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APO Returns To Government House For Summer Matinee

APO Returns To Government House For Summer Matinee

APO Summer Matinee

With Helen Medlyn (mezzo soprano) and Simon O’Neill (tenor)

Saturday 14 February 2.00pm

Government House, Mt Eden, Auckland

December 17, 2008 – Romance is in the air as the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra returns to Auckland’s historic Government House gardens for its annual Summer Matinee concert on Valentine’s Day.

Featuring international tenor Simon O’Neill and popular mezzo-soprano Helen Medlyn, the APO presents a Valentine’s Day programme filled with wonderful music and song.

Known as “Auckland’s most stylish picnic”, the APO’s annual Summer Matinee has been a feature of the Auckland summer calendar since 1980 and the 2009 event marks a return to the Government House grounds following a five-year break while Government House underwent renovations.

APO Chief Executive Barbara Glaser sees the homecoming as a rejuvenation of a longstanding summer tradition between the orchestra and the city it serves. “The orchestra’s performances at Government House have spanned more than two decades, and there is a sense of history to the occasion.

“The Summer Matinee has become a very special part of our annual season – the orchestra loves performing outdoors in the gardens and it’s an event which has become a real highlight of Auckland in summer.”

The Summer Matinee concert is the APO’s main fundraiser for the year with musicians and staff contributing their time on the day. Proceeds raised from the concert go toward the orchestra’s extensive education programme. A major raffle is also held on the day with prizes including a trip for two to see the Sydney Symphony Orchestra perform at Sydney Opera House, a luxury weekend stay at Orongo Bay Homestead in the Bay of Islands, or a hamper of food, wine and music.

This year, rather than providing food hampers, audience members are encourage to create their own picnics – a change which will be welcomed by many foodies who like to add their personal touch to their refreshments for the afternoon. Prepared food hampers can still be ordered separately.

Featuring at the 2009 concert is one of Auckland’s favourite singers, mezzo soprano Helen Medlyn, together with New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neill who is returning to New Zealand especially for the event while in the middle of rehearsals with Opera Australia.

“It’s a wonderful treat for us that Simon is able to come over to Auckland and perform at the concert.”

The programme for the Summer Matinee concert has been inspired by the romance of the day and features music by Rossini, J Strauss, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Lehár.

Be a part of Auckland’s history this summer and enjoy the sublime music of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with guest artists Helen Medlyn and Simon O’Neill while soaking up the atmosphere of the gorgeous Government House gardens.

The APO’s Summer Matinee is at Government House, Mt Eden, Auckland on Saturday 14 February from 2pm. Tickets (adults $60, children $25) are available from the APO Ticket Office by phoning 09) 623 1052 or online at


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