Outdoor Classical Music Concerts

Since 2004 Mill Bay Haven has been the proud host of these wonderful evenings, held annually, for lovers of classical music. These musical evenings are becoming so well known that people come from all over New Zealand to Mangonui just to attend them.

The program is altered each year to surprise and delight the audience. Previous years guests have commented on how the world class entertainment can possibly be improved next time and the media have reported: “if you come within a penguin’s whisker, you will have us waiting in line.”

In the past the evenings have been directed by Rosemary Barnes (of Opera Factory fame) who also provides the piano accompaniment for the artists who have, over the years, included tenors Shaun Dixon, Geoffrey Knight, and Cameron Barclay, baritones Jared Holt, Kieran Raynor and Edward Laurenson, the duo “Vivo”, flutists Clare Penny and Alisa Willis, concert pianist Mateo Napoli, sopranos Joanna Foote, Carlene Ebbs, Patricia Wright, Lilia Carpinelli and Julia Milin, and violinists Vladimir Shapkin and brothers, David and John Choi.
Performances have included compositions by Rossini, Bizet, Puccini, Verdi, and many others. During interval, guests enjoy local wines and cheese served on the harbour side lawn.
One year the audience was entertained during interval by a group of fairy penguins who normally come ashore to spend the night in the grounds of Mill Bay Haven, but on this occasion, being afraid to come ashore due to the humans on the lawn, the penguins swam up and down along the seawall to the melodies of Mozart before coming ashore for the night after the concert was over and the humans had mostly gone – to the absolute delight of the remaining guests on the adjacent lawn!