The Wellingtonista

Random stuff about Wellington since 2005

Music

Blackbird Ensemble Performs Björk: All Is Full Of Love – Review

by Sophie October 19, 2019

Blackbird Ensemble are “NZ’s most exciting chamber orchestra”, and Thursday’s homage to Björk supported that claim more than competently.  A collection of strings, horns, percussionists, and Claire Cowan’s multi-instrumentalism brought director Cowan’s arrangements to vibrant and emotional life.  The musicians were more than just that; in their glowing boiler suits they became part of a sensory […]

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Review: The Turn of the Screw

by Sophie October 4, 2019

During the interval of last night’s performance of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, I popped outside for a bit of cold air and second-hand smoke.  As I stood reading the playbills, a group of four people bustled out, one of whom was loudly and petulantly proclaiming “But I want PUCCINI!!!”  They did not […]

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Review: Rigoletto

by Sophie August 25, 2019

Verdi’s Rigoletto is a classic, and deservedly so.  The story was based on a Victor Hugo play, adapted somewhat to avoid censorship.  Hugo, by all accounts, was not at all happy that his play was being plagiarised (and by an Italian!) until he attended and was amazed by a performance.  Musically it was rather revolutionary, […]

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Review: Side by Side by Sondheim

by librarykris February 26, 2019

A revue of ‘most adventurous composer’ Stephen Sondheim’s works. Originally performed in 1976 the musicals represented in this revue are from the early part of his career. (Some of the musicals mentioned in the show’s promotional material do not feature.)  He explores the themes of love, relationships, and marriage. Performed by Julie O’Brien, Matthew Pike, […]

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Review: NZSO Baroque Series – Water Music

by Tom Ackroyd February 5, 2019

Telemann: Water Music “Hamburger Ebb und Fluth” (TWV 55:C3) Händel: Water Music (HWV 348-350) St. Paul’s Cathedral, Wellington Friday 1 Feb 2019 Listening to the two “Water Music” suites by Telemann and Handel fill the echoing expanse of St. Paul’s, I wondered how it is we find reverberation so attractive. Is it a cultural association […]

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NZSO Shed Series: “Juxtaposition”

by Tom Ackroyd June 4, 2018

My first trip to the new Shed 6 was a few weeks ago to see contemporary music outfit Stroma. They were playing a sampler of modern art music, stretching from Ravel and Schoenberg, through Boulez and Berio, to more recent work by Gillian Whitehead and David Lang. Music writer Alex Ross was our tour guide, […]

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NZSO – The Shed Series

by Martha Craig May 29, 2018

Not everyone is digging the orchestra in the concert hall, although let me just say that the NZSO tribute a few weeks ago to Torvill and Dean’s standout Bolero performance in 1984 was bloody powerful. Generally the concert vibe appeals to one kind of crowd and the standing in a shed gig appeals to another. […]

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A Concrete Legacy

by Tom May 7, 2018

Many of you will know that most of the Karori Teachers’ College campus, designed by the late Bill Toomath, is threatened with demolition by its new owners, Ryman Healthcare. I don’t know enough about the previous VUW/WCC ownership shenanigans to comment on that side, and the practicality of maintaining its role as a community asset are […]

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Review: That Bloody Woman

by librarykris September 14, 2017

Kate Sheppard, “the leading light of the New Zealand women’s suffrage movement” tells her story in this rock musical by Luke Di Somma and Gregory Cooper. Directed by Kip Chapman, (with Jennifer Ward-Lealand this season’s Rehearsal Director) the show is terrific.  All the elements of the best musicals are here – a well constructed dramatic […]

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Preview: The Māori Sidesteps

by librarykris June 12, 2017

The newest and naughtiest Maori showband on the Aotearoa entertainment scene plays at BATS Theatre during the Kia Mau Festival. Self described as “Funny Māoris with funny songs” this show is more of a gig than a theatre piece for the actors involved. Band member Jamie McCaskill talked about the origins of the group and what they do. “Rob Mokaraka, […]

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