22 Jan 2011

Tenor to perform at concert in aid of Pike River families

8:57 pm on 22 January 2011

A special concert will be held on Saturday night in Greymouth's Holy Trinity Church for the families of the men who perished in the Pike River mine.

The free concert is organised by the American-based New Zealand opera singer Marla Kavanaugh-Rodriguez and will feature her husband, the tenor Daniel Rodriguez.

Mrs Kavanaugh-Rodriguez says her husband is a former New York policeman, who is well known in the United States for singing at funerals of police officers and fire fighters who died in the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001.

She says also performing with her are her sister Marissa Dikkenberg, her mother Kathi Craig and actress-singer Lisa Chappell.

As well as presenting a cheque for about $10,000 a family relief fund, the performers will read letters of condolence from the former New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, and the former Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

The Samoan government has donated $60,000 towards the Pike River Coal Mine disaster and a further $100,000 toward funds for the families affected by the widespread flooding in Australia.

The government says it highlights the close relations between the three countries, with Australia and New Zealand assisting Samoa generously through the years, particularly following the tsunami of September, 2009.