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Eight Songs For A Mad King

Eight Songs For A Mad King


  • Wed 25 Mar, 8:30pm – 9:45pm
  • Thu 26 Mar, 8:30pm – 9:45pm
  • Sat 28 Mar, 8:30pm – 9:45pm
  • Sun 29 Mar, 8:30pm – 9:45pm
  • View all sessions


Tūranga Central Library, 60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch




Official Website

This new production by New Zealand Opera, directed by Thomas de Mallet Burgess and designed by Robin Rawstorne sees a King in distress transformed into a modern corporate everyman as a disarming device to explore our complicated relationship with mental health and power. As an added twist, you will experience the action up close again, with only a window separating you and the King.

Maxwell Davies’ extraordinary score derives from the songs King George III played on his mechanical organ and attempted to train his bullfinches to sing. The music requires a baritone of extraordinary technique to sing over five octaves, with New Zealander Robert Tucker fit for the challenge.

Partnering with the ground-breaking contemporary music by Stroma New Music Ensemble, conducted by Hamish McKeich, this modern take on opera promises to be a bold and immersive experience.

Supported by New Zealand Festival of the Arts and Auckland Arts Festival.

*Contains themes relating to mental distress.
These performances of Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies are given by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agents for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd of London.

Tickets are onsale now as part of New Zealand Opera subscription packages or as stand alone tickets on sale from in February.

Music by Peter Maxwell Davies.
Text by Randolph Stow and George III.

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