Stunning New Zealand soprano Madeleine Pierard joins Wellington contemporary music ensemble Stroma for a one night only performance featuring Arnold Schoenberg’s chilling surreal classic Pierrot Lunaire.
Rarely performed, and not heard in New Zealand for 20 years, Pierrot Lunaire is known for its vivid hallucinogenic text and shimmering music. This year marks a century since the work premiered in Berlin – well-known performances of the work include a 1974 Grammy-nominated recording by jazz singer Cleo Laine and avant garde pop star Bjork performed it in 1996.
Madeleine Pierard takes on the role in Pierrot Lunaire on Sunday 25 November at Ilott Theatre, Wellington Town Hall. It is the second in a series of three concerts from Stroma.
Based on 21 poems by Belgian writer Albert Giraud and traditionally sung by a soprano, Pierrot sings of love, sex, religion, violence, crime and blasphemy; before singing of his return home to Bergamo with his past haunting him.
Star soprano Madeleine Pierard won the 2005 Lexus Song Quest before continuing her studies at London’s Benjamin Britten Opera School. She is a Jette Parker Young Artist with the Royal Opera in Covent Garden, but is currently home in New Zealand.
Also featuring on the programme for Stroma’s Pierrot Lunaire concert is music by Schoenberg's pupils Anton Webern (Streichtrio Op. 2) and Hanns Eisler's Pierrot homage, 14 Arten den Regen zu beschreiben (14 ways of depicting rain), set to Joris Ivens' minimalist film, Regen.
The third concert in this series is on Sunday 9 December when Wellington multi-instrumentalist Adam Page joins Stroma in Blue Page, two concerts of blues-inspired works for ensemble featuring pieces by Adam, as well as Jack Body, Michael Norris and Jacob ter Veldhuis.
Stroma is one of New Zealand’s premier contemporary chamber ensembles bringing new sonic experiences to New Zealand audiences. Since its formation in 2000, Stroma has performed regularly, with a repertoire of fresh, cutting-edge compositions. The Wellington-based ensemble includes New Zealand Symphony Orchestra section principals and players, and the ensemble is conducted by one of New Zealand’s leading young conductors, Hamish McKeich.
Tickets are available through Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) www.ticketek.co.nz For more information visit www.stroma.co.nz
Stroma: Pierrot Lunaire
Madeleine Pierard (soprano)
Hamish McKeich (conductor)
Hanns Eisler • 14 Arten den Regen zu beschreiben
Anton Webern • Streichtrio Op. 20
Arnold Schoenberg • Pierrot Lunaire
Stroma is one of New Zealand’s finest contemporary chamber ensembles, comprising players from the NZSO and other freelance Wellington performers. Since its inaugural concert in 2000, Stroma has performed regularly, with a repertoire of fresh, cutting-edge compositions. Stroma has also been active in commissioning new works from New Zealand composers. Stroma has appeared at each New Zealand International Festival of the Arts since 2002, as well as the Wellington Jazz Festival 2003, the Wellington Cathedral Festival 2003 and Christchurch Arts Festival 2005. They toured for Chamber Music New Zealand in 2004. Critics have called Stroma "one of the most interesting and original ensembles to have emerged recently", describing its performances as "vibrant and exhilarating", "stunning" and "staggeringly fine".