The Juniper Passion: ANZAC Day Launch
Sorry, this event’s been and gone
|Wed 25 Apr ’12, 6:00pm–7:00pm||
Where: Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, Gate 2B, Knighton Rd, University of Waikato, Hamilton
Restrictions: All Ages
- Admission: Free
In celebration of our armed forces, the new multimedia WWII opera by Michael F Williams and John Davies is scheduled for release this ANZAC Day, 25 April 2012. Set in the Battle of Monte Cassino, the work has been in process since 2008 and on the night the double CD will be launched along with a 40 minute presentation of scenes from the opera. The work looks to be New Zealand's first truly international opera which has already gained substantial interest form foreign arts aficionados.
Williams’ and Davies’ vision was always to present this work as a multi-media production, foregoing normal opera conventions of having the characters sing and act in favour of a choreographed dance piece with large video screens projecting 3-D graphic images both real and abstract. The vocalist’s acting roles are minimal and they are predominantly left to concentrate on singing.
Working closely with Davies, leading New Zealand choreographer Moss Patterson, Artistic Director of acclaimed dance company Atamira Dance, has choreographed the work with a troupe of twelve dancers from Unitec will participate in the 30 – 40 minutes of selected scenes being presented on ANZAC Day. The visuals used include photographs taken at Monte Cassino by John Davies’ father and 3D construction animations of the Benedictine abbey by Sean Castle.
Williams was adamant from the outset that a professional studio recording should be made before live performances were considered. Working closely with Atoll Records producer Wayne Laird a stellar cast of singers and instrumentalists was assembled and the recording and editing took place through most of 2011. Rising and established New Zealand opera names such as Julia Booth, David Griffiths, Pene Pati, James Loelu, Matt Landreth, and Stephanie Acraman made up the cast of six plus chorus and the orchestra was conducted by Rachel Griffiths-Hughes with sound effects designed by Williams. Laird is widely regarded as New Zealand’s finest producer of classical and contemporary western art music and The Juniper Passion marks the 100th CD to be presented under the Atoll Label since 1997.
The performance is scheduled for 6pm at the Dr John Gallagher Concert Chamber in Hamilton. It is open to the public and retired servicemen from the area have been specifically invited to attend through the local RSAs. If there are any readers that are related to servicemen who were present at the Battle of Monte Cassino, we would very much like to know of them and include them in this occasion.
CDs will be on sale at a special discounted price for the launch. Eftpos is available