This "Butterfly" has already flittered, swayed, dipped and floated her way down the island from most of the way up north - so quite a few people will by now have seen and heard her. I'll go out on a traditionalist limb and declare that most of these people, I feel certain, would have been pleased to find her heart-rending story more-or-less conventionally staged and costumed, though with enough...
Cosi fan tutte
opening night fortunately caught something of the... read more
It's presently a feast for aficionados of outdoor theatre, in Wellington - firstly, Antony and Cleopatra splendidly strutting their Summer Shakespeare stuff in the Dell at the Botanical Gardens (on until March 2nd, incidentally); and now this latest delight from the Opera in a Days Bay Garden - Mozart's and librettist da Ponte's most exquisitely-contrived work for the stage,
It wasn't the first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last - the thought "what terrific tunes these are" struck me freshly with resounding force as I listened to the Wellington Gilbert and Sullivan Society Orchestra's neat and stylish playing of "The Pirates of Penzance" Overture, which began one of the season's performances of the work in the Wellington Opera House.
As with all great music, one never...
Antony Brewer - guest reviewer
Wagner wrote works of enormous complexity. They make extraordinary demands on conductor, singers and players especially the music-dramas of Der Ring des Nibelungen
. So performing Die Walküre
in New Zealand is ambitious to say the least. We certainly have the orchestra and, somewhat to my surprise, the conductor Pietari Inkinen. We also have our own Simon O’Neill, a leading artist at Bayreuth, Covent Garden, La Scala and the... read more
Very much an opera-going experience for our time (and thus ostensibly at the mercy of the “updating” phenomenon which subjects present-day opera-goers to all kinds of directorial mayhem), this latest NBR New Zealand Opera production of “Rigoletto” seemed to me to be a triumph of substance over flash, of intelligence over sensation-mongering. One goes to the opera these days ready for anything, expecting to be challenged as much as...
I'm not sure whether I ought to admit to readers of this review that, earlier in the same day that I attended the opening of Jenny McLeod's "Hōhepa" I took up a friend's invitation to accompany him to a screening of the latest New York Metropolitean Opera production of "Götterdämmerung".
Perhaps my abrupt juxapositioning of the two experiences was foolhardy, considering the chalk-and-cheese aspect of the works involved. But I...
Magic of a kind was certainly in the air both leading up to and throughout the performance of Handel's Alcina, staged in the garden of Canna House, the Days Bay home of one of the singers in the cast, soprano Rhona Fraser, who took the part of Morgana in the production. With a director, Sara Brodie, whose vision, theatrical instinct and creative capacities made light of the difficulties of...
, including film and television versions, introducing... read more
Apparently there were five different scores for German’s light opera, premiered in Manchester in 1907. Since it became so popular, it was performed frequently, the last version being from 1913; a concert version for performance by choral societies (sung by the Orpheus Choir’s predecessor in the Hutt Valley in 1953 and 1957).
Michael Vinten has taken the music from various versions of
is a relatively unusual case of a musical that saw the light of day as a musical film (in 1933) and was re-created for the Broadway stage in 1980. By that time the lyricist (Al Dubin) was dead, the choreographer (Gower Champion) died on opening night while composer Harry Warren died a year later. The Broadway reincarnation was produced by David Merrick.
And it is probably true that... read more
The first thing to remark is the unfortunate clash between this concert and that in the Michael Fowler Centre by the Vector Wellington Orchestra with pianist Diedre Irons. But in addition to that, there was a concert by the Wellington Community Choir next door, in the Town Hall main auditorium.
Though there were only two pieces, both by Debussy, that could be regarded as standard repertoire, the audience... read more