Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Excellent performances of UK and US music from Wellington Youth Choir

By , 09/06/2017
The Sacred Heart Cathedral is a good place for singing – for both singers and listeners, and so it was especially good to hear this generally well-schooled and enthusiastic young choir, in a wide variety of songs. The British song tradition The concert began with an account of God Save the Queen, which prompted no one to stand, because it was clearly an arrangement, and a rather entertaining arrangement of the... read more

Choral singing flourishes in Wellington region Big Sing gala concert

As I said in 2015 (in a review of the Big Sing National Finale concert), it is marvellous to find so many young people taking part in choirs and obviously enjoying it.  Apparently there are more choirs in the 2017 Festival than ever before, and it seems to me that the standard is always rising.  The fact that all the choirs learn all their pieces by heart is staggering... read more

Engaging recital of once much-played piano pieces from young pianist

By , 07/06/2017
Louis Lucas-Perry’s brief biography printed in the programme writes of performances in Upper Hutt and Nelson (a Grieg Piano Concerto there), of winning a New Zealand School of Music ‘Directors’ Scholarship. He offers no information about the schools attended, but mentions teaching and accompanying the Big Sing, students' choral festival, and chamber music groups. I notice that I reviewed a student concert that included him in October 2015; there he... read more

Acclamation for Auckland Viva Voce’s remarkable performance of enthralling work on pilgrimage: Camino de Santiago de Compostela

The programme’’s sub-title for the work was “Joby Talbot’s stunning choral depiction of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.”  The blurb was right; this was a truly remarkable work, of just over an hour’s almost constant unaccompanied singing (apart from the periodic use of 8 traditional small cymbals,or crotales), with no applause until the end. Talbot is a 46-year-old British composer who has written in many genres, including opera and ballet... read more

NZ Opera’s 2017 Carmen surprises, disconcerts and delights

By , 01/06/2017
There's almost always a lot to like in any production of Carmen. On the face of things the opera has everything that any theatre-goer-cum-music-lover could wish for - like the Shakespearean character who says "four feasts are forward", one can say Carmen has the four things which ensure operatic success - spectacle, drama, compelling characters and memorable tunes. Of course, these things don't make or play themselves, and, despite... read more

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