Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Mulled Wine at Paekakariki: singing with cello and piano

By , 29/03/2009

Once a railway township and down-market beach settlement, Paekakariki has become an artists’ haven in recent decades, with good reason, for it has most of the virtues sought by those for whom material goodies are not a priority. The sea, wide coastal open spaces, mountains to the east, the home of a railway preservation society and a... read more

Saint John Passion from the Orpheus Choir

By , 29/03/2009

The Wellington Cathedral of St Paul is, by capital city standards, an imposing structure from the outside and an awe-inspiring space from within. Often its voluminous spaces are used for music performances, of which I’ve seen and heard a number in recent times, nearly all splendidly uplifting affairs. My listening experiences in the building tended to confirm what one would think of the cathedral’s acoustic by viewing these... read more

The Festival Singers in Bach and Rossini

By , 28/03/2009

The Festival Singers are a choir with a policy of ‘seeking work alongside the Christian church’, to quote their own words. Not all their programmes comprise religious or liturgical music, but this one did and it was a nice balance between the Catholic and the Protestant.

It was a major concert, employing a large pick-up orchestra (26 were listed), a good many players from the Wellington Chamber... read more

NIMBY Opera triumph in Janáček opera

By , 27/03/2009
This was my first experience of NIMBY Opera, so I didn’t really know what to expect regarding the company’s capabilities. I’d read about their previous productions – Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, and Lyell Cresswell’s Good Angel, Bad Angel, both of which had garnered some excellent reviews. Nevertheless, considering the size of the venue for Vixen it seemed as though a compromised operatic experience would be the order of... read more

The Eroica Trio’s seductive Town Hall concert

By , 24/03/2009

Described in a preview to the group’s recent Wellington concert as “three Sassy women who put the sex back into symphony”, the Eroica Trio, here in New Zealand on its second tour, charmed a Town Hall audience with its familiar combination of visual glamour and a winning stage presence, playing a sprightly, easy-on-the-ear programme of music by Lalo, Villa-Lobos, Paul Schoenfield and Mendelssohn. I thought the three musicians... read more

NZSO with Inkinen and Cho-Liang Lin – Barber’s concerto and Tristan for orchestra

By , 20/03/2009

Though reviewing concerts that are being normally covered by the press was not part of the ‘mission’ of Middle-C, and I did not decide to attend the first of the NZSO’s subscription concerts in Wellington till that afternoon, the temptation to hear Barber’s Violin Concerto, live for the first time (I think), and what Henk de Vlieger had done with Tristan und Isolde, without voices, and in just... read more

Gianni Schicchi in Christchurch, starring Martin Snell and Anna Argyle

By , 12/03/2009

Gianni Schicchi is the third part of a trilogy (Il Trittico – Triptych) that Puccini wrote in 1918 and was first performed at the Met in New York in January 1919. It’s the one comedy in the group and the only real comedy that he wrote (read more

A triple-strung harp recital from Robin Ward

By , 05/03/2009

Thursday 5th March 2009

Robin Ward is carving something of a reputation internationally as an exponent of a rare kind of harp: the triple-strung harp; triple means there are three courses of strings, the two outer ones tuned identically, diatonically, while the middle row supplies the ‘black notes’. It evolved in the 14th century and was supplanted by the development of the pedal or orchestral harp in... read more

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