FALE-SHIP: Sani Muliaumaseali’i

Fale-Ship | Sani Muliaumaseali’i

Talofa lava! Introducing international opera singer, creative director and exponent of art Sani Muliaumaseali’i

Samoan | Upolu – Vaiala, Fasito’outa / Savai’i – Pu’apu’a 
Whakatane, Aotearoa

Follow Sani’s journey this week as he shares his residency experience and explores the challenges of lockdown through improvisation, experimentation and pure resilience

Sani has appeared in Opera and most forms of music theatre, film, radio and television in many parts of the world including touring with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Longborough Opera. Recent credits include the Olivier award-winning production of Porgy and Bess and Britten’s War Requiem (2018) for the English National Opera and Dutch National Opera in 2019.  

In 2011, Sani co-founded the GAFA Arts Collective (GAC), London’s first Samoan arts collective and he is the creative director & producer. The collective is a cross-cultural and disciplinary group of London-based artists primarily focused on Samoan Art practice and culture reflecting ancestral roots. In 2016, The GAC were granted the honour of representing Samoa at the Festival of Pacific Arts. 

Sani is also a theatre-maker and writer. In 2018 Sani wrote the play ‘Talune’ in remembrance of the Samoan victims of the flu pandemic of 1918. It premiered at NZ House in London to much acclaim. His other theatre works include ‘The Third Country’ for the Royal Court in 2015, his play with songs ‘Kava Girls’ was ‘Pick of the Edinburgh Fringe’ 2014, and Baba the Bad baboon’ 2017, a musical for younger audiences is now an audio book. Sani’s writing for the stage takes strength from his Samoan/Pasefika heritage. 

Sani shares his creative workspace in Whakatane and takes us on the journey to create the CARPARK OPERA, a theatre piece developed in response to Covid and the Aotearoa lockdown.   

Carpark Opera

Sani Muliaumaseali’i presents CARPARK OPERA – a live entertainment option in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. A series of free live music concerts in the Bay of Plenty in NEW WORLD car parks akin to the drive-in movie concept.  

CARPARK OPERA would be the first concert in the CCS (Carpark Concert Series), designed to safely bring communities together to enjoy and to be inspired by live music.  

“…the concerts have been parked. COVID is teaching us to be resilient. No funding was proving to be my own mini COVID, but the lack thereof, sharpens my creativity and resourcefulness. The experience has spawned new collaborations, connections and new material, which I courageously share as my Fale-Ship.” 

– Sani Muliaumaseali’i

Get an insight into Sani’s rehearsal process from warm-up techniques to the final run-through of the song ‘Make Them Hear You’ from Ragtime. 

Q+A with Sani and INF

Sani shares the challenges he faced working away from his London base and the freedom of creating during lockdown in this Q+A Talanoa with @infmusic … 

INF: “What were some of your highlights and challenges you came across during the residency?” 

SM: “…Lockdown. No noise. I didn’t have to be anywhere, I didn’t have to be anything. I didn’t have to be the singer or the producer… I could just sort out goals – who I really wanted to be post-covid…” 

Q+A Talanoa facilitated by:  
Amon ‘INF’ Tyson | @infmusic | @infmusicnz
Artist, Director, Creative. 1 of 5 members of SWIDT 
Songwriter/Producer – SWIDT 
312 Onehunga, Aotearoa 

Recorded LIVE in his bathroom Sani performs a stirring rendition of ‘Make Them Hear You’ from the musical Ragtime developed during his Fale-ship Home Residency.  


“My reSILIence kept me safely creating at home during COVID. Resilience by nature is improvisation, experimentation, toughness and ultimately transformative. We will need all of these traits if we are to entertain any type of future.”

Sani Muliaumaseali’i 

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