ʻATENISI INSTITUTE

An institute for critical education in the South Pacific

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July 2021 – HRH Princess Pilolevu attends opera concert by ʻAtenisi's veteran diva ʻAtolomake Helu

Make.jpg Vocalist ʻAtolomake Helu

Her Royal Highness Princess Salote Mafileʻo Pilolevu recently attended the operatic tour de force of veteran university diva ʻAtolomake Helu. On Friday evening 16 July, ʻAtolomake sang three arias and three popular songs at a concert jointly sponsored by Waterfront Lodge and ʻAtenisi Institute, held at the former's restaurant. On two of the popular songs, the vocalist was accompanied on guitar by music instructor Salise Faivaʻilo, who as well performed two flamenco solos.

The event demonstrated once again the ability of the university's faculty to attract the interest of the royal family. The Princess and her late brother HM King George Tupou V at various times engaged the scholarship of ʻAtenisi's founder, the late Dr ʻI. Futa Helu.

Shortly after the concert, a video of ʻAtolomake's rendition of L'amour est un oiseau rebelle from Bizet's "Carmen" was reviewed by Prof Anna Maria Ferrante, head of the vocal department at the legendary Santa Cecilia conservatory in Rome. Prof. Ferrante found the singer's interpretation "very beautiful ... and interesting". ʻAtolomake submitted the clip to accompany an application for admission to the conservatory's postgraduate programme starting in February.

In addition to oiseau, the concert at the Waterfront included two other venerable arias: Ombra mai fu from Handel's "Serse" and "O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi".