Rotorua's 20th Lakeside Concert celebrates 20 years tomorrow and organiser Ian Edward isn't surprised the concerts turned into a hugely popular night out for locals.

"The concerts have always existed here. As a child growing up I always looked forward with great anticipation to the period over Christmas for the concerts at the Sound Shell. As a trust, what we have done is provide a modern interpretation of what has always previously existed," he said.

The formula for success has been simple, too. "Together is best. The combinations of Maori entertainment with classical and contemporary is a sure-fire formula for success. We have tried over the years to provide a concert to reflect this community."

This year's concert is going to be no different and it sees the return of international tenor Simon O'Neill.


"We are delighted to have Simon back. He performed at our very first concert and he is a truly international class performer.

"The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra will also be a real highlight as it is this region's only professional orchestra, and we are always thrilled to have people like Maisey Rika and our own Rewa Ututaonga, along with Howard Morrison jnr and perennial favourite Jackie Clarke."

Mr Edward encourages concert-goers to dress warmly, only bring low seating so everyone can see, and respect the people around them.

"It's going to be fantastic," he said.

Entertainment begins at 5.30pm with Rotorua musician Kelly Makiha performing for those wanting to arrive early to get a good seat.


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* What: "Symphony" - The 20th Lakeside Concert

* Where: Soundshell and Village Green

* When: Tomorrow, 7pm (early entertainment from 5.30pm)

* General Admission: Free

* Reserved Seating: $35 from the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre's Ticketmaster Box Office or online from ticketmaster.