Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Waikato University Composer Gets Sargeson Rights

2 Nov 2004

Waikato University Composer Gets Sargeson Rights

Waikato University opera composer David Griffiths has been given permission by the estate of New Zealand writer Frank Sargeson to produce three short operas based on three of Sargeson's stories.

They Gave Her a Raise, Two Worlds and A Great Day all deal with the "darker sides of human nature", says David, a music lecturer, who will be working on the operas over summer.

Earlier this year, David's new opera The Woman From Moab was staged at Waikato University in collaboration with director John Davies, an ex-Red Mole stalwart who is now a theatre studies lecturer, and the Wel Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts technical manager Michael Knapp, who has considerable operatic experience in NZ and Australia.

David and John now want to develop the university's reputation as a centre of operatic excellence, and will be looking to produce the Sargeson operas next year. They are particularly keen to develop an authentic, indigenous expression of New Zealand, using our own stories to reflect this.

David's interest in Sargeson began in his boyhood in Takapuna, Auckland, where the unconventional writer was a frequent sight on the streets. He later purchased one of his books and was struck by the way he dealt with everyday situations in an extraordinary way. "He unmasks a lot of what goes on behind the surface of everyday life."


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland