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Elvis is Alive and Well and in Wellington!

Media Release

28 August 2001

ELVIS IS ALIVE!

The New Zealand Chamber Orchestra presents a highly entertaining programme, based on the theme of 'selling out' and incorporating a celebration of Elvis Presley, in a concert on 12 September at the Opera House in Wellington.

Elvis and the Devil are alive and well in an alternative classical and contemporary programme that features David Downes' new work, Six Apologies and Kurt Weill's cabarat songs performed by acclaimed singer, Rima Te Wiata.

NZSO Principal Bassoonist, Lawrence Preman Tilson, will perform Dead Elvis, a hugely entertaining virtuoso piece with snatches of Elvis tunes throughout. The theatrical Elvis Everywhere introduces three fully costumed Elvis impersonators in Rima Te Wiata, Jemaine Clement (Skitz, Humourbeasts) and Taika Cohen (Scarfies, Humourbeasts) as you have never seen them before. Both works are written by American composer, Michael Daugherty, who is renowned for paying homage to a wide range of American icons.

The second half of Elvis and the Devil is a modern translation of Stravinsky's classic story Soldier's Tale, conducted by Marc Taddei. Set in New Zealand, this version sees a Maori solider just back from East Timor (Taika Cohen) lose far more than a musical instrument when he sells his violin to a well-dressed stranger, 'the devil' (Jemaine Clement). The 'devil' has no trident, horns or tale, but a cellphone, email and golf clubs, and his eye on some of the possessions that our humble soldier may have - including his wife.

Rima is one of New Zealand's most celebrated and versatile actors. . She became a household name in 1990 with the comedy series Issues - later followed by More Issues. In 1992 she released her self-titled debut album of jazz/swing songs before joining the Australian top-rating show Full Frontal.

Multi-talented Taika Cohen is an accomplished actor, writer, and artist and one half of the comic duo Humourbeasts. Taika starred in the hit New Zealand movie Scarfies, a role which saw him nominated as best actor in the 2000 Nokia Film Awards.

Jemaine Clement is well known to New Zealanders through numerous television appearances on Skitz, Telelaughs, Target, and a number of commercials. As half of the comic duo Humourbeasts, he has performed throughout New Zealand and in Edinburgh and Canada.

For further information, interviews or photos please contact Hannah Evans, NZSO Publicist on 04 801 3833/025 300 680

PROGRAMME SEPT Wednesday 12, 8.00pm, Opera House WELLINGTON

Marc Decio Taddei conductor David Armstrong stage director Rima Te Wiata soloist/narrator Jemaine Clement devil Taika Cohen soldier Sonya Behrnes Dancer from TRNZB soloist 'Elvis and the Devil'

DAVID DOWNES Six Apologies (NZCO Commission) CABARET SONGS with Rima Te Wiata MICHAEL DAUGHERTY Dead Elvis, Elvis Everywhere STRAVINSKY A Soldier's Tale (staged performance)

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