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AAF: Eight Songs for a Mad King


Wed 11 Mar 2020, 8:30pm–9:45pm
Fri 13 Mar 2020, 8:30pm–9:45pm
Sat 14 Mar 2020, 8:30pm–9:45pm
Mon 16 Mar 2020, 8:30pm–9:45pm
Tue 17 Mar 2020, 8:30pm–9:45pm
Thu 19 Mar 2020, 8:30pm–9:45pm

Where: Ellen Melville Centre, Cnr High St & Freyberg Plce, CBD, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $79.00
  • Additional fees may apply

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Aotearoa New Zealand
New Zealand Opera

New Zealand Opera presents Eight Songs for a Mad King partnering with contemporary music ensemble Stroma. An innovative indoor/outdoor production created by award-winning director Thomas de Mallet Burgess and designer Robin Rawstorn, this modern take on opera promises to be a bold and immersive experience.

Get outside the box of opera as you know it with this innovative indoor/outdoor staging of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ “astonishing work” (Classical Source) Eight Songs for a Mad King.

This new production by New Zealand Opera, directed by Thomas de Mallet Burgess and designed by Robin Rawstorne, sees a King in distress transformed into a modern corporate everyman as a disarming device to explore our complicated relationship with mental health and power. As an added twist, you will experience the action up close again, and from outside with only a window separating you and the King.

Maxwell Davies’ iconic score derives from the songs King George III played on his mechanical organ and attempted to train his bullfinches to sing. The music requires a baritone of extraordinary technique to sing over five octaves, with New Zealander Robert Tucker fit for the challenge. Partnering with the ground-breaking contemporary music ensemble Stroma, this modern take on opera promises to be a bold and immersive experience.

Designed by: Robin Rawstorne
Conductor: Hamish McKeich
Orchestra: Stroma
The King: Robert Tucker

1hr 15 mins inc. interval
Contains themes relating to mental distress.

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