Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” a triumph for Witch Music Theatre at Wellington’s Te Auaha

By , 30/06/2021
“Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd” proclaimed the first singer shortly after the opening of Witch Music Theatre’s instantly-riveting Te Auaha production of the eponymous show  – no argument or dissent was brooked, as we had already been ensnared and drawn into an ominous, all-pervading scenario of compelling unease  generated by gothic, phantom-sounding organ figurations, dimly-perceived Nibelungen-like figures materialising from nowhere performing scrubbing-like tasks of enslavement, and a sudden... read more

Octogenarians make a splendid 17th-century pair

By , 20/06/2021
This concert gave cause for joy on a number of counts, not the least in providing a dry and relatively comfortable place in which to spend a couple of hours on a more-than-usually inclement Sunday evening – though not particularly warm temperature-wise, the interior of St.Mary’s Church worked its usual visual and atmospheric magic over the duration, adding to the beauty and variety of the sounds recreated for our... read more

Supertonic conjures up arcadian realms for an evocatively-sung “Rest” presentation

By , 19/06/2021
It was a drear Wellington night. A cold drizzle was falling. I expected to see a tiny dedicated audience huddling in the cavernous cathedral. I was wrong. The church was a good two-thirds full, and the enthusiastic audience seemed pretty familiar with Supertonic. The choir was founded in 2014, and by my estimation is one of the youngest choirs in Wellington, as well as one of the larger choirs, with... read more

The Capital Band’s “Strange Meetings” a resounding musical success

By , 19/06/2021
In contrast to the evening’s dark, clammy, out-of-doors ambiences generated by the drizzing rain, the warmth and vibrancy of Brooklyn’s Vogelmorn Hall’s son et lumiere  and pre-concert bustle was a positive pick-me-up for this audience member, generating a palpable sense of something special about to happen far removed from the privations of the weather! As with some of its previous concerts, the Band on this occasion offered an enticing mixture... read more

Amalia Hall splendidly embodies Virtuoso Violin with Orchestra Wellington

By , 12/06/2021
Marc Taddei introduced the concert with a few words of explanation. This programme reflected a significant change in music history, the dawn of a new era, the shift from concerts performed in salons in aristocratic palaces to concerts performed by widely celebrated virtuosos in concert halls to large audiences. It also reflected the changes in instruments, violins with longer necks and strings and pianos with stronger frames that could... read more

New Zealand String Quartet at Lower Hutt – three views of Beethoven

By , 03/06/2021
I remember reading an interview many years ago with one of the great Beethoven interpreters of recent tines, Alfred Brendel, and warming to him all the more when he responded to a question regarding his “hobbies” by listing one of them as “collecting unintentional humour”. Brendel would doubtless have relished the unexpected “cyber-glitches” experienced by violinist Helene Pohl and ‘cellist Rolf Gjelsten relating to their respective electronic page-turners’ charmingly... read more

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