Sol3 Mio star Pene Pati has revealed the heartwarming love story behind New Zealand's most public marriage proposal.
The chart-topping opera singer delighted 7000 fans when he popped the question to girlfriend Amina Edris live on stage at the Christmas in the Vines concert at Auckland's Villa Maria Estate last Sunday.
After serenading her with the German aria Dein ist mein ganzes Herz, Pati brought members of both families on stage to present Edris with red roses before getting down on one knee.
A week on, he told the Herald on Sunday the couple were still buzzing about the show-stopping moment, the culmination of a long-distance romance of 3 years.
"The proposal was a big surprise for Amina and when the moment came to do it, I took a big gulp and knew there was no going back," Pati said. "I had no plan B if she said no in front of thousands of people but I was quietly confident it would all go well."
The pair met in Christchurch in 2011 on a week-long singing course backed by Kiwi opera legend Dame Malvina Major.
Pati was then an unknown tenor and Edris was also trying to get her foot in the door as a singer.
"I was smitten with her straight away but I didn't think she was quite so keen on me," Pati said. "Fortunately, I was wrong about that."
The couple started dating within a week but often found themselves on different sides of the world.
Pati took off to Wales to train as a tenor while he was putting Sol3 Mio together with his brother Amitai Pati and cousin Moses Mackay.
Egypt-born Edris would join him in Britain between stints at her home city of Christchurch and San Francisco, California, where she is studying to be an opera singer.
"We were used to being apart before Sol3 Mio became a hit so their success hasn't really made all that much of a difference to us," Edris said. "Skype calls have really kept us going and when we have some time off we fly to wherever in the world the other one is to spend time together. It can be difficult, but we trust each other implicitly."
Pati, 27, has a packed 2015 ahead after Sol3 Mio's debut became the highest-selling album in the country last year.
The couple don't yet have a home together. Edris, 24, stays with Pati's family in Auckland when she is in New Zealand because her own parents have moved to Melbourne.
Edris said they plan to marry sometime next year and are keen to have children.