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Into The Wilderness with The Blackbird Ensemble

Into The Wilderness with The Blackbird Ensemble

Blackbird Ensemble and Q Theatre present

Deep in the undergrowth of a dimly lit forest,

An orchestra of blackbirds, rugged and magical,
lead you through the four seasons,
and into the wilderness beyond.

It's classical music, but not as you know it. Brimming with young talent and energy, the critically acclaimed Blackbird Ensemble present a theatrically enhanced programme of music, inspired by the beauty and perils of the wild, at Q Theatre’s Loft from July 10th.

Musical director and arranger Claire Cowan, award-winning violinist Amalia Hall, (NZ National performer of the year) and vocalist Jessie Cassin (The Dedwoods) collaborate with Celia Harrison and Ella Mizrahi from Celery Productions (Art In the Dark) to create the world in which The Wilderness takes place.

This unprecedented musical event is brought to life by an exuberant team of instrumentalists, featuring a 20 piece string orchestra, harp, harpsichord, vocalist, banjo, tabla and electric guitar.

Blackbird Ensemble's concerts are known for their unconventional use of theatricality and immersive set design. They present programmes of rarely performed music by living composers.

Often the music is specifically arranged for the ensemble, enabling them to present music that would otherwise never be performed with such a rich orchestral palette.

The Wilderness
takes inspiration from Max Richter's Four Seasons Recomposed - a major new work that features in the programme.

Richter has remixed, rescored and modernised Antonio Vivaldi's Baroque masterpiece into an electrifying and pulsating display of violin virtuosity.

Other works on the bill include a poetic masterpiece by songwriter/harpist Joanna Newsom, an acoustic version of Bjork’s Hyperballad, and a Blackbird variation on a theme from indie-rocker/violinist Andrew Bird.

With lighting design by Brad Gledhill (Pure) and costumes by Valentina Serebrennikova (Russian Ballet), The Wilderness promises to be a complete emersion into the hypnotic world of the inimitable Blackbird Ensemble.

“The Blackbird experience is the whole live music experience; it acknowledges that the impact of a performance depends on what people see and feel as much as what they hear. The whole venue is transformed into an expectant vessel formagic.” – The Listener Blog

“The result is impressive. Provocative, memorable, and leaving many misconceptions about classical music at the door.” - NZ Herald

The Wilderness plays at Q Theatre’s Loft July 10-13th. Shows at 7.30pm and 5pm Sunday 13th July.
Tickets $28-$38 (service fees apply). Bookings through or 09 309 9771


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