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Cook Islands opera singer Ridge Ponini recently auditioned for the prestigious Lexus Song Quest opera-singing competition in New Zealand. The Lexus Song Quest has been running for more than 60 years, and has been won in the past by such opera greats as Dame Malvina Major and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. CINews recently caught up with 22-year-old Ridge – currently studying hard towards a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Voice (Opera) at Otago University in Dunedin – to see how he went and to find out a bit more about this rising young singer.

New Zealand singer-songwriter Hollie Smith has always wanted to play a gig in Rarotonga. It’s something the double-platinum-selling artist has never done before, despite having visited the island “seven or eight times”.

Changing things up a bit, our market story this week comes from the Muri Night Market rather than Punanga Nui.

Singers in for a busy week

Thursday May 31, 2018

Young opera singers Ipu Laga’aia and William Mataka Vuni landed on Rarotonga in the early hours of Tuesday morning starting an action-packed week for both of them.

Taio Shipping’s new vessel the Grinna has just left the Caribbean island of Dominica and is currently approaching the Panama Canal.

The lineup is all set for this year’s Creative Centre concert fundraiser Beats of Betela, which will now be held on Monday, June 4, not June 2 as previously reported.

All go on airport runway

Monday May 28, 2018

There are “a whole lot of things” going on out on the Rarotonga International Airport runway right now says Airport Authority chief executive Joe Ngamata – and he’s not half wrong.

Honour guard for former JP

Saturday May 26, 2018

The Cook Islands Police Service formed an honour guard along the main street of Avarua yesterday afternoon to farewell and pay tribute to the late Dora Harrington, whose funeral procession was preceded by officers on two of the service’s new motorcycles.

Helping fund artist’s dream

Wednesday May 23, 2018

A New Zealand artist has started a Givealittle fundraising page online to help support the development of local artist Mike Tavioni’s planned art centre, gallery and art school.

A local man is growing increasingly frustrated over what he perceives as the police’s failure to uphold a protection order he took out against his American ex-wife after she suddenly arrived in Rarotonga two months ago.

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