the night.

ENDS

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