Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

New orchestral work commemorates plastic surgery pioneers

New orchestral work commemorates New Zealand’s plastic surgery pioneers

The physical and emotional scars of wartime and the men who sought to repair them are being honoured in Face, a new work by New Zealand composer Ross Harris, which will receive its world premiere with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) on 19 April at Auckland Town Hall.

Face will be performed in the APO’s New Zealand Herald Premier Series concert Enigma, which also features two beloved masterworks in classical music: Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Elgar’s ‘Enigma’ Variations. Harris’ new composition for orchestra and voices draws on the pioneering work of New Zealand surgeon Harold Gillies and his team, who developed radical new plastic surgery and skin grafting techniques to treat WWI soldiers. The piece is an international co-commission with the APO and BBC Symphony Orchestra in the UK, and following its worldwide premiere in Auckland, it will receive a second performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican in London on 28 April.

Harris has once again turned to long-time collaborator, poet Vincent O’Sullivan, for the text to accompany his score. The work features a trio of soloists: a soldier whose face has been destroyed in war, his fiancée, and the surgeon who operates on him. Soloists for the Auckland premiere are Australian tenor Henry Choo, Australian soprano Allison Bell, and New Zealand-Samoan bass-baritone Joel Amosa. The work also features a chorus, sung by Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and directed by Dr Karen Grylls.

APO Chief Executive Barbara Glaser says Face is a major artistic response to the commemorations of WWI, which draw to a close in 2018. “Face is an extraordinary new work, and we are privileged to perform the world premiere to Auckland audiences. While it is undoubtedly a historical tribute to New Zealanders at the forefront of surgical innovation in WWI and WWII, the themes Ross touches on remain universal, even to contemporary audiences,” Ms Glaser adds.

The premiere of Face is made possible through generous contributions from Creative New Zealand, the Sir William and Lady Manchester Charitable Trust, the Gillies McIndoe Foundation, and Naxos Music Group. Judith Shea, Chair and Trustee of the Sir William and Lady Manchester Charitable Trust says the performance will be particularly poignant. “It is special to see the ground-breaking work of this plastic surgery team, which included Sir William Manchester, recognised in such a unique way,” she says.

The APO performance of Face will be recorded and released internationally under the Naxos record label. Tickets are available at www.apo.co.nz/whats-on.
Ends.
Who: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with conductor Antony Hermus, soprano Allison Bell, tenor Henry Choo, bass-baritone Joel Amosa, and Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir
What: The New Zealand Herald Premier Series: Enigma, featuring the world premiere of Ross Harris’ new work, Face
Where: Auckland Town Hall
When: 8pm, Thursday 19 April
Bookings: ticketmaster.co.nz / 0800 111 999

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

The Testaments: Margaret Atwood Announces Three NZ Events

The evening will also feature Atwood’s remarkable career, her diverse range of works and why she has returned to the fictional world of Gilead 34 years later. More>>

ALSO:

Transit Of Mercury: Historic Viewing Recreated

Keen stargazers gathered at Te Whanganui o Hei, or Mercury Bay, on the Coromandel Peninsula to watch a rare astronomic event this morning. More>>

ALSO:

Forest And Bird: Hoiho Crowned Bird Of The Year For 2019

Widely considered an underdog, the valiant hoiho (yellow-eyed penguin) has smashed the feathered ceiling to win Bird of the Year, a first for seabirds in the competition's 14 year history. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Very Silly Stormtroopers - Jojo Rabbit

Described as “an anti-hate satire,” Taiki Waititi's latest movie depicts the growth of a young boy in Nazi Germany who seeks advice on how to become a tough man from his 'imaginary friend' - a highly eccentric version of Adolf Hitler.
More>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland