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Boynton Adds Songs to ‘Desire’

Boynton Adds Songs to ‘Desire’

The final member of a star cast was confirmed today with singer Mere Boynton added to Songs and Dances of Desire: In Memoriam Carmen Rupe.

She joins a top group of artists that includes dancer Jason Moore, mezzo-soprano Anna Pierard, Japanese guitarist Norio Sato, director Warwick Broadhead, conductor Kenneth Young and China’s first countertenor, Xiao Ma.

The work, which is presented by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) for the Auckland Arts Festival, is the latest from APO Composer-in-Residence Jack Body, and is dedicated to the legendary drag queen, Wellington mayoral candidate, King’s Cross personality and fearless equal rights campaigner Trevor Rupe, known to all as Carmen.

Although most of the music is newly composed, Body says Songs and Dances of Desire has been more than 20 years in the making.

“I first conceived of the work in 1991, and a much shorter version, called Carmen Dances, was performed as a concert piece in 2002, so to finally complete and present it as I’d always imagined is special.”

Songs and Dances of Desire is part classical work, part cabaret, with allusions to Bizet’s opera Carmen running throughout. Its composer calls it “an entertainment,” and describes it as “kitsch and sexy and naughty, with darkness and power and things that will frighten people. It will be a total experience.”

“This is a significant work by a significant composer and we are proud to stage it at the festival,” says APO Chief Executive Barbara Glaser. “Carmen is an almost mythical figure both here and Australia, and Songs and Dances of Desire does justice to her memory.”

In the spirit of Carmen, and Body’s music, people are encouraged to dress colourfully.


WHO: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
WHAT: Songs and Dances of Desire: In Memoriam Carmen Rupe, by Jack Body
WHERE: Auckland Town Hall
WHEN: 8pm, Friday 8 March
WITH: Mere Boynton, Warwick Broadhead, Xiao Ma, Jason Moore, Anna Pierard, Norio Sato and Kenneth Young
MORE: apo.co.nz
BOOKINGS: buytickets.co.nz / (09) 357 3355

Songs and Dances of Desire: In Memoriam Carmen Rupe is generously supported by the Stout Trust and the Lilburn Trust

SUMMER MATINÉE | presented by Chapman Tripp | A summer picnic with a musical twist. Popular and classical favourites with soprano Penelope Mills and MC Tama Waipara | Government House, Mt Eden | Tickets and more information, click HERE
Winner of a New Zealand Diversity Award, bestowed by the Human Rights Commission, 2012
Support the APO annual appeal



Xiao Ma - web


Carmen_credit Jack Body - SM


Jack Body NZSM-portrait


Mere Boyntonjpg - web

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