Royal charity concerts support Tonga Red Cross
TWO nights of royal charity concerts in Nuku'alofa this week have raised $25,000 for the Tonga Red Cross and treated local people to classical music performances by visiting international performers from Italy, Austria, Sibera, Korea, and New Zealand.
HM King George Tupou V and members of the royal family attended the opening night of the Pacific Camerata Ensemble of Soloists, at the Fa'onelua Convention Centre on Wednesday May 12, for a two hour programme of classical music.
Visiting performers included Irinia Andreeva (viola), Lilia Carpinelli (soprano), Carmel Carroll (mezzo soprano), John Fennell (violin), Hanny Lee (violin), Paul McIver (guitar), Matteo Napoli (piano), Deborah Rawson (clarinet), Mary Anne Riechelmann (piano), and Martin Rummell (cello).
The convention centre proved to be an excellent venue for the musical performance providing an acoustic setting that has not been available in Tonga before. The performers included experienced professionals who put on their best performances for the king, including works from Haydn, JS Bach, Liszt, and Hummel. Soprano Lilia Carpinelli and mezzo soprano, Carmell Carroll, performed solo and duets, concluding with a dramatic extract from Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro".
The king presented two royal awards for services to the monarch at the conclusion of the first night. Mary Anne Riechelman, pianist, received the Commander of the Order of the Crown, and the ensemble leader John Fennell, a violinist, received the Member of the Order of the Crown.
The king did not attend the second evening. David Dunkley, the king's Private Secretary said a cheque for $25,000 was presented to the Tonga Red Cross at the conclusion of the event. Tickets were sold at $100 per head.