The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has released a special ticket deal to celebrate its return to touring the country from August.
Tickets in the stalls to the NZSO’s Spirit concerts in Wellington and Auckland on 6 and 7 August will cost $30, with further concessions available.
The special price is also a thank you to New Zealanders for their hard work and ongoing vigilance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other NZSO tours this year may also have a special ticket price.
“The reason the NZSO can play to audiences and tour again is because of the sacrifices we’ve all made to keep us safe and healthy,” says NZSO Principal Conductor in Residence Hamish McKeich, who will lead the Orchestra for Spirit.
“We also know that while many New Zealanders can’t wait to see their national orchestra again, they could be facing tough times. This special ticket price is our way of helping out.”
For audiences unable to attend the Wellington and Auckland concerts, the Wellington concert will also be live-streamed on the NZSO website live.nzso.co.nz.
Spirit features internationally acclaimed New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neill, who performs a selection of outstanding songs by music greats Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. The Orchestra will also perform two uplifting works: Hector Berlioz’s exuberant Le Corsaire Overture and Sergei Prokofiev’s heroic Fifth Symphony.
Berlioz’s Le Corsaire Overture was inspired by a voyage he made on a corsair sailing ship and reading Lord Byron’s poem The Corsair.
O’Neill will perform Mahler’s masterpiece Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen ‘Songs of a Wayfarer’, inspired by the composer’s infatuation with a soprano.
O’Neill will follow with six of Strauss’ finest lieder: the song cycle Ruhe, meine Seele, Cäcilie, Heimliche Aufforderung and Morgen, along with Allerseelen and Zueignung.
Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony premiered in 1945 to acclaim in the USSR and was also so popular with American audiences the composer featured on the cover of Time magazine. Prokofiev wrote his symphony as the tide of the Second World War turned to the Allies. He described his work as “a symphony of the greatness of the human spirit, a song of praise of free and happy mankind”. Scholars have since speculated that it is also a call for artistic freedom.
After Spirit the NZSO has a further nine tours in 2020. The Orchestra aims to keep each tour as close as possible to how it was first advertised, although some changes have been made due to entry restrictions for international artists.
Acclaimed New Zealand conductor Gemma New will lead the Orchestra for Passion in Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland in late August and September, as well as the Shed Series concert Cadence in Wellington and Auckland.
Tickets to Spirit are available via ticketmaster.co.nz.