Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Ali Harper’s Circa Theatre tribute to the extraordinary Carole King

By , 22/01/2022
If you’re like me, you’ll still have a headful of songs playing away in your cerebral jukebox which instantly bring back nostalgic memories of different eras, but in many cases have neglected the “fine detail” of actually knowing who WROTE some of these songs…….well, if that’s so, then singer Ali Harper’s latest presentation “A Natural Woman” at Circa Theatre (which opened on Saturday night) is a “must see” for... read more

Steadfast Wellington Chamber Orchestra brings off an exhilarating concert to finish an eventful year

By , 12/12/2021
Congratulations right at the outset are in order to whomever devised such a scintillating programme for the Wellington Chamber Orchestra to finish this remarkably unpredictable year of years with!  It certainly was one that made up in part for earlier schedules being plagued by the vagaries of Covid-19 and the resulting ripplings of disruption! Here we were freely delivered plenty of satisfyingly full-blooded excitements and festive revelries, side-by-side with... read more

“Roxy” at Te Auaha, from WITCH Music Theatre – a whirl of visceral impressions from Tinseltown’s golden age of movie musicals

By , 08/12/2021
“Reimagining the Golden Age of the Silver Screen” ran the blurb announcing ROXY – A New Hollywood Cabaret, a no-holds-barred delivery of a collection of classic movie-musical hits, which certainly lived up to its publicity in terms of its sheer visceral impact – “…a rip-roaring revue, fuelled by an exhilarating fusion of musical theatre, drag, dance and circus” indeed. The directors of the show, Greta Casey-Solly and Ben Emerson... read more

Resounding Huia calls and Tui songs from pre-1950 New Zealand composers

By , 03/12/2021
Michael Vinten’s intention in presenting these programmes was to draw attention to the art song as a creative form produced by New Zealand composers prior to 1950 (essentially the pre-Douglas Lilburn years for music composition in this country) and highlighting the activity as part of our cultural heritage before the Second World War – one that we are still in the process of discovering. Vinten was inspired by similar research... read more

Firstly sparks, and then a conflagration – pianist Otis Prescott-Mason in recital

By , 20/11/2021
Having heard, and spoken or written about so many piano recitals and recordings over the years in a critical capacity, I’m finding myself these days increasingly gravitating towards performances that bring to the fore a sense of sheer enjoyment of and involvement in the music’s playing. On the strength of what I heard at St.Andrews’ Church last Saturday afternoon, the young Wellington pianist Otis Prescott-Mason seemed to me to... read more

Duo pianists charm and delight lunchtime concertgoers at St.Andrew’s-on-The-Terrace

By , 17/11/2021
A delightful programme! I thought I’d not heard the Mendelssohn Andante and Allegro Brilliante before, but, upon checking the “Middle C” website discovered to my bemusement that I had seen and heard  pianist Sunny Cheng play this and the Schubert Rondo in A Major already, on that occasion with fellow-pianist Kris Zuelicke at Victoria University’s Adam Concert Room over a year ago!  While enjoying the concert as a whole... read more

Circa’s “The Little Mermaid” pantomime awash with enjoyment and conjecture

By , 17/11/2021
My first thought upon hearing about the projected scenario for this year’s Circa Pantomime was surprise that a story with grim and murderous elements (Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid”) had been chosen – not having seen or even registered the Disney film adaptation of the story I wasn’t aware that the inevitable process of sanitisation of this story had already begun, as had previously happened to countless other... read more

Dramatic and innovative Haydn in the Church from Camerata with soprano Carleen Ebbs

By , 05/11/2021
At the end of a busy and distracted Friday I found myself headed for St.Peter’s-on-Willis-St Church for Camerata’s latest “Haydn in the Church” concert series, which I’d been looking forward to ever since attending and enjoying the last one, though on this occasion I’d not been as assiduous in my preparation for the evening’s music as per usual – I had seen the programme on-line a couple of days... read more

SILVER STONE WOOD BONE a miracle of evocation from Rattle Records

By , 29/10/2021
I have written less of a review and more of an account of a listening journey, here, which seems, now that I have returned to where I began my listening, a pity to disturb or subject to more conventional reviewing strictures. I hope readers might enjoy this slightly different approach, marked by many moments on my part of wide-eared wonderment at such “age-old newness” as is conjured up by... read more

Wellington’s Ghost Trio’s flair and brilliance concludes an eventful 2021 for Chamber Music Hutt Valley

By , 13/10/2021
What a year for Chamber Music Hutt Valley! – a glance at my season ticket brings back ripples of musical pleasure as memories crowd in of concert following extraordinary concert, with only one pang of disappointment clouding the glow of satisfaction generated by the Society’s 2021 series. This was the cancellation of August’s “Sweet Chance” Vocal Duo presentation - Morag Aitchison (soprano), and Catrin Johnsson (mezzo), with Rachel Fuller... read more

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