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Lockwood NZ Aria: A Singing Competition That Shines in Rotorua

    Photos: Tony Whitehead

    Since its inception, the Lockwood NZ Aria has blossomed from being a singing section of the Rotorua Competitions Society into a fully-fledged entity of its own, celebrating vocal talent. With many years under its bow, the Aria has been going since 1946, it’s become a stamp of Rotorua’s singing history, and a cherished tradition every year.

    Alison Perrin, who volunteers her time to help organise the event, accredits the contribution of funding “the Aria gives young people the opportunity to rise to the top of their singing potential. We couldn’t run it without the support of funders such as the Rotorua Trust. The Trust funding is hugely important to the overall running of the NZ Aria and to keeping it here in Rotorua.”

    This Aria has entertained audiences and served as a powerful reminder of Rotorua’s history, and the people who shaped it. Organised by a committee of 8 volunteers, with a further 60 helping at the competition, continually, event organisers receive positive recounts from participants. Fostering an atmosphere of camaraderie and growth, the Aria’s focus extends beyond the competition itself, with the volunteers going above and beyond to provide manaakitanga, a warm and welcoming environment to all.

    Often the only time the public can hear a top class orchestral concert in Rotorua, the public Finals Night Concert is a highlight of the two day schedule. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the utilisation of various venues to ensure safety, the organisers remain optimistic about recapturing pre-pandemic attendance figures, and share their excitement of returning to the Sir Howard Morrison Centre.

    Looking ahead, the Aria hopes to sustain its successful formula, keeping the event firmly rooted in Rotorua.