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Waikato Herald - 2021-07-23

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Opus Orchestra in three concerts

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The professional orchestra for Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, Opus Orchestra, will perform three short concerts in Hamilton, Rotorua and Tauranga in July and August. In Hamilton, on Friday, July 30, the orchestra will perform the concert for children. It is at the Gallagher Academy at 6.30pm. Mahy Magic is a programme made up of poems and stories by the beloved New Zealand writer, set to music by award-winning composer and author Philip Norman. Flingamingo Tango, The Tin Can Band, The Lion in the Meadow, The Man from the Land of Fandango, and Wonderful Me are just a few of the wonderful Mahy works Norman has delightfully brought to life through original compositions. In all three locations, young people and lovers of Mahy’s incomparable imagination will be engaged and entertained through narrative and interactive performances by Georgia Jamieson Emms and Robert Tucker. In Tauranga (Saturday, July 31) and Rotorua (Sunday, August 1), the programme begins with an hour-long concert for kids and their big people, followed by a cocktailhour encounter featuring work by some of New Zealand’s foremost composers — Ross Harris, Gareth Farr and Martin Lodge — all of whom will be in attendance in each location. Opera fans would have perhaps seen baritone Robert Tucker most recently in the highly regarded New Zealand Opera production of Eight Songs for a Mad King at the Auckland and New Zealand Festivals this year. Classical soprano, singer, teacher, translator, diction coach, librettist and the founder of Wanderlust Opera, Georgia Jamieson Emms grew up in Featherston, trained in New Zealand and sang professionally for several years in Hamburg, Germany. Made for Opus: Composer Encounters is a one-hour, early-evening concert in which audience members have the chance to interact with some of New Zealand’s most respected composers and the musicians of Opus Orchestra. Each composer will introduce their work, then, following the performances, the audience is invited to stay on for a Q&A session with them. The Made for Opus: Composer Encounters programme includes Ross Harris’ Three Pieces for Orchestra, each inspired by a European composer — Mahler’s Vienna, Wagner’s Lucerne, and Schumann’s Du¨sseldorf. Martin Lodge’s Pan Dreaming will feature Agnes Harmath on flute. Finally, Gareth Farr’s Marimba Concerto — which was written for Opus Orchestra in 2019 — will be performed with Tauranga local Yoshiko Tsuruta on marimba. Arts laureate Ross Harris is one of New Zealand’s leading composers. He has written more than 200 compositions including opera, symphonic music, chamber music, klezmer and electronic music. Gareth Farr is a leading composer of contemporary music. Also an accomplished percussionist, Gareth’s music has been performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia and the NZ String Quartet, among others. Tauranga-born Martin Lodge is a New Zealand composer known for his eclectic and individual style. He has received commissions from the major performance ensembles including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

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