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Te Kapahaka o Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti joins forces with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in powerful fusion

Whakaata Māori by Mare Haimona-Riki & Paridhi Bakshi

Long awaited collaboration between Kapahaka o Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra set to release

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

After five years in the making, Te Kapahaka o Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra are months away from releasing their musical collaboration to the world.

The collaboration features 12 waiata written over the past 27 years by key composers of Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti and performed by the kapahaka group and the philharmonia orchestra in a powerful fusion of sound.

“I was contacted five years ago by Philharmonia director music director Steven Small and we spoke two years over Zoom because of Covid-19,” Te Kapahaka o Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti head tutor Te Kahautu Maxwell says,

“We met after Covid-19 and Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti agreed to collaborate with the orchestra and kapa haka.”

Te Kapahaka o Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti composers and leaders are delighted the original compositions are being used in this collaboration.

An original composition by Sir Timoti Kāretu composed for the Māori queen, Te Ariki Atairangikaahu and a tribute composed by Anamika Painga will be among the works that will be featured online.

“The structure of the vocal arrangement of Ōpōtiki Mai Tawhiti is big, rich, and beautiful; it occupies a lot of space,” Small says.

“One of the really interesting challenges was how to fit this big vocal texture with the orchestra. It’s been a good challenge, and we cracked it.”

The compositions are yet to be released but will be available at the end of the year before Christmas, and listeners can access them online and through CDs.

Hero image: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Photo / Supplied

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