Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Posts tagged: music theatre

High Mountain Flowing Water – theatre, poetry and music

By , 22/10/2014
Encounters with exotic art-forms and performance-styles which are unfamiliar can have profound consequences - one thinks, for instance of the effect upon the composer Claude Debussy of the Paris International Exhibition of 1889 with its displays of art and music from places like Java, in particular the sounds made by the gamelan orchestra. Earlier the prints of Japanese artists such as Hokusai had reached Europe and inspired a whole... read more

The Orpheus Choir – music of here, and now……

By , 10/05/2014
I'm normally accustomed to encountering seemly, well-regulated conversational tones and discreet movements of habitually circumspect classical concertgoers at Michael Fowler Centre concerts. However, I was aware straightaway of something different and palpable in the air when entering the doors of the same venue on Saturday evening to attend the Orpheus Choir's concert "Dreams lie Deeper". Here were vibrant swirlings of people thronging the foyer, staircases and mezzanine floor of the... read more

Ancient Mariner Rime watered-down, though stunning to look at

By , 09/03/2014
This was an evening which, on the face of things, promised much, with a presentation that, right from the outset, looked terrific, but then didn’t go on to adequately develop the musical and contextual possibilities afforded by these arresting visual images. I’d not seen but had heard about the group’s previous appearance at the New Zealand Festival in 2000 with the anarchic musical Shockheaded Peter, and so was looking... read more

Fabulous and compelling evocation of times past

By , 15/02/2014
This show - an hour's worth of stunningly-wrought, cheek-by-jowl evocation by just two performers, of an episode in Wellington's musical, colonial and imperial history - is a "must see".  Writer and director Jacqueline Coats has recreated a significant colonial musical event, one presented by the "Port Nicholson Music Appreciation Society" to mark the occasion in 1840 of Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. As befitted the... read more

NZSO’s “Tall Tales and Tangos” musically resplendent but dramatically inert

This was a matinee concert devised specifically for children, and it was great to see so many of them at this well attended event. Rugby legend and classical music enthusiast Anton Oliver introduced the programme, giving a particularly warm welcome to the under-tens with his assurance that ”this concert is for you”. The orchestra comprised some fifty players, probably a bit of a squeeze in many theatre pits, but eminently... read more

Electric music and music-theatre – Nicholas Isherwood

By , 21/08/2013
The Adam Concert Room darkens. Electronic sound wells up like a rushing wind. After several minutes, a tall, gaunt figure mounts a platform at the back. The lights fade up to reveal the futuristically silver-clad spaceman from the Dog Star. So began Stockhausen’s Capricorn, an adapted segment of his longer work SIRIUS. Low electronic sounds underlying Nicholas Isherwood’s voice gradually rose in pitch over the half-hour (or so) of the... read more

The Big C from Circa Theatre

This remarkable production follows Paul Jenden’s own journey from his diagnosis with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, through the rigours of treatment, and on to an eventual state of remission. You might well wonder how such a subject could possibly be the stuff of a lively and entertaining stage show – doubts initially shared by Jenden himself, who writes in the programme: “When I was throwing up in a hospital bed I... read more

Stroma’s second Mirror of Time – a “Rogues’ Gallery” of Music

By , 26/04/2013
With some surprise I read in the Stroma program booklet that this was in fact the SECOND "Mirror of Time" Concert presented by the Ensemble, following on from an occasion in 2012 - had I recently awakened from a kind of "Rip Van Winkel" sleep, or something? I had been to and reviewed a couple of Stroma concerts that year, but I couldn't remember a "Mirror of Time" title... read more

Rain, wind and moonlight – Stroma’s “Pierrot Lunaire” and more……

By , 25/11/2012
Stroma brought up the 100th anniversary of Arnold Schoenberg's landmark creation Pierrot Lunaire in unique style at Wellington's Ilott Theatre, as part of a program featuring the music of both pupils and contemporaries of the composer. Naturally, the concert's focus centered firmly on Pierrot Lunaire, with the advance publicity's imagery suggesting a theatrical presentation, one featuring the extremely gifted singer Madeleine Pierard. This performance took up the second half of... read more

Scintillating 42nd Street from Wellington Musical Theatre

By , 04/10/2011
42nd Street 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

Panorama Theme by Themocracy