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  • Sol3 Mio - Gig Review: Christmas in The Vines @ Villa Maria Winery, Auckland - 20/12/15

Sol3 Mio - Gig Review: Christmas in The Vines @ Villa Maria Winery, Auckland - 20/12/15

18 Jan 2016 // A review by Andrew Smit

A near capacity crowd of 8500 gathered at the picturesque Villa Maria Estate for another dose of the much loved musical encounter that is Sol3 Mio. This time the boys were backed by the wonderful Auckland Symphony Orchestra and who warmed their instruments with the perfect intro of Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flower Fairies. When the 3 boys hit the stage the audience were collectively focused to the stage and the aural music emanating to the evening. Their smiles were wide and their voices were strong, and as the sun set we were all exposed to the full impact of their powerful voices and their boyish antics that are now synonymous with their act.

After three traditional Christmas tunes we were awarded the full dramatic opera treatment sung with stunning beauty and emotion, with Pene and Amitai's better halves, Amina Edris  and Isabella Moore performing beautiful solo's and then two duets with their partners, introduced by Pene cheekily saying the ladies get more applause. Pene and his fiancé joyfully explained the story behind their duet which set the mood and as the sun set this segment really fitted the occasion and the environment which transported everyone gratifyingly.

A return to the more jovial banter was quickly returned with a wonderfully operatic version of Tom Jones's classic Delilah, which was very well received. Another shift in atmosphere was achieved with the beautifulMaria, I was taking in the ambience from the back amongst the vines and the sweet sound of this classic was soothing and transcendent. Then after the compulsory selfie the wonderful O Holy Night took us out to the intermission sung with tender and heartfelt harmonies that made sure everyone hung around for a second helping.

3 more Christmas Carols were performed including the classic Silent Night which was a real treat, followed by Moses Mackay telling us about his father's love of singing and how grateful he was of his Dad's guidance and inspiration into the world of music, and so when he encouraged his father to join him on stage to perform the Elvis classic Can't Help Falling in Love the sighs of love from the masses was unanimous.

That’s Amore was a fun filled delight, 10 Guitars was performed and received with much passion and Volaresounded like it was written for them. The night was getting dark and they took the time to thank their much travelled manager Scott McLaughlin who recently was given Priority One by Air NZ! With the perfect Segway Sol3 Mio announced that this will be an annual event, so it looks like Scott will be in Auckland every Christmas singing I'll Be Home For Christmas.

Interestingly the Encore saw two covers from mainstream artists with Coldplay's Fix You and Ed Sheeran's I See Fire which sounded marvellous. The finale was the delightful Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, a great song performed with just a solitary guitar, played by Moses, their arrangement showcased each voice beautifully and then the power of their combined harmonies proved where their true allure lies, a combining of talent and texture that is rare and special, and everyone here was appreciating it immensely.

 

About Sol3 Mio

Made up of two tenor brothers, Pene and Amitai Pati from Mangere, and their North Shore baritone cousin Moses Mackay, SOL3 MIO is the combination of three powerful and moving operatic voices, with more than a dash of uncontainable Samoan humour. By their own definition they are first and foremost ‘classical singers bridging the gap with contemporary’ , but the unique way in which they do it has already shown the potential to cut through the critical cognoscenti, and appeal to audiences who wouldn’t normally be found anywhere near an aria. Their onstage brotherly bonhomie, off the cuff banter and impeccable comedic timing is no act, simply an extension of their natural selves, and the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of singing, performing and entertaining.

In some respects their backgrounds are typical – families moving over from Samoa to seek a better life in New Zealand and having to make sacrifices in the process, as well as finding value in music, choirs, hard work and an ability to see the absurdity in life. However, what they have made of these solid, but modest, beginnings is anything but average. Amongst their numerous awards and accolades Pene was the 2010 NZ Performer Of The Year, Amitai won the 2012 Lexus Song Quest and Moses was recognized as an Emerging Artist by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation last year. Though all three have studied for Bachelor Of Music graduates from the University of Auckland, the foundations of the stagecraft that they have added to exceptional raw talent, also comes from a crammed musical CV that spans everything from weekly childhood performances in rest homes, to backing George Benson. It was when Moses and Pene sang in the choir behind Andrea Bocelli in 2008, that their eyes and ears were fully opened to the possibilities of opera, setting them on a course that would lead to the formation of SOL3 MIO, three years later.

Performing together as a trio at Pene’s farewell, after he had been selected to attend the prestigious Wales International Academy Of Voice, an audience member piped up and suggested they should form a group – laughed off at the time, the idea took hold. Within a year, all three had been individually chosen to go to Wales for tuition under the highly esteemed Dennis O’Neill – an incredible opportunity but also one with a combined cost of over $100,000. Rolling their sleeves up, they launched SOL3 MIO with a series of fundraisers, that began with high stress in a half filled hall in Massey High School, and concluded with a triumphant show at a sold out Auckland Town Hall in October 2012 – funds sorted. Now with a self-titled album of their work, beginning naturally with the eponymous Neapolitan song, and ending with a rousing We Are Samoa, the stage is set for the next chapter in what is already, an extraordinary story.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sol3 Mio

Releases

On Another Note
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Sol3 Mio
Year: 2013
Type: Album

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