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The Composer is Dead - APO investigation


Delightful family concert in which every instrument is a prime suspect

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) has launched a homicide investigation following reports that the composer is dead.

On Saturday 6 October, APO is bringing all 72 musicians to the Bruce Mason Centre for questioning, to discover who is responsible.

What exactly took place on that well-orchestrated evening?

The APO continues its delightful series of family concerts in the next school holidays with an entertaining whodunnit symphonic story for school children and their families.

The Composer is Dead, with music by Nathaniel Stookey and words by Lemony Snicket, is a murder mystery story in which every musician and their instrument is guilty…until they can prove themselves innocent. It plays at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, on Saturday 6 October.

Audience members will follow the clues as the Inspector interrogates each section of the orchestra on their whereabouts on the night of the murder. Where exactly were the violins? Did anyone see the harp? Is the trumpet protesting a wee bit too boisterously?

In this perplexing murder mystery, everyone seems to have a motive and an alibi. But the composer is still dead.

Written by Lemony Snicket with music composed by Nathaniel Stookey, this symphonic murder mystery is an exciting and entertaining way to learn more about the instruments in the orchestra.

The work was originally commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and inspired by Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. Following its premiere in 2006 it has been performed by orchestras around the world.

Lemony Snicket is the pen name for American novelist Daniel Handler who has written many books, including his bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events. In The Composer is Dead, Handler employs Snicket’s signature dark humour to poke fun at the orchestra and its stereotypes.

Nathaniel Stookey is an American composer and musician. He was first commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony at age 17, and has since collaborated with many of the world's great orchestras. The Composer is Dead is now cited as one of the most performed works of the 21st century.

The Composer is Dead will play two sessions on Saturday 6 October - at 2pm and 4pm - and the concert programme also includes Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain and Saint-Saëns’ Danse macabre.

The concert is conducted by David Kay and the Inspector is played by actor Byron Coll. Coll is well-known to New Zealand audiences for his work in theatre and film, including his critically-acclaimed turn as Ko-Ko in New Zealand Opera’s 2017 production of The Mikado, and as All Blacks super-fan Tim in the MasterCard television commercials.

Byron Coll replaces Michael Bayly, who has regrettably withdrawn due to scheduling conflicts.

© Scoop Media

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