This past semester the music block has been filled with anticipation as the School of Music festival comes to life. With a wide variety of talents on display throughout September it has been a privilege to partake in what can only be explained as a truly AWESOME experience.

Opera Scenes this year stage two short operas, Maurice Ravels surrealist and dreamlike fairy tale, L’enfant et les sortilèges. A truly intriguing story which follows a naughty school boy as he falls into a magical world where the objects in his room spring to life and turn against him, seeking revenge for the destruction he has caused. Plus Samuel Barber’s micro-opera A Hand of Bridge which centres on the unfulfilled desires of two frustrated couples as they engage in their customary game of bridge.

Directed by Gregory Camp assisted by Catrin Johnsson this is a fascinating introduction to the world of opera. The level of work and commitment that the directors have put into this production is truly inspiring. I feel on many occasions the work from individuals involved can be lost when the grandeur of the performance is experienced but for me being privy to the workings behind the scenes it will be evident for the audience that Gregory and Catrin have put their heart and souls into this opera.

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Have no doubt this French opera in many ways is very complex, from the music to the choreography, from the language to the oboe’s melody through to the inspiration behind costume and set design. So to have the likes of Karen Grylls and Rachel Fuller leading the musical charge their passion has pushed us to reach our full potential. With such talent on the musical front if you come for nothing less than the music itself you will not be disappointed. I myself have lost countless moments absorbed simply watching the unbridled passion of the musicians themselves led by the mesmerizing movements of our conductor Karen.

The production itself would not be possible without the hardworking cast of students ranging from first years like myself through to the extraordinary honour students. As a first year student I have been lucky to witness the amazing talent which surrounds me within this ensemble and on many occasions it has warmed my heart to feel the power and beauty of the voices around me. This is an opportunity which not many singers get to experience during their tertiary career and the closeness of this cast has made it an experience that I and those who attend will surely never forget.

So here’s my pitch …. when was the last time you saw a 45 minute French opera for as little as $15 …. because here is your opportunity. Come down and support the University of Auckland – School of Music – Opera Scenes! For this is a night that offers a surreal experience of passion and intrigue.

Check out the dates on the link: