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Orchestra Wellington Presents Stravinsky's 'Petrouchka'

Orchestra Wellington Unravels Stravinsky's Flair for Orchestral Colour
with Petrouchka

Orchestra Wellington brings to life one of the greatest puppet love stories of all time – one which comes with some serious strings attached.

The second of Stravinky’s great ballets, Petrouchka is a riot of orchestral colour, overflowing with memorable melodies and dynamic rhythms.

Conductor, Mark Taddei, will have his hands as full as any master-puppeteer on Saturday 4th November at the Michael Fowler Centre, with a score that keeps all sections of the orchestra busy.

"Petrouchka is that rare thing in ballet - an example of a perfect fusion of music and choreography," Taddei says.

“Of the three great Stravinsky “Russian” ballets written for Diaghilev, it is his Petrouchka that has found the strongest place in the ballet repertoire.”

“Musically, Stravinsky’s extraordinary use of the piano, a piquant chord that defines the work, and his use of traditional Russian folk music all contribute to the genius of this monument of early modernism. Here we find Stravinsky developing his voice after the Firebird to an exceptionally refined degree. It is without questionone of the brilliant scores ever written.”

Like Pinocchio, Petrouchka is a puppet who discovers he has a human heart, but unlike his Italian counterpart, Petrouchka‘s heart causes him nothing but trouble.

His love for the Ballerina goes unrequited, and his attempts to win her from his rival, The Moor, are disastrous.

But in the hands of Stravinsky, this mannequin psychodrama never gets too heavy handed.

The composer uses the setting of a Russian Shrovetide Fair to incorporate more singable and danceable tunes than you can shake a rag doll at. The chaos and brilliance of the scenario perfectly suited Stravinsky’s flair for orchestral colour and drama.

After seven years of partnership with Orchestra Wellington, it’s time for Arohanui Strings to join the orchestra onstage with a piece written for them both by young Wellington composer Tabaea Squire.

Arohanui Strings is a music programme based in Hutt Valley founded by Orchestra Wellington violist Alison Eldredge in 2010. Eldredge had no instruments but a big idea – to provide free, quality music education to all children regardless of their financial status.

Arohanui Strings, has developed both as a musical entity and as a force for change in its community, and the orchestra’s Jack Body Composer in Residence, Squire, has written a piece to be premiered on Saturday 4th November at the Michael Fowler Centre with Orchestra Wellington called Colour Lines.

“I imagined a child's colouring-in book: the jagged scribbles made by someone very young, and the strange effect of life and movement which is lent to such a picture by colouring over the lines”,” Squire says.

One of the world’s up-and-coming violinists, Suyeon Kang, will perform Carl Nielsen’s Violin Concerto with Orchestra Wellington. The Australian violinist is a winner of major prizes at the Yehudi Menuhin, Buenos Aires, Leopold Mozart and Bayreuth international violin competitions. She is the 2015 Michael Hill Violin Competition Winner, ready to tackle the Danish composer’s spacious, bracing work, full of nature.

ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON presents Petrouchka

Tabea Squires
Colour Lines

Carl Nielsen
Violin Concerto

Igor Stravinsky

Marc Taddei, Conductor
Suyeon Kang, Violin
Arohanui Strings Sistema Hutt Valley


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