Festival Top Five: Elizabeth Kerr

21 November 2019

To help you decide what to see at next year’s Festival (21 Feb-15 Mar 2020) we asked Elizabeth Kerr for her top five picks.

Elizabeth (MNZM) is an esteemed music writer and broadcaster with a rich background in arts management and governance and is currently a valued member of the Tāwhiri Board.

Here's what she has to say about her top five Festival picks:


20. Kopernikus – Opéra-rituel de mort - check one line or two_©_Vincent Pontet _NZF20_1200 x 628.jpg

I expect to be immersed in other-worldly beauties in this ‘opera-death ritual’, which combines the celestial music of Claude Vivier, an imaginative operatic conception from legendary director Peter Sellars and the singing of popular ensemble Roomful of Teeth – unmissable lineup!

Glass/Richter/Järvi NZSO

13. Glass_Richter_Järvi_©__NZF20_1200 x 628.jpg

Hard to believe that the NZSO has never played music by Philip Glass – the composer and his Ensemble have been acclaimed at the New Zealand Festival of the Arts twice in the past, I recall, and his Águas da Amazônia is a stunning work, each section dedicated to a different Amazonian river.

Here Comes the Ocean Laurie Anderson and her ensemble, with Horomona Horo

14. Here Comes the Ocean_©__NZF20_1200 x 628.jpg

I vividly recall Laurie Anderson on the stage in Wellington in 1986 at the very first New Zealand Festival, performing O Superman! – this superwoman has stayed at the forefront of boundary-crossing in contemporary music and has multi-generational appeal – book fast!

Netherlands Chamber Choir

26. Netherlands Chamber Choir_©_Foppe Schut_NZF20_1200 x 628.jpg

The New Zealand debut of this marvellous ensemble includes a selection from their 150 Psalms project, settings old and new of biblical Psalm texts.

Lyon Opera Ballet's Trois Grandes Fugues

39. Trois Grandes Fugues_©_Stofleth_NZF20_1200 x 628.jpg

2020 is Beethoven’s 250th birthday and this will be a memorable celebratory gesture, three choreographers responding to the monumental architecture of what is arguably the composer’s most progressive work, the Grosse Fuge.

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