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Dame Malvina Major

Diamond Jubilee Celebration Tour

World–Renowned Soprano Dame Malvina Major joins special guests, Geoff Sewell, the Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, Hogsnort Rupert and the RNZ Air Force Band for an outdoor summer concert at the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.


Dame Malvina Major (ONZ, GNZM, DBE) is next year celebrating 60 years as one of the world’s top opera singers. Her role developing artists like Hayley Westenra via her Foundation (launched in 1991) has seen her come full circle from the early days where the Hamilton born  singer received classical lessons from Dame Sister Mary Leo (who also taught Dame Kiri Te Kanawa!) and later, Ruth Packer from the Royal College of Music.


In 1963 Malvina won the NZ Mobil Song Quest, in 1965 the Australian Melbourne Sun-Aria, and in 1966, the prestigious London based Kathleen Ferrier Award. She has performed in more than 30 opera roles in their original languages, recorded numerous albums and performed internationally at the pyramids in Egypt with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, for royalty, at a charity concert for Vera Lynn and at the BBC concert broadcast in London, amongst others.


In 1991, Malvina won the New Zealand Entertainer of the Year and in 1998 was awarded the Benny, The Variety Club of New Zealand’s highest lifetime achievement award. She has received Honorary Doctorates from both Waikato and Massey Universities. Malvina is a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) and a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (PCNZM) for her contributions to opera (later exchanged for Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit). In the Queen's Birthday and Diamond Jubilee Honours List 2001, Dame Malvina Major was appointed to the Order of New Zealand (ONZ).


London based New Zealander Geoff Sewell is an internationally successful tenor and multi-platinum selling recording star. He was one of the creators and founding member of the international sensation Amici Forever - a classical-crossover sensation and the world's first multi-platinum selling opera band, who reached over two and a half million sales worldwide with their debut album The Opera Band (2003) and their follow-up Defined (2005). His 2008 debut solo album, Believe, was released to acclaim and chart success. In 2009, after a sell-out tour of NZ with five other international stars from his hugely successful company Incognito Artists, Geoff released Geoff Sewell and Incognito Artists - Live in Concert DVD which charted at number one.


Hamilton County Bluegrass Band exploded into the New Zealand Folk and Country music scene in 1968 and is still one of NZ’s best loved groups.  They featured on the TVNZ show the Country Touch, toured Australia with the Slim Dusty Show and more recently performed at the Redlands Bluegrass Festival in Brisbane and at the American River of Music Party International Bluegrass Festival.


Hogsnort Rupert originally formed in 1969 (as the Hogsnort Rupert's Original Flagon Band) and are one of the greatest all-time Kiwi bands, best known for their humorous music which includes several chart singles and the number one hits Pretty Girl.  One of the founding members, Dave Luther, was also a member of Dave and the Dynamos - famous for their number one 1983 hit Life begins at 40. Hogsnort Rupert, after 40 years performing, is one of the longest running bands in NZ history.


The Royal NZ Air Force Band is NZ’s largest and only full symphonic band. It made its public debut in 1937, leading a procession through Wellington to mark the coronation of King George VI. Based in Wellington, the band takes part in State and ceremonial events providing music for openings of Parliament, Guards of Honour, royal visits, official functions plus community and charity events.

Produced by
Frontrow Presents

21 February 2014, 6:00 PM

Rhododendron Lawn

Wet weather venue
Rhododendron Lawn

Adults $79
Seniors (65 and over) $69
Children (Under 12) FREE

  • 180
  • Music
  • Gothenburg
  • BYO seating
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