An Auckland Arts Festival, New Zealand Festival and New Zealand Opera co-production
Composer Ross Harris
Conductor Hamish McKeich
Director Jonathan Alver
10 March – 12 March 2016
Maidment Theatre, Auckland
Brass Poppies, the ground-breaking new chamber opera from Ross Harris and Vincent O’Sullivan (Requiem for the Fallen) continues its World Premiere Season at Auckland Arts Festival 2016.
Bold in vision and broad in scale, Brass Poppies powerfully shows the First World War was not merely a military story but also a domestic one, shared by ordinary men and women on the battlefield and the home front.
Set in the streets of Wellington and on the slopes of Gallipoli, this one-act opera offers an innovative look at the Battle of Chunuk Bair, and tells the story of the taking of the Turkish summit by Colonel Malone and the Wellington Regiment in August 1915.
Layering action and dialogue, music and dance, Brass Poppies reaches beyond conventional realism with innovative staging utilising the entire cast on stage for the full performance. Contemporary dancers extend and embellish the dialogue, and a ten piece chamber orchestra – including accordion and Turkish dumbek – underscores the enormity and dramatic impact of the battle on ordinary Kiwis and their lives.
Directed by Jonathan Alver and conducted by Hamish McKeich, with award-winning tenor James Egglestone as Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone, Brass Poppies is a story that will speak to many New Zealanders and stay with them long after the curtain falls.
‘Vincent O’Sullivan’s elegant poetry has long inspired composer Ross Harris, their combined breadth of expression moving and delighting audiences’ – The Listener
‘extremely visionary … thunderous and awe-inspiring’ - Radio New Zealand Concert ( Requiem for the Fallen)