Thursday, 3 March 2016

Today : world première of 'Brass Poppies' by Ross Harris in Wellington

Today, the new chamber opera composed by Ross Harris, Brass Poppies, with a libretto by Vincent O'Sullivan, will be performed in Wellington (Shed 6) as a co-production between New Zealand Opera and New Zealand Festival.

It it the composer's fifth opera since The Clockmaker (1978). His previous opera Black Ice has not been performed yet.

The opera portrays Gallipoli as both a military story and one of domestic New Zealand. Wives and families at home in Wellington are as much to the fore as men in uniform at the front in an innovative depiction of the 1915 battle of Chunuk Bair. (reproduced from the New Zealand Festival website)
The cast includes tenor James Egglestone (William Malone), soprano Anna Leese (Mary / Luck), soprano Madison Nonoa (Joyce), mezzo soprano Sarah Court (Mrs Malone), and baritone Robert Tucker (Tommo). Hamish McKeich conducts the Stroma New Music Ensemble and Jonathan Alver directs. The opera should last 70 minutes (no interval).

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