We’re very excited to present a preview of our main programme planned for 2023, with seven projects to delight, entertain and move you.  As always, our aim is to present lesser-known repertoire, and to explore the music in innovative ways, using cutting edge period performance practice of the 17th century for 21st century performances.  As ever, our goal is to make meaningful connections with you, our audience, and to summarise the words of Quantz, to make ourselves masters of the hearts of our listeners, to arouse or still your passions, and to transport you now to this sentiment, now to that.

The Shows

Echoes: Musicking Across the Centuries, 24th February. Music by Henry Purcell and Benjamin Britten. St Peter’s on Willis as part of Mahi Toi

Musicking with Several Friends, 4th/5th March, NZ Fringe 2023. Series of four individual one-hour programmes in a small and informal setting. Tickets here.

Decodance & Trumpet Signals, 25th/26th March, CubaDupa.

The Judgment of Paris, 30th July, Hannah Playhouse.

Three ‘mini-operas’ realised from operas by Francesca Caccini, Antonio Vivaldi and Jean-Baptiste Lully, 2nd/3rd September, Classical on Cuba.

Harmonie Universelle, 15th October, Foxglove Ballroom.

Wassail, 10th December, Old St Paul’s. 

In February we start the year with a programme of music by Henry Purcell and Benjamin Britten as part of the concert-series Mahi Toi titled, Echoes: Musicking Across the Centuries, featuring music by Purcell alongside works by Britten, written or realised in response to Purcell’s music.

Next we present Musicking with Several Friends, as a part of NZ Fringe 2023.  These are four different one-hour programmes in The Queen’s Closet’s base in central Wellington, each with its own unique flavour.  Tickets are limited to 20 for each show.  This is chamber music as it might have been experienced in the seventeenth century: in an informal setting, with a small audience of friends, that allows the music to be more fully appreciated.  Further details and tickets are available here.  

Last year we collaborated with Chrissie Parrott on her work Decodance (review here) and as part of CubaDupa our trumpeters will be heralding in the dancers as they reprise Decodance outdoors in the Hannah Courtyard.  You’ll also see—and hear—the ensemble’s natural trumpets performing Trumpet Signals along the rooftops of Cuba Street, showing how the instruments were originally designed and used to transmit messages across a long distances.  Cutting edge communications technology of the seventeenth century!

We will be performing again our successful show from 2022, The Judgment of Paris in the newly reopened Hannah Playhouse.  Again, ‘with our sense of style and fun we will bring this 300 year-old music to life for Wellingtonians today.’

In September, as part of the anticipated Classical on Cuba festival, we present Three mini-operas realised from operas by Francesca Caccini, Antonio Vivaldi and Jean-Baptiste Lully.  In these shows we realise three baroque operas into three short ‘mini-operas,’ each lasting less than an hour.  Together these three colourful, concise and self-contained shows will also tell one story.  Dip into one or two mini-operas, or see all three!

For Harmonie Universelle we delve into the glorious world of the French Baroque, featuring the spactacular Te Deum by the massively underrated Michel-Richard De Lalande, alongside music by Philidor, Lully, Charpentier and others.

For Christmas 2023 we present Wassail, our take on seasonal festivities with colourful, festive and fun music from the Restoration and beyond.

We can’t wait to start musicking again with you over the coming year!

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