Past Concerts


7:00pm Friday 15th December and 2:00pm Sunday 17th December

St Paul’s Church, Tennyson Street, Napier

Soprano: Lilia Carpinelli       cropped-2017_7.jpg

Alto: Catherine Pierard

Tenor: Declan Cudd

Bass:  Alex Lee

Join us for our annual Christmas festivities as we once again share Handel’s enduring masterwork, Messiah.  Possibly the most well known work in the choral repertoire, the drama in this oratorio ranges from intimate arias to the immensely famous and stirring Hallelujah chorus.  We warmly welcome our regular patrons for whom this performance is an annual tradition – and look forward to meeting newcomers looking to make their Christmas particularly special.



7:30pm Saturday 16th December

St Paul’s Church, Tennyson Street, Napier

Dana Parkhill – Flute

Madeleine Crump – Harp

Hawke’s Bay Orchestra

We close the year with a real treat – a concert featuring some of the greatest music of the classical era.  Beethoven’s first symphony honours Mozart and Haydn and represents a continuation of our long term project of performing all nine of his symphonies – arguably the greatest symphony cycle of them all.  Carefully calculated to please the Partisan audiences after whom it is named, Mozart’s 31st symphony continues to impress with its mix of elegance and grandeur and acts as a suitable opening to this programme, which them features one of Mozart’s most enduringly popular concerti, the double concerto for flute and harp.


Being probably the most popular choral work in the English-speaking world, the success of Handel’s oratorio Messiah hardly requires elaboration. For some people the opportunity to attend a performance of Messiah is an essential part of any Christmas celebration. Come and hear the Napier Civic Choir, directed by José Aparicio, in its annual performance in St Paul’s Church, Napier at 7 pm on Friday 15 December and at 2.00 pm on Sunday 17 December.
It is, however, perhaps curious that in a composition of nearly three hours duration, it is neither staged nor contains any literal representation of characters or scenes, yet should gain so much favour with the general public. Surely one of the most enduring of all choral works, composed in just a few short, hectic weeks, Messiah is now sung, either in part or in full every year, by choirs large and small, by amateurs or highly skilled professionals, in great cathedrals or large halls, or in a small village hall or church. Handel was a genius – much of the music for the choir is extremely taxing and commensurate with some of the solo parts, yet somehow, such was Handel’s understanding of the possibility of the human voice, even unskilled singers manage this great music and are able to please audiences with exciting performances.
I thought I saw heaven before me and the great God himself” Handel said on writing the Hallelujah Chorus. There is certainly a divine spark in this music, acknowledged as once again we combine with the rest of the world paying tribute to one of the greatest composers while hearing one of the most often performed works in the history of music.
The choir will be joined in the performances by four excellent soloists, headed by returning soprano Lilia Carpinelli. This Italian soprano has appeared with orchestras in Italy, Israel, Palestine, Austria, China and New Zealand in a wide range of solo operatic and oratorio roles. Carpinelli is a 2017 New Zealand Opera resident artist and is proudly supported by the New Zealand Freemasons Foundation.
Mezzo-soprano Catherine Pierard has pursued an international career as an established concert and recording artist who has been a frequent soloist at the London Prom concerts and major British and European Festivals. She has recorded regularly for BBC Radio 3, adjudicated national exams and competitions both in the UK and NZ, and is much in demand as a coach for chamber music and young singers.

Declan Cudd is a New Zealand born tenor, who discovered his love of music through musical theatre. He holds a Bachelor and Postgraduate Diploma in Classical Performance Voice from the New Zealand School of Music and is a recipient of the Te Koki New Zealand School of Music Directors’ Scholarship.

Originally from Auckland, Alex Lee is currently in his fourth and final year of his BMus degree at the University of Otago, studying classical performance voice, and is a former member of the New Zealand Youth Choir. He has performed in various opera productions within the Otago area and was bass soloist in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle with the Napier Civic Choir.

Between the two Messiah performances, hear the Hawke’s Bay Orchestra, led by violinist Stephanie Buzzard and directed by José Aparicio, in a concert in St Paul’s Church, at 7.30 pm on Saturday 16 December in a superb programme of classical music – Mozart’s Symphony No. 31 in D major, K.297, “Paris” and the Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C major, K. 299 and Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Beethoven.

Wellington based harpist, Madeleine Crump came from a large musical family and began playing music at the age of four. Introduced to her great-grandfather’s harp, Crump soon developed a love for the instrument and acquired a pedal harp during her high school years. In 2010 she started her studies at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, has won a number of scholarships and awards and was principal harpist of the New Zealand National Youth Orchestra.
Flautist Dana Parkhill completed a BMus(Hons) in Flute a Victoria University of Wellington and has been a contract player for both the NZSO and  Orchestra WellingtonAfter 8 years in the UK where she worked for the Royal College of Music, Parkhill returned to Hawke’s Bay where she is now a member of the trio Confetti, sings with Irish band, The Bold Deceivers, and has recently formed ConFusion, a collaborative project involving Confetti and other local jazz/rock musicians.

These two musicians will form a spectacular partnership in the Mozart concerto, which together with the superb Paris Symphony and the unique Beethoven Symphony No 1 in C, will make a special orchestral programme.


7:30pm Friday 27th October and 2:30pm Sunday 29th October       cropped-2017_5.jpg

Waiapu Cathedral, Browning Street, Napier

Lilia Carpinelli – Soprano

Matthew Reardon – Tenor

An annual event in London, the Last Night of the Proms is now more than just the final concert of the biggest orchestral music festival in the world – it is a tradition that is spread internationally, with wildly popular concerts utilizing the same formula regularly staged throughout the English-speaking world.  We are excited to bring this tradition to Hawkes Bay in 2017.  Come and join us for a concert featuring some of the most beloved music from choral and operatic repertoire – and be prepared to sing along!



7:30pm Saturday 28th October

Waiapu Cathedral, Browning Street, Napier

Anna Pierard – Soprano

Hawkes Bay Orchestra

The many colours of the orchestra will be on display in this exotic programme.  One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of some of the finest Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales (including the likes of Aladdin and Ali Baba), narrated by the Queen Scheherazade.  Here we present two works inspired by these tales from the Orient: Ravel’s famous song cycle, and the symphonic suite from the master orchestrator, Rimsky-Korsakov.  Opening the concert is a variety of Spanish dance music from de Falla’s ballet, The Three-Cornered Hat.  Be prepared for an energetic performance as musical director José Aparicio showcases this music from his native country.



7.30pm Friday 4th and 2.30pm Sunday 6th August      cropped-2017_3.jpg

Waiapu Cathedral, Browning Street, Napier

Lisa Harper-Brown: Soprano

Joel Amosa: Bass

Hawke’s Bay Orchestra

Of a performance of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn remarked that he “was struck as if he had been put back to the beginning of his studies and known nothing up until that moment”. His Creation was his response: an oratorio depicting no less than the creation of the world itself, as told in Genesis. The result of years of study and work, and immediately successful, it now stands as one of his greatest triumphs. Haydn’s Creation was the first work performed by the Napier Civic Choir under musical director José Aparicio, in 2011, and it is very special for us to be able to programme it again.

Orchestral 2

7.30pm 5th August cropped-2017_4.jpg

Waiapu Cathedral, Browning Street, Napier

Vesa-Matti Leppänen: Violin

Andrew Joyce: Cello

Hawke’s Bay Orchestra

Conductor: José Aparicio

After his stunning performance of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in 2016, we are delighted to welcome back NZSO concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppänen, here joined by NZSO principal cellist Andrew Joyce in Brahms’ late masterwork – the double concerto. Dvořák’s masterful seventh symphony is regarded by many music critics as his greatest. Inspired by the struggle for a Czech homeland, the music is often dark and stormy, yet with moments of sheer vibrance and, eventually, triumph. It is nothing less than Dvořák at his finest.


7.30pm Friday 7 April and 2.30pm Sunday 9 April cropped-2017_1.jpg
Waiapu Cathedral, Browning Street, Napier

Pasquale Orchard: Soprano

Victoria Lambourn: Mezzo-soprano

Declan Cudd: Tenor

Alex Lee: Bass

Matteo Napoli: Piano

Written more than 30 years after his “retirement”, Rossini composed the Petite Messe Solennelle partly as an act of devotion and partly as a chance to leave a final legacy – lasting evidence of his talent for writing choral music. Despite the somewhat ironic name, the final product is large in scale and every bit as dramatic as would be expected from the composer of 39 successful operas. A real showcase of the Napier Civic Choir, this concert will be performed without orchestra, with accompaniment instead provided by acclaimed pianist Matteo Napoli, whose entrancing performances in 2014 and 2015 delighted our audiences.

Orchestral 1

7.30pm Saturday 8 April cropped-2017_2.jpg
Iona College, Havelock North

Matteo Napoli: Piano

Thomas Wilkinson: Trumpet

Hawke’s Bay Orchestra

This intimate concert offers three very different perspectives from Russian composers. We open with a transcription of Shostakovich’s deeply personal 8th string quartet, a glimpse into the soul of a Soviet artist tormented by years of persecution by the communist party. In contrast, his first piano concerto comes from his happier youth, and contains a vibrant and eclectic selection of music – at times serious, at times wickedly funny – for the perfectly matched combination of solo piano, solo trumpet, and string orchestra. We are delighted to once again feature Matteo Napoli on piano. Finally, Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings is an elegant work that looks back to earlier music, and which Tchaikovsky regarded as one of his finest compositions.

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