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NZ String Quartet, Four Suits and a Soprano

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About NZ String Quartet, Four Suits and a Soprano

The New Zealand String Quartet

Live in Concert with

Ipu Laga’aia (Dame Kiri protege) | Laughton Kora (Kora) | Sophie Morris | Rutene Spooner | Chris McRae

New Zealand’s most accomplished performers, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa protégé Ipu Laga’aia, tenor Chris McRae, musical theatre stars Sophie Morris and Rutene Spooner, and music legend Laughton Kora join forces with The New Zealand String Quartet to announce a nationwide tour of THE NEW ZEALAND STRING QUARTET, FOUR SUITS AND A SOPRANO in April 2021.

The concert tour will be a night of operatic classics from Nessun Dorma through to pop classics. So whether you’re a fan of the classics or a lover of pop’s high notes, there’s something for everyone in this night of magic. 

About the artists:

The New Zealand String Quartet

New Zealand’s premiere chamber ensemble and only full-time string quartet, the current formation of musicians consists of Helene Pohl (1st violin),[1] Monique Lapins (2nd violin),[2] Gillian Ansell (viola)[3] and Rolf Gjelsten (cello).

Acclaimed performances in London's Wigmore Hall and the City of London Festival, in New York at the Frick Collection, and in Washington's Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium have led to regular touring in the UK, Europe and North America.  The Quartet has also toured in Mexico, Curaçao, Japan, Korea, and China, and made many visits to Australia, including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville and the Canberra International Music Festival.  Much-loved by audiences in New Zealand, the country's premier chamber ensemble presents a vast array of concerts in venues large and small all over the country each year.

Ipu Laga’aia

A protégé of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Ipu’s passion for music came to light at the young age of 3 years - singing in the church, but his path narrowed toward classical music in his final year at Sacred Heart College in 2013. He is currently exploring the world of opera, and within the last couple of years has been a part of a number of classical groups such as the Auckland Chamber Choir and SOTO VOCE.

His performance at a Gala Concert in the Presence of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa last year delighted audience members and saw Dame Kiri perform a Flamenco style dance. 

Sophie Morris

Career highlights include performing major musical theatre roles (Sophie - Mamma Mia, Jellylorum - Cats, Sandy - Grease), singing national anthems at many sporting events (including the Parker v Ruiz WBO World Heavyweight Title, The T20 Black Clash and the Rugby League Four Nations), acting in film, television, theatre and commercial productions and performing at numerous events including Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park and The Silver Scroll Awards.

Rutene Spooner

Rutene has toured nationally and internationally performing for various theatre and corporate entertainment companies.

He has appeared in shows such as Anything Goes (2009), The Buddy Holly Musical, Grease (2012), Avenue Q (2013), La Cage aux Folles  (2013), The Mikado (2014) Oklahoma (2014) and Billy Elliot (2016)… to name a few.

His soulful, dulcet tones have been described as being “smooth like caramel”.  Rutene is also a part of the Modern Māori Quartet whānau.

Outside of his busy performance schedule, Rutene also works as a director, producer, and vocal and performance coach. Rutene is a proud member and vocal coach of Te Kapa Haka of Whāngara-Mai-Tawhiti. 

Laughton Kora

With his incredible voice and immense talent has been at the forefront of New Zealand music for over the past decade.

Laughton performed at The Big Day Out 3 times and featured alongside Tool & Dizzee Rascal. Other performances include; the Vodafone Music Awards, WOMAD UK, WOMAD Aust. & WOMAD NZ. Crazy P, Cabaret Voltaire, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Shapeshifter & Shihad. He toured Australia consistently and played Pyramid Festival, Sydney Festival, Stone Festival, FreshFest, Playgorund & Quicksilver ProShow 2009. He has performed at Koko’s in London, UK, Ireland & Scotland with Crazy P & Norman Jay. Other overseas tours include Japan for 2 Tokyo shows, performances in Minakami and Habuka in early February 2010 and Mosaic Festival in Singapore. In the USA, a full West Coast Tour including Sierra Nevada Music Festival.​​

Chris McRae

Chris is a graduate of the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) with a Bachelor of Performing Arts.

His previous Court Theatre credits include Amadeus; The Mikado; The Emperor’s New Clothes and Mary Poppins. His other theatre credits include South Pacific; HMS Pinafore; Saturday Night Fever, The Last 5 Years (Kindle Theatre) and Rock of Ages (Magnitude Productions).

Chris has also performed and covered various roles with New Zealand Opera in repertoire such as Sweeney Todd; Carmen; The Mikado; Don Pasquale; Tosca and La Boheme.