The Lullaby Project

New Zealand Opera has partnered with the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute on a something very special, bringing The Lullaby Project to Aotearoa.

The Lullaby Project was launched by Carnegie Hall in 2011, working with new and expecting parents to write personal lullabies for their child or children with the help of professional artists. Since then, more than a thousand lullabies have been written in New York and around the world, through arts organisations partnering with Carnegie Hall.

In New Zealand, our pilot programme has been rolled out by our 2018/19 Pettman DARE Fellow Blaire White. The first few sessions have taken place at Eden Campus Teen Parent Unit, with our Head of Music Lindy Tennent-Brown, and mezzo soprano Sarah Court.

“The Lullaby Project gives mothers the opportunity to author and publish their own unique stories about their connection to the child through the gift of music that, combined with one of the strongest passions of the human experience, makes artists of us all,” said Court.

Being part of this project and seeing mothers bloom with pride and happiness at the recognition that they, too, might have the gift of song to share with their babies (and to hold for themselves in the dark times of worry and stress that are a part of the experience of every mother) is deeply moving and humbling. As someone who has enjoyed a life full of music and song, it is an immense privilege to help lift up the voices of other mothers and to pass on some of what I have so abundantly received.”

“We feel honoured to be making music with these wonderful wāhine and their tamariki,” adds White. “We are grateful to Carnegie Hall for sharing their resources and knowledge so that we can bring this project to New Zealand.”

The programme culminates this month with a relaxed performance of all the new lullabies from the participants, which will be recorded and shared through Carnegie Hall channels. Most importantly though, the families will have their own unique lullaby.

Watch The Lullaby Project on RNZ Checkpoint