The 7th Lansdown Narropera Season opens in the 100-seater Golden Room of Lansdown House, on Friday, 3rd April at 6PM, with Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, sung and narrated in 85 minutes without interval.
The other narropera 'Figaro' performances in April are on Sunday 5th (4PM), Saturday 18th (4PM), Friday 24th (6PM). There is also one performance of Weber's 'The Devil's Marksman' (Der Freischütz) on Saturday 11th April (4PM), in The Golden Room at Lansdown.
The Narropera Trio has waited seven years for a certain coincidence to occur, namely the coincidence of one of its narroperas having the same title as NZ Opera's chosen work for the same season. Three months after the Narropera Trio's The Marriage of Figaro, the national opera company will present fully staged 'Figaro' performances in Christchurch's Isaac Theatre Royal.
For this coincidence, The Narropera Trio has prepared a version of The Marriage of Figaro in which the extremely complicated story of The Marriage of Figaro is narrated (between its musical numbers) with maximum care and detail, so that an English speaking audience will be able to understand this extraordinary opera, as seldom before. This narropera treatment promises another layer of enjoyment, for all those who plan shortly afterwards to attend the staged performance.
Narropera began life as a kiwi idea, a knee-jerk response to the earthquake trauma in Christchurch. Now seven years later, The Narropera Trio's April performances will include its 100th narropera performance, ironically, a performance in Wellington of Weber's 'The Marksman (Der Freischütz)', on 20th April (6PM). The Wellington performance is for the Dame Malvina Major Foundation and will take place in the Concert Room of the Wellington Club.
Over the last year, narropera has continued to expand into the international world of opera. It has been accepted as a new art-form, or 'neue Kunstgattung', in England, Germany and the Isle of Man. One German critic, writing after a recent performance in the Beethoven Chamber Hall in Bonn, claimed "narropera is a genuine complement to the real thing". Another German critic has coined the phrase: "narropera is a short-winded tale for grown-ups, where song and speech are finely balanced'.
The composition of each narropera is the same. Into the entertainingly narrated storyline are integrated a dozen pieces of music arranged, in chamber music style, for German soprano Dorothee Jansen, French violinist Floriane Peycelon and Cantabrian pianist Haydn Rawstron, who also writes and narrates the story.
'Lansdown' is one of the most renowned heritage properties of early Canterbury with the oldest private plantation of exotic trees in the Province. Patrons are welcome to enjoy a picnic on Lansdown's expansive, immaculate lawns bounded by the Halswell River. For that purpose, the gates to Lansdown are open 90 minutes before the starting time for each performance. There is ample off-street parking in the grounds, conveniently adjacent to one of Lansdown's three impressive lawns.