Island News

A Journey in Sai’s memory

Written By : KELERA SERELINI. In memory of Malaga cast member Sailosi Toganivalu, musical director, conductor and arranger Iglese Ete led 33 young women and men to produce one of
11 Dec 2010 12:00

Written By : KELERA SERELINI. In memory of Malaga cast member Sailosi Toganivalu, musical director, conductor and arranger Iglese Ete led 33 young women and men to produce one of the most talked-about productions in the country “Malaga – the Journey”
The production was staged for three nights from Thursday to yesterday.
It is simply Broadway musical – the Pacific way with traditional chants, drum beats and young talented voices singing melodically breaking the silently packed Civic Center, Suva.
Music through the night was conducted by Mr Ete himself and two other colleagues, Calvin Rore and Damiano Logaivau.
Mr Ete described Malaga as a production that “allows everyone involved both the performers and the audience to connect with something beyond ourselves, a divine essence, true nature, the Great Spirit, Le Atua, Kalou our God.”
Choreography and stage direction was by Allan Allo with collaboration with Peter Espiritu and reverend Tauira.
Students from the Conservatorium of Music were led by Master Lai Veikoso with an input from Pacifika Voices taking the Malaga production to a destination where Pacific musical production has never been before.
Songwriter Jakki Leota-Ete said Malaga is journey and can be associated with ceremonial visit, travel, path, to shout, to make a public speech etc.
“Malaga is a large scale, multi-movement, sacred choral and instrumental work,” she said.
“It is a deeply moving spiritual journey depicting the movement of people from their Vanua or homelands.
“Malaga is hope in the ever-moving present.”
Ms Leota-Ete said Malaga is a symbol for our status as “visitors”
“For our state of in- betweens,” she said.
“In the Va – that place connecting this homeland and the last, between this island and next
“Some have said it is in our blood to be mobile.
“Forever exploring ,forever enlarging , our minds, our hearts and our learning into new horizons, inscribing in us still, the values , ethics, languages and heritage /s to which we will always belong.”
Mr Ete said “Malaga production has been quite an experience for me.
“In many ways, a step of faith and action,” he said of the preparation his production team went through to get everything right on stage.
“I have pondered long and hard on the reasons why I decided to re-arrange another malaga, especially given the challenges that come with large scale productions.
This thought never deterred the production teams and they soared on to give a little more for their fans.
“This is because the world needs Pacific musical works that will inspire, empower and uplift our own people, especially in Oceania.
One key factor that compelled Ete was Sailosi’s death.
“We pay tribute to his wonderful, amazing, inspiring life journey as well as that of his parents and family whom we will continue to pray for comfort and healing and celebrate his legacy,” he said.
“I want to send my sincere thanks to everyone who believed in Malaga Fiji and its transformational power, to make a difference and impact our nations.
“Every person involved in the creative / production team, cast, volunteers, sponsors, families and friends.
Ete was also musical director, conductor and arranger for Fiji’s first opera Domo ni Kamen, receiving critical acclaim it was performed again for the head of state Pacific forum meeting in New Caledonia in June last year.
He has extensive conducting, composing and teaching experience.
He was the choir master for Peter Jackson’s acclaimed film “The Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring, working with the Oscar award-winning composer Howard Shore and film director Peter Jackson.
He will also be involved in the next installment of “The Hobbit” due to be released next year.


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