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The White Lady Sings Again

The White Lady Sings Again

Fort Street, downtown Auckland. Wild night life swirls around the iconic pie cart everyone knows as The White Lady. This is the setting of David Griffiths’s opera of same name.

With a libretto by Lynn John, the opera tells the story of two star struck students amidst the turmoil and intrigue of a red light district of Auckland, centred round the famous White Lady takeaway caravan.

In coming up with the idea, senior lecturer in voice David Griffiths was compelled by the idea of an opera based around late night takeaway joints.

“It gave plenty of scope for a multi-layered plot that brought in a variety of colourful characters and musically, levels of interest that I hadn’t explored before,” he says.

“As a little chap many years ago my older brothers and I would make the epic trip from Takapuna to the Auckland Zoo, across the harbour by ferry and then on the railcar to Western Springs. On our way home to catch the Devonport Ferry we would stop at ‘The White Lady’ for refreshments.

The memory is indelible – the sounds, the smell, the street, the people. ‘The White Lady’ has seen the comings and goings of countless folk like us over the past 50 years and like a sentinel watched over the many changes wrought in that sea side city. If it could tell a story this might be one of them,” says Mr Griffiths.

A fully-staged spectacle, it features University vocal students and the Conservatorium Orchestra conducted by James Tennant.

The Conservatorium of Music is mounting The White Lady as its annual opera in a completely new production.

The opera, with its local theme and all-student cast fits in well with the 50th anniversary celebrations at Waikato University.

The White Lady runs from the 15 August, with performances at 8pm on 15 and 16 August and 2pm on Sunday 17. Tickets are $35 Adults, $20 Concessions, $15 students with valid student ID and are available from Ticketek.


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