Sol3 Mio singer caught up in New York terror attack

News 13/12/2017

A Kiwi opera singer from the acclaimed trio Sol3 Mio was caught up in the bungled terror-attack attempt in New York City, after unexpectedly staying back in the city.

A terror suspect's bomb went off at one of New York's busiest commuter hubs on Monday morning (local time), rocking the Port Authority Bus Terminal during the morning rush. 

Pene Pati was due to return to New Zealand with his co-stars, when he was asked to perform at a prestigious gala at New York's Carnegie Hall.

The other two members of Sol3 Mio - Moses Mackay and Amitai Pati - arrived back in Auckland this morning, and told Newshub about Pene's frightening experience. 

"Just as he was coming out of the building, he saw all the barricades and things, and people saying to stay clear of the subway and it was right around the area he was in," tenor Amitai Pati said. 

"We all got a bit of a scare, but he managed to text us fairly quickly to say that he was ok and he was on his way to the airport, so that's good." 

Pene is on his way home now to join his brother and cousin for Sol3 Mio's summer tour of New Zealand, and they'll be relieved to soon have him home.  

"It puts it in perspective," Amitai said. "Be grateful, man, and eat pies." 

The Sol3 Mio boys plan to be doing plenty of that this summer. Their new Christmas album has shot to number one in the charts and stayed there. 

They're described as the 'All Blacks of Opera' and they have a similar record on home turf. No other act can rival them for New Zealand album sales, not even Lorde.  

But at the height of their commercial success, they decided to go their separate ways. 

Trio member Moses Mackay said they took a break to "reset".

"These guys went to San Fran, I was working on projects in Australasia and for us, that's what makes us even stronger, be able to perform in these big opera houses and have something new and fresh and take the time to create, and not play the same thing over and over again."

And after two years apart, the Samoan trio did just that, coming together again on stage earlier this month in a nerve-wracking, but acclaimed performance at the prestigious San Francisco Opera House.  

Sol3 Mio say they'll always remember their first mainland American opera show and they're looking forward to bringing their uniquely cheeky style to Kiwis this summer.