This silly season will be all the more special for singers Karl Perigo, Lynette Martin, and Alex Milligan as they spread Christmas cheer to seniors across New Zealand. The trio will be joining a cast of 9 singers and instrumentalists for Operatunity’s Christmas at the Proms, touring 24 venues from as far north as Whangarei, right down to Invercargill.
When not weaving Christmas magic for the masses, they’ll be filling their homes with holiday traditions of their own. For tenor Karl Perigo this means enjoying all his favourite things on television – “You can tell it’s Christmas when the Sound of Music, Home Alone and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang appear on our screens. But my favourite thing is watching the Queen’s Christmas Message. God save the Queen.” Soprano Lynette has quite a different tradition in her household – “reading 'The Night Before Christmas' to my daughters, and now that they are in their late 20s, they shut their bedroom doors on me, so I yell it out from the hallway!” For something entirely different again, baritone Alex likes to make sure every member of his family feels the festive spirit, singing his favourite carol ‘Feliz Navidad’ to his beloved pet alpacas Fangio, Ozzie and Scully!
As for what’s in store on Christmas day this year? All three can’t wait to spend time with family, particularly after five weeks touring the country! For Karl this means time in Palmerston North catching up with his mum, siblings and his young nieces and nephews – “Watching them open presents and the mess that follows is what I’m looking forward to!” Alex will soon get to share in this joy too as new uncle to his very adorable 3-month-old nephew visiting all the way from London. Coincidentally Lynette’s own nephew from London is joining her family for Christmas in New Zealand.
Food is of course, an integral component to the family gathering and a well-earned feast awaits the artists. Karl says “While most people eat turkey, we have crayfish and paua. We are a BBQ family at Christmas; beef fillet and lamb chops, potato salad, asparagus, and garlic bread. Dessert is Eton mess, trifle, apple crumble with custard and lots of scorched almonds!” Lynette has the critical task of preparing her family’s feast this year saying, “I enjoy planning the menu - I always have such great ideas at the beginning when all the food magazines come out, but the menu gets somewhat depleted by the time Christmas Day arrives. One thing I do achieve is a different type of trifle every year, or is it just that I put in a different type of alcohol?”. Though not much of a cook, Alex is looking forward to tucking into lots of seasonal snacks such as mince pies!