Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Ensemble Zefiro a breath of fresh, tangy air in Wellington

By , 10/08/2018
I’ve copied out the titles of the pieces as per programme, which accounts for the unusual names for aria (arie), overture (ouverture) and partita (Parthia), the last of which I thought at first was some kind of misprint. But no – there it was - Parthia, an alternative form of “partita”. So as it was something I didn’t know before I thought it was worth committing to review! However... read more

Monteverdi’s Orfeo – a “rarely comest…spirit of delight” from Eternity Opera

By , 04/08/2018
To my consternation, I learned after the performance on Saturday evening was completed, that this was to be the only “outing” for Eternity Opera’s production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo! On a number of counts, this was regrettable, if only for the fact that I knew of a number of people who weren’t able to attend the performance and who had expected (as I certainly did) that there would be at... read more

Klara Kollektiv musicians vary the musical fare to resounding effect

By , 26/07/2018
I wondered on first sighting whether the name “Klara Kollektiv” indicated the first names of the group’s three musicians – could this be “a bevy of Klaras”, a “Klaras kollektiva”, so to speak? And then I saw Anna McGregor’s name in the publicity, which in the nicest possible way put paid to my brief whimsy, as subsequently did the ensemble’s playing throughout the concert, demonstrating part of the title’s... read more

SONGS FOR NOBODIES – Ali Harper explores the ordinary and the fabulous

By , 08/07/2018
Having previously enjoyed Ali Harper’s one-woman shows Legendary Divas and A Doris Day Special,  I was eagerly looking forward to my “latest” theatrical outing in her presence, which I imagined would be her “take” on the singers mentioned in the pre-show publicity. Apart from Maria Callas, the famous names listed were ones I actually knew very little about, so as well as being entertained, I was expecting to be... read more

Orchestra Wellington’s “The Prophecy” a remarkable musical journey

By , 07/07/2018
Due to a printer’s mix-up, there were no printed programmes to be had for this concert, conductor Marc Taddei assuring us at the concert’s outset that he would be our guide throughout the evening’s music-making. As it turned out, the only regret at such a state of things one came away with from the concert at the end was having no tangible printed record of or piece of memorabilia... read more

The Heath Quartet – from church and the chamber to the open air

By , 27/06/2018
This was a concert whose music-making I thought extraordinary, and I’m still thinking about why this was so days after the event! It was partly to do with the repertoire, which featured a range of diametrically opposed modes of expression from different composers, and partly the result of the Quartet’s singularly “interior” way of realising these different modes, in search of the music’s different and unique essences. That the... read more

Dvořák with Rolf Gjelsten wins all hearts at Wellington Chamber Orchestra concert

By , 24/06/2018
As part of the “run-up” to this particular Wellington Chamber Orchestra concert, its second of the current year, the Orchestra circulated on-line a truly inspiring issue of its occasional newsletter, Notes, one which I was delighted to get, in view of what was “coming”.  It featured a heartwarming contribution from the concert’s soloist, Rolf Gjelsten, who’s of course the ‘cellist of the much-acclaimed New Zealand String Quartet. His love... read more

NZ Opera’s trans-Tasman “The Elixir of Love ” a corker!

By , 23/06/2018
Y’ know wot I reckon, mate? I reckon yer need ter get yerself inter town bloody pronto, if yer ain’t a city slicker (I know a few o’ those geezers as well and they’re not bad blokes, considering…..) and grab a cuppla seats for yusself an’ yer missus or yer sheila or whomever, so youse won’t miss out on the show at the Opera House (she’s actually a cracker... read more

Harmony of the Spheres in tandem with life on earth – Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) from Baroque Voices and instrumentalists

By , 17/06/2018
More of a spiritual/aesthetic experience than merely a “concert” was Baroque Voices’ evocative and atmospheric presentation “Harmony of the Spheres”, triumphantly bringing together singers, instrumentalists and audience to share and delight in the joys of exploration, wonderment and celebration wrought by the music of the twelfth-century Abbess Hildegard of Bingen. No more ambient and timeless sounds than those of Hildegard’s music intermingled with both contemporaneous dance rhythms and the... read more

Chris Hainsworth – “Perfection of Sound” on the Fernie organ at St.Mary of the Angels

By , 15/06/2018
This, of course, was a concert with a difference, being the occasion of a book pre-launch, though regarding the actual music performed, perhaps to a less idiosyncratic extent for those who, unlike myself, have previously attended one or more of organist Chris Hainsworth’s recitals. Hainsworth has, on previous occasions at the St.Mary of the Angels Church organ, given presentations of a somewhat less-than-highbrow nature, partly due to his well-documented... read more

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