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Youth orchestra to support Domingo in Chch concert

Wednesday 5 Oct 2011 3:29 p.m.

NYO chief executive Peter Walls conducts a rehearsal in the CBS Arena, Christchurch

NYO chief executive Peter Walls conducts a rehearsal in the CBS Arena, Christchurch

By Ally Mullord

International opera star Placido Domingo will be supported by the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra (NYO) at tomorrow night’s fundraising concert in Christchurch, giving the young musicians the largest audience they’ve ever performed for.

The one-off concert is in support of the Court Theatre and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO), but as the CSO is in Japan to participate in Asia Orchestra Week the NYO has stepped in.

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Education and Community Programmes Manager Claire Lewis says NYO members are “absolutely thrilled” by the opportunity.

“It’s an absolute honour for the Youth Orchestra to be invited to play with a star the calibre of Placido Domingo,” she says.

Ms Lewis says around 30 percent of the orchestra are from Christchurch, and some lost homes during the Canterbury earthquakes.

The 8,000-strong audience will be the largest the orchestra has played to – a standard NYO concert attracts an audience of around 1,500.

The concert will also “be like a little reunion” for the players, Ms Lewis says. The NYO is formed once a year after a nationwide audition process then holds rehearsals followed by a concert tour, which ended around a month ago.

NYO chief executive Peter Walls has been taking rehearsals in Christchurch this week, and has been invited to conduct a piece in tomorrow night’s concert. Domingo’s conductor Eugene Kohn will conduct the rest of the programme.

Tickets for the concert are available through Ticketek.

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