1 Dec 2022

Mana Moana - Live at the Michael Fowler Centre

From Music Alive, 8:00 pm on 1 December 2022
Signature Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform Mana Moana at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. 1 December 2022.

Signature Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform Mana Moana at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. 1 December 2022. Photo: John Setter

Mana Moana is a symphonic celebration that highlights the connectedness of our Pacific nations through music. More than 120 singers and instrumental musicians perform iconic songs from Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji and the Cook Islands - popular songs of love, of faith, of Pasifika pride, songs that will bring a tear to your eyes, and songs that make you want to move.

The Mana Moana project is a ground-breaking partnership curated by Fepulea'i Helen Tupa’i, music director of Signature Choir, in collaboration with Wellington’s Pasifika communities, NZSO and RNZ Concert. The songs have been interpreted and orchestrated by Thomas Goss with vocal arrangements by Helen Tupa’i and Jadrah Tupa’i.

Performed by Signature Choir conducted by Helen Tupa’i and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart. Introduced by Pule Mason Malagamaali’i.

Listen to the complete concert here, and scroll down for individual songs and videos from the performance.

Signature Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform Mana Moana at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. 1 December 2022

Signature Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform Mana Moana at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. 1 December 2022 Photo: John Setter

T F R SIMANU arr Thomas Goss: Faliu Le La

A medley of three classic Samoan songs telling stories of Samoa’s warm breeze, the sweet scent of the garlands and the songwriter’s pride in being a ‘Child of Samoa’.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

QUEEN SALOTE TUPOU III arr Thomas Goss: Siueli 'o e Pasifiki

This song speaks of how Queen Salote travelled across the Pacific witnessing all the beauty it has to offer. Despite all the wonderful traits of the other islands, she still believes Tonga to be the ‘jewel of the Pacific’.

Performed by Maselusa Washburn, Leū Seumanutafa Ulu, Kevin Malagamaali’i, Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

TRADITIONAL (Cook Islands) arr Thomas Goss: Kua Iti Te Marama

A classic Cook Island love tale telling of a man waiting for his lover in the dark of night, calling for her to come and dance.

Performed by Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

M P HUNKIN arr Thomas Goss: Manu O Le Vaveao

A young man is awakened by the sound of singing birds, leaving him to ponder whether his pursuit of the girl he adores will be successful or not.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

OPETAIA FOA'I arr Thomas Goss: Te Hiva

This vibrant hit made famous by the International Pasifika group Te Vaka, describes how the metaphoric ‘lightning strikes’ from the dancing, revives my soul, making me so happy and proud to do ‘Te Hiva’ (the dance)

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

HELEN TUPAI arr Thomas Goss: Lo'u Fesoasoani

Helen Tupa’i composed Lo'u Fesoasoani (translates ‘my help’) as a message of hope, that in times of uncertainty, hardship and pain, she says, our help comes from the Lord. Whether looking to the serene depths of the sea, or the highest of mountains, you will always find refuge and salvation in the Lord.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

VANIAH TOLOA arr Thomas Goss: Tukua (Tagi E)

Signature Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform Mana Moana at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. 1 December 2022

Signature Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform Mana Moana at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. 1 December 2022 Photo: John Setter

The emotional cry of an orphan who yearns to see their parents and is pleading to receive comfort for their lonely heart.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by Wayne La’ai, Avele Kirisome, Eden Leota, Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

MALCOLM & PANAPA LAKATANI arr Thomas Goss: Nukututaha

Nukututaha is the historical name of Niue, meaning ‘island standing on its own’. A contemporary song from Niuean artist Malcolm Lakatani, telling of his desire to return to his beloved island where the sweet-smelling frangipani blooms.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

TRADITIONAL arr Thomas Goss: Isa Lei

A traditional Fijian farewell song detailing the sadness that befalls when a loved one is about to depart. The song reflects on the previous moments that have been shared, hoping that they may never be forgotten, even when you are far away.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by John Meli, Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

QUEEN SALOTE TUPOU III arr Thomas Goss: Nepituno

Signature Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform Mana Moana at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. 1 December 2022.

Signature Choir and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra perform Mana Moana at the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington. 1 December 2022. Photo: John Setter

Composed by Queen Salote to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s royal visit to Tonga in 1953. The chorus encourages her Tongan people to shout with joy, for Queen Elizabeth’s arrival is a reason for them to rejoice!

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

Performed by Lesa Fomai, Signature Choir and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Brent Stewart.

 

Mana Moana was recorded 1 December 2022, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington by RNZ Concert

Sound Producer: David McCaw, Sound Engineer: Darryl Stack, Radio Presenter: Clarissa Dunn.

Video Production: Latitude Creative

© RNZ Concert, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Signature Choir

Songs

T F R SIMANU arr Thomas Goss: Faliu Le La

QUEEN SALOTE TUPOU III arr Thomas Goss: Siueli 'o e Pasifiki

TRADITIONAL (Cook Island) arr Thomas Goss: Kua Iti Te Marama

M P HUNKIN arr Thomas Goss: Manu O Le Vaveao

OPETAIA FOA'I arr Thomas Goss: Te Hiva

HELEN TUPAI arr Thomas Goss: Lo'u Fesoasoani

VANIAH TOLOA arr Thomas Goss: Tukua (Tagi E)

MALCOLM & PANAPA LAKATANI arr Thomas Goss: Nukututaha

TRADITIONAL arr Thomas Goss: Isa Lei

QUEEN SALOTE TUPOU III arr Thomas Goss: Nepituno