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NZSO goes the whole hog with animal-themed family concert

A magical mix of pigs, birds, cats, chickens, a bumblebee and Puss in Boots are at the heart of a special family concert by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington this month.

A Musical Menagerie on 24 March at 2pm will see the National Orchestra perform a superb selection of animal-themed music that will delight and enthral children and adults alike.

The programme will include The Three Little Pigs from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, narrated by popular presenter Chris Lam Sam, and Tchaikovsky’s Puss in Boots and the White Cat from his ballet Sleeping Beauty.

A Musical Menagerie will open with Rossini’s intoxicating The Thieving Magpie Overture and three irresistible tunes that evoke the sounds of the animals themselves – Leroy Anderson’s Chicken Reel and The Waltzing Cat and Rimsky-Korsakov’s beloved The Flight of the Bumble Bee.

Lam Sam, an award-winning songwriter and composer, has presented numerous concerts with the NZSO aimed at families. Last year it included the Orchestra’s hit Symphonic Boogie tour and a Christmas show at Te Papa.

“I love working with the NZSO as it’s an Orchestra that takes pride in presenting concerts that are always fun and appeal to families,” says Lam Sam. “A Musical Menagerie has some of the most joyous and fun music about animals ever written. It’s a great introduction to orchestral music and adults will instantly recognise several of the works, especially The Flight of the Bumble Bee and The Thieving Magpie.”

Lam Sam, who is also a published children’s author, says he is very excited to narrate Dahl’s take on The Three Little Pigs. “Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes are a hilarious parody of traditional fairy tales with surprise endings. Set to music, his version of The Three Little Pigs is even funnier.”

A Musical Menagerie will be led by NZSO Associate Conductor Hamish McKeich. McKeich has conducted many concerts aimed at families, including last year’s Symphonic Boogie tour and is conducting the NZSO’s Star Wars: A New Hope concerts in the New Zealand Festival this month.

The NZSO will also perform two daytime concerts exclusively for schools on 28 March in Wellington. Lam Sam will narrate Greg Smith’s The Animated Orchestra and the concert will feature two of classical music’s most uplifting and energetic works - Rossini’s William Tell Overture and Smetana’s The Bartered Bride: The Dance of the Comedians.

NZSO: A Musical Menagerie



ROSSINI The Thieving Magpie Overture



PAUL PATTERSON The Three Little Pigs

TCHAIKOVSKY Sleeping Beauty Suite: Puss in Boots and the White Cat

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: The Flight of the Bumble Bee

WELLINGTON | Opera House| Saturday 24 March| 2.00pm

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