European Samoan Arts Collective To Present ‘Siegfried the Wagner Blade’

By David Salazar

The GAFA Arts Collective, London and Europe’s first Samoan arts collective, is set to showcase the concert “Siegfried the Wagner Blade” at St. Marys in Putney on Nov. 23, 2019.

The cast features three Samoan artists including Sani Muliaumaseali’i, a tenor, who will take on the title role alongside his brother, bass-baritone Toto Muliaumaseali’i, in the role of the Wanderer. Finally, soprano Aivale Cole will perform the wood bird.

But the cast also features singers from around the world, emphasizing its inclusiveness. English soprano Gweneth Ann Rand will play Brünnhilde. Other cast members include Hong Kong-born Freddie Tong, Australia bass David Woloszko, British tenor Christopher Lemmings, and British mezzo Sarah Sweeting. Stephen Brown will conduct the Rosenau Sinfonia.

The concert is primed as an opportunity to enjoy one of opera’s greatest works through Samoan culture. Dancer Rex Tiumalu will present a fire knife dance (or Siva afi) during the concert.

“We, the GAFA Arts Collective (GAFA), are in a unique position of being the first Samoan arts group globally, to present a Wagner work with orchestra and world class Samoan opera singers ,” stated Sani Muliaumaseali’i in a press release. “In opera you don’t get any heftier than Wagner and with ‘Siegfried’ we inform the opera with Samoan culture – we come to the art form on equal terms.”