RNZ Concert breakfast hosts announced

RNZ is pleased to announce the appointment of classical music proponent Siliga Sani Muliaumaseali’i as the new breakfast host for RNZ Concert for Mondays to Thursdays, with long-time casual presenter Carey McDonald to present breakfast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Carey McDonald and Sani Muliaumaseali’i
Photo: RNZ Liam Brown / Matt Smith Photography

New Zealand-born Samoan tenor Muliaumaseali’i has had a busy career working as a singer, director, writer, composer, choreographer and producer around the globe. He joins RNZ Concert after returning to Aotearoa after many years overseas with over twenty spent in the UK where he worked with high profile opera companies including English National Opera and Royal Opera House Covent Garden, winning an Olivier award (Best Ensemble) for Porgy & Bess .


He is a co-founder and creative producer of the GAFA Arts Collective, a cross-cultural, multi-disciplinary group of local and international artists based in London. GAFA means family in Samoan and the collective served as such, providing support and performance opportunities for visiting artists of all disciplines from New Zealand and the Pacific.

Auckland-based Carey McDonald has worked in the arts world as a musician, administrator and educator for many years. Since 2017 she has been General Manager of Auckland Choral. Her name and voice di lei will be familiar to RNZ Concert listeners – she first appeared on RNZ Concert in 2003.

RNZ Concert Manager Liisa McMillan says the appointments of Muliaumaseali’i and McDonald further strengthen the on-air line-up, following the news earlier this month that RNZ National host Bryan Crump will join the station.
“We’re absolutely delighted to have secured Sani as our new weekday Breakfast host for RNZ Concert. He has a deep love and knowledge of classical music from his wonderful career di lui, an innate understanding of the magic of radio and he is a warm communicator.

“We’re looking forward to the perspective Sani will bring as both a classical music performer and creator. He has sung with some major international opera companies as well as creating his own work combining classical music forms with Pacific stories and traditions to critical acclaim.

“Carey has been a popular presenter on a casual basis for some time, and it’s pleasing to provide a dedicated space for her on the station. She’ll be with listeners on Friday to Sunday mornings and I know our audience will continue to enjoy her well-rounded knowledge and passion for music and the arts.

“We have been operating in ‘resilience mode’ in recent months while working on a number of behind-the-scenes projects and managing our staff wellbeing during the current Covid outbreak. Bringing these new presenters on board is an exciting next step in RNZ Concert’s future. “

Muliaumaseali’i, McDonald and Crump will join current presenters including David Morriss, Nick Tipping and Clarissa Dunn on air from October. The fully realized versions of their new shows will debut in the new year.

Notes: Siliga is a Samoan Matai or chiefly title.

Sani Muliaumaseali’i biography
Born and raised in Tāmaki Makaurau, Samoan tenor Siliga Sani Muliaumaseali’i studied singing at Queensland Conservatorium of Music before embarking on a career that has seen him perform on stages around the world including Covent Garden, the Sydney Opera House and Theater an der Wien in Vienna. He has performed extensively in musical theater, radio plays for BBC4 film and television. Sani has also written, directed and produced his own work by him. A polyglot, Sani speaks Samoan, English, Italian, German and French.


In 2012, Sani co-founded the GAFA Arts Collective, the UK and Europe’s first Samoan arts entity, whose ethos to re-form western art structures with Samoan centric shapes saw a genuinely interesting opus emerge from Sani’s creative vision.


Sani wrote, produced, composed, directed and performed in works presented by the GAFA collective including R’Otello – The Rugby Opera at London Opera in the City Festival in 2019, the Sunday MASSive 2018 Festival which programmed the Verdi & Brahms Requiems and Elgars ‘Dream of Gerontius’ and his play Certain about Samoa and the 1918 Influenza pandemic; His syncretic rendering of Richard Wagner’s entire ring cycle in 2021 RinGAFA: The Power of Love of Powerorchestral concerts with movement.


Sani joins the RNZ Concert team in October to host the morning show. Listen out for him on the radio later in 2022.


Carey McDonald biography
During a professional music career that has spanned three decades, as singer, pianist, composer and teacher, Carey has worked across most musical genres and been involved with every arts discipline. Lei auckland’s Mercury Theater, Limbs Dance Company, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, New Zealand Opera and the Auckland Philharmonia are just some of the organizations with which she’s performed and worked.

In London, she performed in venues such as Stringfellows and the historic Café Royal and lectured in contemporary music at Northumbria University in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Returning to New Zealand, Carey was appointed director of the Contemporary Music Performance Course at Nelson School of Music and went on to lead the Performing Arts Course at Nelson Polytechnic. In 2005/2006 she further developed her arts administration skills when she was manager of Footnote Dance.

Since 2003 Carey has been a part time presenter for RNZ Concert, and continues performing, composing music for theater, playing piano for ballet classes and teaching singing privately. At present she is the General Manager of Auckland Choral.

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