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Auckland and Northland get 'sensational' NZSO concerts in June

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra brings its hit concerts The Soldier’s Tale and Town and Country to Auckland and Northland in June, along with special daytime events as part of the Orchestra’s Setting Up Camp series.

The New Zealand Herald Presents The Soldier’s Tale in association with Royal New Zealand Ballet, features a talented ensemble of NZSO musicians, RNZB dancers, and actors, to perform Igor Stravinsky’s timeless and riveting "pocket theatre" experience.

Hailed as "an inspired piece of programming" by Theatreview, The Soldier’s Tale is performed on the ANorth Shore and Manukau on 10 and 11 June, and Kerikeri and Whangarei on 12 and 13 June.

Town and Country is an exciting selection of music, from the sublime first movement of Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ symphony to John Barry’s Oscar-winning title theme from Out of Africa.

The NZSO’s Setting Up Camp series sees the Orchestra spend up to three days in Auckland and Northland, complementing the evening concerts with daytime performances and community events.

In Manukau and North Shore this includes the NZSO’s Relaxed Concert for audiences who may feel uncomfortable in a traditional concert environment. A family concert of Sergei Prokofiev’s beloved Peter and the Wolf will be performed in Kerikeri on 12 June.

The Soldier’s Tale is directed by the acclaimed Sara Brodie, features accomplished actors Peter Hayden, Sepelini Mua’au and Sophie Hambleton, and stunning choreography from RNZB Choreographer in Residence Shaun James Kelly performed by RNZB dancers.

NZSO Principal Conductor in Residence Hamish McKeich leads the Orchestra. "The music for The Soldier’s Tale is often performed without the stage acting and dancing, as the music is so good it easily stands up on its own," says Maestro McKeich. "To now have the staging as well, with top director Sara Brodie, and Shaun James Kelly from the RNZB, is a dream come true."

Shaun James Kelly says he was hugely inspired by Stravinsky’s music. "I like an audience to feel the music and movement moving together and I had such fun pairing my choreographic style with this wonderful Stravinsky score, played so powerfully by the NZSO.

"With many varieties of musical influences - such as tango, waltz and ragtime - it gave me a great opportunity to tell this story of the new lovers, ultimately creating a light-hearted and contemporary spin on classical ballet."

Renowned conductor Holly Mathieson will lead the NZSO for Town and Country, with music inspired by the splendour of the countryside and the energy of the city.

The programme also features English composer Malcolm Arnold’s charming and colourful English Dances, Argentinian tango legend Astor Piazzolla’s Tangazo, the intoxicating first suite from Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s The Three Cornered Hat, and the great Leonard Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes, based on material he composed for the musical On The Town, which evokes 1940s New York.

Maestro McKeich will also conduct The Soldier’s Tale in Dunedin, Oamaru and Ashburton in June, and Town and Country in Dunedin and Invercargill in September.

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