An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

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Meʻelaufola (2008)

Aug. 2022 – An Operatic Tribute to Russian Émigrés by 'Atenisi's Talented Diva, 'Atolomake Helu

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TTI music dir. Save Mataele congratulates 'Atolomake Helu on her virtuoso performance of Russian aria.

On Monday evening, 22 August, ‘Atenisi’s senior lecturer in music – ‘Atolomake Helu – musically saluted the thousands of Russian democrats who have in protest emigrated from the Russian Federation following the heinous attack on sovereign Ukraine. The vocalist paid tribute by performing beguiling aria from the Russian operas “Queen of Spades” by Tchaikovsky and “Boris Godunov” by Mussorgsky. Rounding out the repertoire were the popular Russian hit from the 1950s, “Moscow Nights”, and German aria by Beethoven and Schubert.

Among others, the appreciative audience included the president of the Tongan bar association, Sione Fonua; the musical director at Tupou Tertiary Institute, Save Mataele; and Rosemarie Palu, the co-director of Tonga’s pacesetting fishing fleet, Pacific Sunrise.

The vocalist’s operatic career boasts solo performances at both Sydney and Auckland Town Halls, as well as a command engagement commemorating the debut of Tonga’s Mission to the United Nations in New York. This past spring she was awarded a partial postgraduate scholarship by Boston’s prestigious Longy conservatory in the USA, and is currently soliciting supplementary funding to enable matriculation next year.