Operatunity resident artist Karl Perigo reunites with 'Peking Man' lead vocalist Pat Urlich, and rising star Tainui Kuru for Iconic Kiwis – A Showtime Spectacular, touring nationwide 21st August – 23rd September. They will be joined by Kiwi Icons Suzanne Lynch, Marian Burns.
Time at home is a rare luxury for Operatunity Resident Artist Karl Perigo. Since his last national tour in June/July, Karl has been “touring Ireland with an amazing group of people creating memories and forming new friendships”. Joining him on the tour were none other than New Zealand music icons Marian Burns and Suzanne Lynch, who will soon be reunited with Karl on the Iconic Kiwis tour! Both friend and fan of these exceptionally talented women, Karl recounts how “both ladies commanded silence whenever they performed in Ireland. Suzanne’s Carrickfergus was a crowd pleaser, and Marian’s infectious fiddling stopped traffic”.
To Karl an Icon is “not just about being remembered for something, whether it be for politics or entertainment. It’s about being loved and sharing your talents for the better”. When asked to name some Iconic Kiwis he admires he says he has a long list, but Sir Howard Morrison has always been his number one - “His voice, stage presence and timing were to perfection. He definitely inspired my career. I have worked with him many times, so I consider myself very lucky.” He cites other influences as John Rowles, Ray Columbus, Dame Malvina Major, The Topp Twins, Patsy Rigger, Billy T James, Hudson and Halls and of course The Howard Morrison Quartet.
Although Karl doesn’t consider himself a Kiwi Icon (though perhaps an icon in Feilding…) he says it is a great honour to perform music made famous by Kiwi legends and to share the stage with three original Kiwi Icons – “Suzy is NZs first pop icon, it’s great to be able to present that style of music to our Operatunity audiences. Marian’s sounds is iconically hers, and Pat and his smooth velvet vocals and rocking hips are again his true iconic mark. Let us not forget our band with Ray Eade and Bruce French both members of the legendary Tom Sharplin band!”.
Pat Urlich says he sees himself “more like a working singer who was lucky enough to have had some success over the years… it’s humbling to be thought of as an icon.” Known across the country for his deep velvety vocals and rocking hips, the legendary lead vocalist of hit 80s band Peking Man has certainly earnt his status among NZ music royalty.
To Pat, an icon is someone who’s creativity “has left a lasting impression on us as a community, that their legacy continues to be appreciated.” When asked who are some of the Kiwi icons he admires, Pat cites an eclectic mix, “everyone from Johnny Devlin to Kiri Te Kanawa, The Top Twins to Dave Dobbyn. Jonah Lomu and David Lange are two of my favourite New Zealanders as well!”
When asked what he is most looking forward to on the tour, Pat says he is as always, most looking forward to “connecting with our wonderful audiences up and down the country – this time, as we remember the Kiwi songs and singers that have told our nation’s story. Helping to bring those memories alive is a real privilege.” He says audiences can expect “the usual Operatunity high standard of performance, along with the extra energy that comes from the pride we have as Kiwis. After all, this is a show that pays tribute to the icons to whom we, as Kiwi musicians, owe so much.”
Karl and Pat will also be joined by young Ashburton star Tainui Kuru. Embarking on what will be his fifth national tour in a row with Operatunity, Tainui must be doing something right! The audience feedback has been phenomenal for this fresh talent, praising his innate charisma and versatility. His fantastic tap dancing has certainly impressed too! When asked how he manages to keep from burning out after so many months on the road Tai credits his exceptional colleagues saying "they are all muck-in types with positive attitudes. We all do our part which helps a lot!".
The youngest of the cast, Tainui feels a bit overwhelmed to share the stage with such industry legends. Nevertheless, he says he is‘super excited to be amongst such amazing talent’ and looking forward to learning as much as he can. To Tai an icon is someone who has "managed to stand out as an exceptional talent in their career industry", and as for some of the Kiwi Icons he admires, Tai credits musicians like "Prince Tui Teka, Howard Morrison, Hi-Marks, John Rowles and of course Billy T James" for providing the soundtrack to his upbringing, saying they are very close to his heart.
When asked what he is most looking forward to on this tour, Tai cheekily laughs "the sandwiches! – No, I’m looking forward to sharing nostalgia as we pay tribute to some of New Zealand’s performers who, through their music, helped shape New Zealand into what it is today!". Audiences can "expect to feel very proud to be a Kiwi and be given a heart-warming dose of nostalgia to go with their lunch!".
As for what audiences can expect from the show? Karl says “You can expect that we will make you laugh, remember and cry. Audiences are encouraged to bring singing voices with them as the entire show is a good old Kiwi sing-along! … I look forward to taking our Operatunity audiences on a nostalgic journey through our music and entertainment history. We have so much to be proud of in New Zealand. Paying tribute to our Iconic Kiwis is going to be a highlight for me.”
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.