Eight Songs for a Mad King

Christchurch dates to be confirmed

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

COVID-19 UPDATE: The Christchurch season of Eight Songs for a Mad King has been rescheduled to the end of this year. We will contact each ticket holder individually to discuss options regarding their ticket purchase.  Please read more on our Covid-19 update page.

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

Duration: The performance is 1 hour with a 15 minute interval.

During interval you will be escorted to new seating for the second half of show.

Surtitles: There are no surtitles for this production, however you may download copy of the songs here.

*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.

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Meet The Cast

The Creative Team

Thomas de Mallet Burgess – Director

Robin Rawstorne – Design

Hamish McKeich – Conductor

Orchestra – Stroma new music ensemble