We resume practices on Tuesday 9 June. With any luck, this will be the last practice where we will need to observe Ministry of Health guidelines re spacing etc.
With Carmina Burana cancelled for this year, we will be doing a concert on 12 December at the Nativity church, incorporating the material we were practising for a June concert.
The music for the concert will be:
See you there!
• Warm thanks for all those who contributed to the 'Entertaining Ourselves' page. I am pleased to say it has now outlived its purpose and has been deleted.
• We have 14 short biographies on the 'Meet our Members' page. Where are the rest of you? It would be great if you could take a few moments to introduce yourself to other choir members. It needn't be too long or elaborate. Send your story in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King takes the words of George III in a mono drama for a solo voice and a small instrumental ensemble, and it premiered in London in 1969. But this production exchanges George III for a modern-day chief executive of a large corporation - clearly one in some trouble. It is a clever decision that removes the need for any expensive scenery and costumes and involves only a large boardroom table on which the deeply troubled executive wreaks havoc.
And the NZ baritone Robert Tucker offers a virtuoso display of disintegration in which his voice moves from the alto to upper bass in a manner that is nothing short of astonishing. Coupled with a physical, out-of-control movement, one wonders just how he will survive doing the role 12 times in six days. And that is because in this production by Thomas de Mallet Burgess, we hear the Eight Songs twice, with the audience divided in half. Firstly, one half is in the hall with the other half outside eavesdropping. Then those outside go inside and those outside go inside and we hear it again. ... The small Stroma ensemble under the vital direction of Hamish McKeich offers brilliant support to Tucker, and the RNZB Dance Centre - in what was the Fowler Centre car park - offers a richly vibrant acoustic for a production well worth experiencing.
Photo from stuff.co.nz
… Thomas de Mallet Burgess, General Director of NZ Opera, has acknowledged the challenge in staging exciting modern productions to attract a larger (and younger) audience, without losing the loyalty of long-time fans of the genre. Choosing to direct this show is extremely brave in that context, as it’s a confronting piece in subject matter as well as delivery. He split the audience in twain, one outside the windows, and one inside, with the outside half experiencing the performance through headphones. After completion of the piece, a short interval, and then the two audiences switched places for a repeat. I started outside, and I think it was the best way around. With the headphones on and a very limited view of the action, I could only really focus on the audio. And dear God, what an experience that was.
Robert Tucker is wildly talented. In a conventional part, his deliciously resonant baritone warms your cockles, and his charismatic and sensitive characterisation brings a part to life. He is, truly, a brilliant operatic star. As King George, his freakishly large range becomes apparent. Maxwell Davies intended the performer to illustrate King George’s mental state through an extended vocal technique, including howls, growls, whines and shrieks. With all senses dulled except my hearing, I sat almost immobilised by Tucker’s voice …
You can read the full review at:
See also an extended article about Robert's performance in the NZ Listener, which you can read here:
We featured in a full-page article in the local paper on 5 December, with the above headline! It's not often we get such great publicity before one of our shows, so well done to those who organised it. More was to come, with the review of our performance saying the '... ASB Theatre was lit up with a choir of angels, aka the Marlborough Singers ... worthy of the standing ovation they got at the end of the concert.'
Let's hope we can rise to even greater heights in 2020. Happy New Year everyone.
A group from the choir went carol singing before Christmas, visiting the Springlands Lifestyle Village (above) and Ashwood Park Retirement Village.
Some of the singers stopping off between gigs for a
well-earned, festive glass of Pimms.
Gwenette provided the accompaniment and Rien, with Robert,
one of the two lone male voices.
Our youngest choir member, Iona Panoho, has distinguished herself again, this time with the award of an ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) in singing – what's more, with distinction!
The award is a step beyond Grade 8, and involves putting on a 30-minute recital in up to four different languages, as described below.
Iona was given her certificate by Eileen Guard at a recent practice and received a standing ovation from her fellow choir members. We are all very proud of her.
“ARSM is unique in focusing solely on practical performing skills – nothing more, nothing less. It’s about the art and craft of musical communication through a half-hour programme which you put together according to your own individual musical strengths and enthusiasms. As well as focusing on the playing or singing of your repertoire, ARSM also involves assessment of the performance of your programme as a whole, giving you valuable feedback from two complementary perspectives.”
ABRSM Chief Examiner
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