An opera show with a difference was meant be held at Te Waimate Mission in the Bay of Islands but due to inhospitable weather will probably be held at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri instead.

The concert will be a musical commemoration of the 28th Maori Battalion and the 70th anniversary of the Battle at Monte Cassino, featuring Whangarei-born opera/musical theatre soloist Luke Bird and the Opera North singers.

Te Waimate Mission manager Mita Harris said the music would have a distinctly Italian feel to it, as was appropriate, with singers performing a range of arias and well-known numbers with love and family as their themes.

The concert would celebrate pride, remembrance and honour - values associated with Northland's soldiers - and proceeds from the show would help send a delegation to Italy to honour the dead of the battle of Monte Cassino.


Opera in the Park will take place at Te Waimate Mission Station, 344 Te Ahu Ahu Road, Waimate North, from 3pm tomorrow or if the weather is bad, at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri. Admission is $30 adult and $15 children aged 17 and under. Tickets are available from i-Sites in Paihia and Whangarei as well as door sales on the day.

Call the mission house on 09 405 9734 to confirm the location of the performance in the instance of bad weather.

The mission house at Te Waimate dates back to 1832, making it one of New Zealand's oldest buildings, and is cared for by the NZ Historic Places Trust.