NZSO Celebrates The Life Of VERDI - His Music Is Never Boring
[MEDIA RELEASE] 26 September, 2001
Bell Gully presents
COMPOSER FOCUS VERDI in the Wellington Town Hall!
"Verdi...has bursts of marvellous passion. His passion is brutal, it is true, but it is better to be impassioned in this
way than not at all. His music is never boring." Georges Bizet 1959
The NZSO will host the final concert of the successful 'Composer Focus' series, on 12 October, in the Wellington Town
Hall, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Verdi's death with his great, operatic Requiem. This will feature NZSO
Principal Guest Conductor Matthias Bamert and premier New Zealand's singers, Dame Malvina Major, Patrick Power, Rodney
Macann and making her NZSO debut, mezzo-soprano Zan McKendree-Wright.
Giuseppi Verdi's Requiem was written as a commemoration for the death of patriotic novelist Alessandro Manzoni. There
has always been much discussion about whether Requiem is an opera or a religious work. The composer's wife referred to
the work as the "personality of the author" it therefore portrays the passion of Italian patriotism that is dramatic yet
intimate and solemn.
NZSO Principal Guest Conductor, Matthias Bamert, is best known for his romantic repertoire and his championship of
twentieth-century music. He was recently appointed Associate Guest Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and
regularly works with the major London orchestras while maintaining a busy international touring schedule.
New Zealand-born Dame Malvina Major's successes include winning the New Zealand Mobil Song Quest, the Australian
Melbourne Sun Aria, and in London, the Kathleen Ferrier Award. Her training began under Dame Sister Mary Leo in Auckland
and she later studied at the London Opera Centre where she received vocal lessons from Professor Ruth Packer.
Zan McKendree-Wright commenced her operatic training in 1995 at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts
(NASDA) in Christchurch before attending the Queensland Conservatorium in Australia. She was a Young Artist with Opera
Queensland in 1999 and awarded the position of Resident Artist at Dicapo Opera, New York in 2000. The Verdi Requiem
marks Zan's debut with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Patrick Power is an internationally established artist who has performed in all the major opera houses of Europe, North
America and Australasia, including a highly acclaimed concert performance under conductor Sir Simon Rattle.
Rodney Macann made his debut at Carnegie Hall, New York and has sung regularly in Europe. Originally from Christchurch,
Macann has sung at Covent Garden and has performed with Placido Domingo and José Carreras.
The Orpheus Choir of Wellington has established itself as an important feature of Wellington's musical life. It presents
at least three concerts of its own each year, appears regularly with the NZSO, has sung in most of the International
Festivals of the Arts, and is often broadcast on Concert FM.
COMPOSER FOCUS SERIES: VERDI The NZSO, like many leading orchestras world-wide, commemorating the 100th anniversary of
Verdi's death with his great, operatic Requiem. OCT Friday 12, 7.00pm TOWN HALL WELLINGTON Matthias
Bamert - Conductor Malvina Major, Zan McKendree-Wright, Patrick Power, Rodney Macann, Orpheus Choir of Wellington
For further details please contact Hannah Evans on 04 801 3833/025 300 680