I had to pinch myself on Thursday night.

I don't often pinch myself ...

(1) It can be a wee bit painful.

(2) I have better things to do with my time.

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On Thursday night, opera and aroha came to the awa.

The river lapped by, shimmering in the lights from the Waimarie and those on the riverbank; the glow of the moon provided a celestial spotlight; the evening stayed warm and balmy as darkness enveloped Whanganui; the performances by an array of singers on the paddle steamer and a moored pontoon were beamed across a large screen; a full house sat spellbound and sipped Dusky Sounds pinot gris.

We described it as "A night of magic" on the front page of Saturday's Chronicle. No overkill; fair comment.

Some of those clearly relishing their time on the water-bound stage command thousands of dollars to perform ... in opera circles they are worldwide names.

If it had been London, New York or Paris, we would have gone, "Wow — that's fantastic."
But this was little old Whanganui ...

I had to pinch myself.