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Sun 2 Mar 2008–Wed 5 Mar 2008, 7:30pm–9:30pm

Where: The Opera House, 111 - 113 Manners Street, Wellington

Ticket Information:

  • Pr: $96.50
  • Pr/FR: $86.50
  • A: $76.50
  • A/FR: $71.50
  • B: $61.50
  • B/FR: $56.50
  • C: $36.50
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: Olivia Bruce

One of the greatest and most startling of all human journeys is revisited in The Trial of the Cannibal Dog, a contemporary operatic and theatrical adaptation of Anne Salmond's award-winning book.

Vividly recreating Cook's Pacific voyages, it revolves around the reverberations of one dramatic event that would eventually decide Cook's fate. The mock trial and execution of a native dog is enacted by Cook's crew, but who is really being judged – the Maori warrior who had murdered 10 of their fellow explorers on a previous visit to the South Island? Or Cook himself? The resulting cultural collisions between the Europeans and the indigenous people of the South Pacific leave the crew as much changed by what happens as the islanders they meet.

The Trial of the Cannibal Dog combines operatic and non-operatic voices, European and Maori instrumental performance, a chorus of dogs and live digital audio to create a unique form of musical theatre that blends contemporary and 18th century English styles.

2007 Lexus' Song Quest winner Phillip Rhodes will star as the Maori Chief and will perform alongside renowned sopranos Deborah Wai Kapohe (Tahitian Queen) and Janet Roddick (Cook's wife, Elizabeth) who are joined by young Australian baritone, Andrew Collis as Captain Cook.

The Trial of the Cannibal Dog traces Cook's downfall in a story that still has resonance to this day.

Conductor - Peter Scholes
Composer - Matthew Suttor
Librettist - John Downie
Director - Christian Penny
Conductor - Peter Scholes
Set Design - Penny Fitt
Costume Design - Kate Hawley

Cast includes:
Captain Cook - Andrew Collis
Chief - Phillip Rhodes
Tahitian Queen - Deborah Wai Kapohe
Elizabeth Cook - Janet Roddick

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