Fresh from a whirlwind adventure in Ireland, New Zealand music legends Marian Burns and Suzanne Lynch return for Iconic Kiwis – A Showtime Spectacular, touring nationwide 21st August – 23rd September. They will be joined by NZ Icon Pat Urlich, with Operatunity Principal Resident Artists Karl Perigo and Tainui Kuru.
When audiences last saw fiddler extraordinaire Marian Burns, she was burning up the stage with country tunes in Tennessee Waltz, what went on to become Operatunity’s most successful national tour to date, a real coup for a company that’s been running eighteen years! It’s been non-stop since then with a calendar brimming with performances around the country and the recording of her first children’s album ‘Songs for Kids’ which was even nominated for a Tui Award. If that wasn’t enough, Marian has been travelling the world with Operatunity Travel, hosting a trip to the USA on a Mississippi River Cruise, and most recently to the Emerald Isle of Ireland. A busy time indeed!
Marian’s status as a New Zealand icon was acknowledged with her appointment as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Music in 2018. Marian says she feels “incredibly proud. It’s a very humbling experience from receiving the first letter from Government house to the incredible Investiture Ceremony where I was presented this honour. Having received this makes me work even harder on just the basic things I do in everyday life.”
As for the fellow New Zealand icons that inspire her? The list is a lengthy one - “Eddie Low, John Rowles, Ray Columbus, Merve Smith, Ray Woolf, Les Andrews, The Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, Suzanne Lynch, the Topp Twins, Suzanne Prentice, Rikki Morris, Don Lindon, Patsy Rigger, Rusty Greaves, Dennis Marsh, Guy Cater, Tom Sharplin... Good Lord there are so many more…”
When asked what she loves about touring with Operatunity she says “Any audience is a great audience. However, Operatunity audiences particularly are loyal, warm and friendly. They are so much fun to perform to. I love it when hundreds turn out in force, hundreds and hundreds!!! It’s so neat seeing their friendly faces pop up in all the concerts throughout New Zealand! And I LOVE hearing them sing along! That’s the experience!”.
Joining Marian will be true Kiwi Icon, Suzanne Lynch. Suzy has been a singer and entertainer in the country since 1966 and has not stopped performing, recording or teaching over the last 53 years. Perhaps best known as the blonde half of 60s band The Chicks, Suzanne has released countless albums, travelled the world with big names such as Cat Stevens, and been awarded numerous honours including her appointment as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to entertainment. Younger audiences will recognise her as the television vocal coach for New Zealand Idol, Stars in their Eyes, and New Zealand’s Got Talent. Suzy says, “it’s amazing to be considered a NZ Icon” and she has certainly earned the title!
Alongside other Kiwi Icons Marian Burns and Pat Urlich, one of her co-stars is none other than Operatunity’s Principal Resident Artist Karl Perigo, with whom she shares a special friendship, “I have become great friends with Karl. I love performing with him and when he is on an Operatunity tour and is based in Auckland he often stays at my place. We call ourselves ‘George and Mildred’ from the TV show and have lots of laughs together.” This friendship is sure to shine on the stage!
Suzanne always looks forward to performing for Operatunity audiences saying “they all love to sing along, have a good laugh and all remember and love the music that we all heard when we were teenagers. Music that had melody and rhyme and was fun to sing along to.” When asked what audiences can expect from the show Suzanne says “some great surprises and some classic NZ songs by artists such as Sir Howard Morrison, Ray Columbus and John Rowles to mention a few… also some of my own songs by The Chicks and when I was a solo performer as just ‘Suzanne’... lots of laughs… some great duets and group harmony songs, all well known to jog your memory and get you singing along!”.
Featuring tributes to some of NZ’s iconic entertainers like the Howard Morrison Quartet, Hogsnort Rupert, Ray Columbus and Patsy Rigger, with familiar comedy sketches from The Topp Twins and Billy T James, this is sure to be a show filled with joyful nostalgia. Don’t miss Iconic Kiwis – A Showtime Spectacular, touring nationwide 21st August – 23rd September.
Tickets at toll free 0508 266 237, or www.operatunity.co.nz
Click HERE to view the programme.