Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Category: Uncategorized

A piano recital that disabused one of certain beliefs and expectations

By , 20/03/2020
The audience at this diverting little concert at St Andrew’s was not large, as alarm at the spread of Covid-19 has become more intense. The happy few were interestingly entertained, at what could well be a very rare event for some time. Ursula Gabriele Gschwendtner has lived in New Zealand since 1996 and calls herself “a classical pianist, a composer and a clown”. The first two talents were conspicuous on... read more

Music’s response to Covid-19 – from the United States

By , 18/03/2020
Opera America, the organisation that shares information about and advocates for opera in the United States has posted the following list of companies and artists that can be accessed on line:  "See our COVID-19 Resource Hub for a list of performances that have been canceled or postponed. The following companies and artists are offering performances that can be streamed online:

Musical voyages to distant places – Jenny Wollerman with the New Zealand String Quartet

By , 10/03/2020
On Tuesday evening a very large congregation of music-followers assembled in the church of Saint Mary of the Angels to ascend into the stars and probe the depths of the sea. Saint Mary herself – in her capacity as Stella Maris (star of the sea) – seemed a well-suited hostess and patron for such an endeavour. Many young people were also present (noted here for the benefit of Radio... read more

Helen Moulder and Sir Jon Trimmer warmly invite all of us to “meet Karpovsky” at Wellington’s Circa Theatre

By , 06/11/2019
I thought, both for myself and for the readers of “Middle C”, I’d explore the colourful genesis of Circa’s current production “Meeting Karpovsky”, as it was something I for one knew very little about, having not seen the original 2002 production. It all came about through actress Helen Moulder wanting to bring to fruition a long-held desire to be able to dance with Sir Jon Trimmer, the doyen of... read more

Enthralling and disturbing – NZ Opera’s take on Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw”

By , 03/10/2019
  It’s difficult to think of another opera whose overall theme, story-line and characterisations are more interlaced by ambiguities as Britten’s The Turn of the Screw –  the story on which the opera is based, Henry James’ novella of the same name, carries its own versions of much the same kinds of imponderables, though the opera seems, if anything, to further complicate and intensify the issues. The story tells of... read more

Morton Trio shines in a concert of variety and splendour at Lower Hutt

By , 07/08/2019
I’m sure that gruff old conservative Johannes Brahms would have been delighted had he known that the music for his Horn Trio would leap over both a whole century and continental and oceanic distances to figure, however fleetingly, as a delightful string of vigorous reminiscences in an Antipodean composer’s work for the same forces! Upon hearing the finale of Kenneth Young’s work at this concert I wondered whether he’d... read more

The Children – redefining well-being as responsibility, at Circa Theatre

By , 07/04/2019
Enigmas abound in this award-winning 2016 play by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood, here presented by Wellington’s Circa Theatre, and brought to everyday life by art-that-conceals-art performances from the three actors, Catherine Downes, Carmel McGlone and Peter Hambleton, in tandem with similarly naturalistic, almost self-effacing direction from Susan Wilson – a worthy New Zealand premiere production. Firstly, the play’s title leads one to expect that the subject, theme, story, etc., will... read more

Michael Endres surrounds Schubert with varied companion pieces at Mulled Wine concert

By , 10/03/2019
The first of this year’s Mulled Wine Concerts, organised by Mary Gow, usually in the Paekakariki Memorial Hall, took place in the South Raumati Hall because the other is undergoing earthquake treatment. It was a fine beginning to the year, musically, but was subject to sound problems (as does the Paekakriki hall to a less degree), broad, hard surfaces that present difficulties for a pianist. It’s easy enough to... read more

Camerata’s latest “Haydn in the Church” concert – joyous antiphonal splendours, heart-rending beauties and al fresco hi-jinks!

By , 13/12/2018
I couldn't remember when I'd last heard JS Bach’s Double Violin Concerto “live” when first posting this review – thanks to violinist Anne Loeser, who reminded me of a 2012 performance by the NZSO strings, I've had to sheepishly modify my previous "never before live" declaration; but, to my shame, it gets worse! - I actually reviewed the performance in Middle C! Oh, dear! - I'm dumbfounded as to... read more

Eternity Opera sings triumphantly once again at Wellington’s Hannah Playhouse – Puccini’s Madam Butterfly

By , 16/11/2018
Eternity Opera’s presentation at Wellington‘s Hannah Playhouse of one of the most famous of all grand operas, Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, used a reduced orchestral accompaniment, a “rhyming” English translation of the Italian, and cut one of the more colourful episodes in the work’s Second Act, albeit involving the brief appearance of a “lesser”character. And yet, despite these diminutions of the original, the piece worked its usual theatrical and... read more

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