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Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro as Narropera

Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro as Narropera

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  • Sat 20 Apr ’19, 7:30pm – 8:55pm
  • Mon 22 Apr ’19, 6:00pm – 7:25pm
  • Fri 26 Apr ’19, 7:30pm – 8:55pm


Lansdown House, 132 Old Tai Tapu Rd, Christchurch


All Ages

Note, there is no interval in narropera performances: running time between 75 and 85 minutes, depending on the chosen opera.

Tickets for Lansdown House performances are obtained through The Court Theatre, via internet or from the theatre's box office (03 963 0870). The direct link to booking each performance can also be found on the Lansdown Narropera Apirl 2019 website.

Preceding this performance of Mozart's 'Le nozze di Figaro' in The Golden Room at Landown are two performances of Mozart's 'Don Giovanni', in a Narropera adaption also new to New Zealand audiences: Sunday, 7th April (6PM - 7.15PM) and 12th April (7.30PM - 8.45PM). There are also two repeat performances of Mozart's 'The Marriage of Figaro' (on Easter Monday, 22nd April, 6PM to 7.25PM, and on Friday, 26th April, 7.30PM to 8.55 PM).

This performance is the first of a brand new narropera arrangement of Mozart's and da Ponte's 'Le nozze di Figaro'. The Marriage of Figaro is one of the most complex stories in the entire opera repertoire, and the narropera treatment aims to make the storyline completely clear, while revealing enough of the psychology of the characters to add a whole new dimension to the enjoyment of the music. Moreover, this performance also contains much unfamiliar Mozart Figaro material, material which will not be known even to regular opera goers. There are some real surprises.

The joy of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro (presented here, musically, in a dozen pieces) threads through a detailed narrative of the opera's story in a fusion of chamber musical clarity and the almost extinct art of public story-telling, recently described by one German critic as 'a short-winded tale for grown-ups in which music and speech are finely balanced'.

In what is certainly one of the largest and most voluminous rooms in a private house on The South Island (seating capacity 100 and with a 4 metre ceiling height), The Narropera Trio of voice, violin and piano/narrator brings music and story mutually to life with wit and drama, in equal part. The 3-acres of Lansdown House and Gardens are a Canterbury gem, of historic and horticultural significance.

Escape into a European world of beauty, elegance and timelessness, ideal for the ambience of Mozart's 18th century. This will be the 83rd narropera performance since the art-form's invention in 2013. Though originally invented for Christchurch and its earthquake traumas, narropera is now an international phenomenon, with annual European tours (the feature image here is from a recent narropera performance of Don Giovanni in the Kammermusiksaal of the Beethoven-House in Bonn, in Germany).

The three performers are internationally acclaimed German soprano, Dorothee Jansen; French violinist, Floriane Peycelon; and Cantabrian, Haydn Rawstron MNZM, pianist, author, musical arranger and narrator. Lansdown House and Gardens are owned by the John Robert Godley Memorial Trust (charitable), named in honour of the Founder of Canterbury.

The large farming estate of which Lansdown House and Gardens was once the epicentre, was first the property of William Guise Brittan and secondly the property of Sir Edward Stafford.

Brittan has the distinction of being the first person to buy land in the province of Canterbury and he named his country estate 'Lansdown' after Lansdown Tower in Bath (England). He is also known as 'The Father of Canterbury Cricket' and is the ancestor of Captain Charles Upham VC (bar).

The Irishman, Stafford, has the distinction of being the longest serving Prime Minister (Premier) in New Zealand's 19th century history. He almost certainly added the 'e' to Landown, most probably as an acknowledgement of one of the premier Irish peerages, the Earldom of Lansdowne. Both Brittan and Stafford were passionate landscapers and their mark is left indelibly on Lansdown(e).

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