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Sat 11 Apr 2020, 4:00pm–5:20pm

Where: Lansdown House, 132 Old Tai Tapu Rd, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Lansdown Narropera 2020: $35.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: haydnj8e

The single performance of Carl Maria von Weber's exquisite operatic masterpiece, 'The Devil's Marksman or Der Freischütz' is the third performance within the 7th Lansdown Narropera Season. It is presented, indoors, in the 100-seater Golden Room of Lansdown House, on Saturday, 11th April at 4PM.

The narropera version of the opera is sung and narrated in 80 minutes without interval. The other performances in this year's Lansdown Narropera 2020 Season are of Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro.

The story of The Devil's Marksman is narrated (between a dozen of its gorgeous musical numbers) with maximum care and detail, so that an English speaking audience is able to enjoy this extraordinary opera, in some depth, without having any previous knowledge of the opera.

'The Devil's Marksman' was first performed in New Zealand in 1874, in Wellington, where coincidentally it also received its last fully staged performance, 50 years later. Within those 50 years, however, The Devil's Marksman' was performed widely, from Auckland to Invercargill.

The same anti-German sentiment, that saw the name German Bay changed to Takamatua on the road to Akaroa, was certainly part of the reason for this great opera dropping out of kiwi repertoire. Moreover in modern times, an appetite for performing foreign operas in English has sadly been lost.

Much of Der Freischütz is given over to spoken dialogues (as in Musicals or as in Mozart's The Magic Flute), and the dialogues depend on being understood. The recently invented format, Narropera, is ideal for re-introducing audiences to such wonderful, alas forgotten, operas.

The Devil's Marksman, a totally absorbing story of good and evil, contains some of the most beautiful music ever written for an opera. Opera fans are not unknown to pick this opera as their absolute favourite. From the beginning, 'The Devil's Marksman' stormed European stages and far beyond, and it was the German answer, in popularity terms, to Rossini's 'Barber of Seville'.

Narropera began life as a kiwi idea, a knee-jerk response to the earthquake trauma in Christchurch. Now seven years later, The Narropera Trio's April performances will include its 100th narropera performance, ironically, a performance in Wellington of Weber's 'The Marksman (Der Freischütz)', on 20th April (6PM), in the Wellington Club.

Over the last year, narropera has continued to expand into the international world of opera. It has been accepted as a new art-form, or 'neue Kunstgattung', in England, Germany and the Isle of Man. One German critic, writing after a recent performance in the Beethoven Chamber Hall in Bonn, claimed "narropera is a genuine complement to the real thing". Another German critic has coined the phrase: "narropera is a short-winded tale for grown-ups, where song and speech are finely balanced'.

The composition of each narropera is the same. Into the entertainingly narrated storyline are integrated a dozen pieces of music arranged, in chamber music style, for German soprano Dorothee Jansen, French violinist Floriane Peycelon and Cantabrian pianist Haydn Rawstron, who also writes and narrates the story.

'Lansdown' is one of the most renowned heritage properties of early Canterbury with the oldest private plantation of exotic trees in the Province. Patrons are welcome to enjoy a picnic on Lansdown's expansive, immaculate lawns bounded by the Halswell River. For that purpose, the gates to Lansdown are open 90 minutes before the starting time for each performance. There is ample off-street parking in the grounds, conveniently adjacent to one of Lansdown's three impressive lawns.

Restaurants to book near Narropera: Weber's The Devil's Marksman (Der Freischütz)