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Another Musical and Operatic Treat

May 9, 2017 May 2017 No Comments

Another musical and operatic treat will take place at The Cabbage Tree Vineyard on Sunday 21 May. “Could we have 4 tickets please. We do so enjoy it. Such lovely talented young people” wrote Chrissie. Her comments sum up the pleasure that many people derive from attending these fundraising concerts for the New Zealand School of Music, Classical Voice. Sponsored by The Cabbage Tree Vineyard, the event is nearly fully subscribed four weeks out from the performance.
This will be the sixth fundraising concert. Two were for the Dame Malvina Major Foundation. The other four, including this one, for the New Zealand School of Music. All have sold-out and had waiting lists.

So what is the attraction of these concerts? Some openly confess they are not opera fans and have never been to one but love hearing the students. On the other hand Jo, a devotee of opera, says “I just love this music. Sometimes I don’t like listening to a full opera. I just like to hear some favourites. It’s like listening to a CD of favourite excerpts from opera except it’s live. To have it right here in Martinborough is wonderful. I don’t have to go over the Hill”.
Another significant reason has to be that the students put on a performance that is professional, classy and accessible; their programme always includes well known crowd pleasers. Who could forget the magnificent performance of the well- known Pearl Fishers duet sung by Christian Thurston and Richard Greager two years ago. Christian was placed third in the highly competitive Lexus Song Quest that year. So this is indicative of the high standard of singing that audiences can expect to hear from these senior students.
The vocal coaches at the School are world class singers in their own right with singing engagements in New Zealand and internationally. James Clayton sang the name role in The Mikado for the recent NZ Opera production of that operetta; He is also singing Escamillo in the coming season of Carmen. A former graduate of the School, James Rodgers, who is carving out a career in the States will sing too. James will be known to some people through his appearances as a student at Jo Beetham’s Opera In The Woolshed concerts some years ago. It is a rare opportunity to hear the students and their teachers sing in the same concert.
The funds raised are tagged for the student opera productions which are only performed every two years because they are costly to mount. An opera production benefits students in the School Orchestra too, as well as the voice students, because they provide the accompaniment.
The New Zealand School of Music is highly appreciative of the support given by our Martinborough, Wairarapa and Wellington audiences. They love singing for you. They may perform an opera in Martinborough one day. It was hoped it would be this year but the Town Hall is far from ready. 2019 perhaps?
Winifred Bull

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