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Preview: Upbeat with Eva Radich

RNZ: Upbeat

What's going on in the world of music and the arts? From the concert hall to the cinema, we talk to musicians, composers, choreographers, dancers, actors, directors and artists - Upbeat finds out what makes them tick.


Celebrating grandma through cabaret

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

The Auckland Live International Cabaret Season is about to begin its third year featuring a suite of critically-acclaimed cabaret shows from across the globe and closer to home. The Basement theatre will host a locally produced show as part of the Cabaret Season. It’s called Valerie and is focused on Robin Kelly’s grandmother amazing life. The production is written and performed by Last Tapes Theatre Company’s Robin Kelly, Cherie Moore and Tom Broome, and directed by Benjamin Henson.

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The Trials and Tribulations of Miss French

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Sydney-based Julie Foa’i has been the manager of South Pacific Fusion group Te Vaka since it began. The now-Australia based group has had global success, which looks to be expanded on with them being a key part of creating the music for the upcoming Disney film Moana. Managing Te Vaka means that Julie hasn’t always been able to focus on her own music but she’s about to release The Trials and Tribulations of Miss French (Part 1).

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Mike Nock Trio and NZ Trio mark change with Vicissitudes

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Prolific and highly regarded and awarded New Zealand-born pianist Mike Nock is about to return to New Zealand. The Mike Nock Trio and NZ Trio work have developed, Vicissitudes which they premiered at the 2013 Christchurch Arts Festival, into a new album and are playing shows off the back of that at Arts Festival Dunedin, and Hawke’s Bay Arts Festival. Mike Nock Trio are also playing their own shows at Hawke’s Bay and Dunedin Festivals.

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Remembering soprano and advocate Lisette Wesseling

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

New Zealand soprano Lisette Wesseling, passed away peacefully last week at the age of 44. Her life and her career in music were celebrated at a moving funeral on Monday at the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul. Lisette, who was blind from infancy, was a leading advocate for blind people and their access to music education and performance.  She recorded a fascinating programme for RNZ Concert exploring Louis Braille’s adaptation of his six-dot reading and writing system to represent the language of music. Lisette’s husband Neil Jarvis talks to Clarissa Dunn about her life.

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Passage of the Soul | Choral Whispers of Eastern Orthodoxy

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Dimitrios Theodoridis is home from Germany for a very personal concert with Baroque Voices. Passage of the Soul | Choral Whispers of Eastern Orthodoxy will be performed in memory of his mother who passed away last year. Dimitrios is producing the concert and singing among the basses.

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Heleen du Plessis and Trevor Coleman at Arts Festival Dunedin

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

2016’s Arts Festival Dunedin includes a broad range of musical performances, from Eastern European cabaret to the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra. Sitting somewhere between are performances featuring cellist Heleen du Plessis, and pianist and composer Trevor Coleman. Heleen has curated Cellists Aotearoa, a multi-sensory journey into the beauty and soundscape of New Zealand. Heleen also performs alongside Trevor Coleman in Coleman and Cornish’s Improvisations on the Classics - an exploration of the boundaries between classical and jazz music.

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Orchestral opportunities for Youth

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Tauranga’s first youth orchestra in over 20 years is gearing up into existence. Bay of Plenty Symphonia musical director Justus Rozemond is also about to direct Youth Philharmonic Tauranga. The orchestra’s first event will be a weekend workshop that culminates in a concert.

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Tempo Dance Festival

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Auckland’s Tempo Dance Festival gets underway in a couple of weeks. Carrie Rae Cunningham is the Artistic Director and takes us through the varied festival lineup. The Scenic View is Tempo’s quirky little gift to Auckland – best viewed from outside, and across the road. Another highlight is the recreation of Michael Parmenter’s Insolent River: A Tango, first created in 1985.

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Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra teases 2017

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra has launched its programme for 2017. Chief Executive Barbara Glaser and Ronan Tigue, Director of Artistic Planning discuss their personal highlights, new initiatives including some collaborative ventures, and events which take music outside the concert hall.

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The Art of Etiquette – Interviews

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Zoë George talks to Saturday Morning with Kim Hill producer Mark Cubey about how interviewees should approach being talked to by the media. What do you need to know? Should you be nervous? How should you behave?

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QuintEssence reviewed

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Peter Mechen reviews Chamber Music New Zealand’s mini-festival QuintEssence. The programme features performances from The New Zealand String Quartet, Grammy-nominated violist James Dunham, The Pettman Players, and compositions from Salina Fisher, Mozart, and Brahms.

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Living sculptures

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Chris Booth is a sculptor and environmental artist who creates work for communities. The works are always site-specific and culturally-sensitive installations of stone and natural materials based on natural forms and spiritual inspiration. That inspiration comes from where he’s working so the sculpture will mean something to the people who live there. Chris’ work takes time... starting with conversations with communities, before it gets to concept stage, and then the fabrication and engineering using stone and other materials can takes years to complete.

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What’s the role of feminism today?

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

On Suffrage Day Claire Regnault, a curator from Te Papa, and Anastasia Burn from Wellington Girls College Feminist Club discuss pressing issues for women today. Te Papa recently acquired a rare medal for valour awarded to Frances Parker an Otago born suffrage activist who campaigned for women in Scotland.

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Choreographing The Dinner Party

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Jan Bowell is the choreographer of Hakari - The Dinner Party. The show which will play at Q Loft as part of Tempo Dance Festival and is a take on Judy Chicago’s 1979 art installation which made note of women throughout history.

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Sweeney Todd reviewed

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Peter Hoar reviews New Zealand Opera and Victorian Opera’s production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd. It stars Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Sweeney Todd and Australian soprano Antoinette Halloran in the role of Mrs Lovatt.

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Wellington Brass fronts up with the World’s Best

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Wellington Brass Band music director David Bremner talks about the pride he felt conducting his band at the 164th British Open in Birmingham.

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Dismantling and recreating ‘home’

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Sydney-based artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro have a six month residency at Massey University in Wellington. Using the idea of ‘home’ as a theme; the pair use pre-existing items such as lego blocks and IKEA flatpack furniture to create thought-provoking sculptures and installations. For this residency their work will echo with and play on the current climate of crisis around housing in New Zealand.

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Gallipoli to the Somme

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Anthony Ritchie has composed an oratorio to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Commissioned by Dunedin Symphony for Arts Festival Dunedin the work uses text from many writers including brilliant Dunedin mathematician Alexander Aitken, who took his violin to the front.

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New Zealand School of Music faces challenges

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

The New Zealand School of Music has a new Director: Dr Dugal McKinnon a sonic artist, composer and academic. Dugal steps up to the challenges left after the departure of Euan Murdoch for Australia and amid an increasingly competitive environment within our Conservatorium.

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Inspiring our future opera stars

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

New Zealand Bass Martin Snell has recently been appointed  to mentor and support young performing artists training in Europe by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation. Martin has been based there for more than 20 years’ since winning the 1993 Mobil Song Quest. He is home this week judging the next generation of singers; this Sunday he judges the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria.

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Classical Double Act in Hamilton

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Two of this country’s finest young soloists are back in New Zealand from their overseas performing activities to play the Brahms double concerto with Opus Orchestra. Violinist Amalia Hall and cellist Edward King talk about their respective careers and coming together to play Brahms’ Double Concerto in A minor with another high flying expat musician, conductor Holly Mathieson as part of Opus Orchestra's Connections concerts in Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua. 

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Hitting the Highs

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Hitting the Highs

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Boys Will Be Boys

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Boys Will Be Boys

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Mozartian flourishes

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Mozartian flourishes

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Extreme knitting

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Jacqui Fink is a fibre artist and 'extreme knitter' based in Sydney. Her studio is called Little Dandelion.

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Taking your kit off for cash

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Taking your kit off for cash.

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To The Memory of an Angel

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

To The Memory of an Angel

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Slamming the spoken word

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Two time Poetry Idol and member of South Auckland Poets Collective Zane Scarborough, slams the spoken word. He’s been busy organizing the first inter- high school poetry slam which encourages youth to take to the stage to deliver passion through poetry.

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Not last legs for Hall

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

There’s no business like show business. Just ask playwright Roger Hall who is set to release his latest comedy outing Last Legs 40 years on from his very first play. It’s set at an upmarket retirement village which is full of love, greed, jealousy, gossip, backstabbing, scandal, and a bit of mah-jong.

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Australian making the Worst Pies for Sweeney

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Accomplished Australian soprano Antoinette Halloran is in New Zealand to play the role of ‘The Worst Pies in London’ maker Mrs Lovett in New Zealand Opera’s Sweeney Todd, which opens next week in Auckland. She’s already well versed in the Sondheim show, having performed it with the Victorian Opera in 2015.

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Young Violin Virtuoso

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Rochelle Pese is a year six student from East Porirua who is determined to be a violinist when she grows up. She only started learning the instrument recently from Virtuoso Strings Orchestra teacher Liz Sneyd and already she’s rocketing through the grades. Rochelle and Liz tell us what it means for a community like East Porirua to have a children’s orchestra.

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Classic Beckett at the Fortune

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Dunedin actor Simon O’Connor has the role of a lifetime in his hands - he is Krapp in Samuel Beckett’s favourite play Krapp’s Last Tape. In it a man at the end of his life rekindles his remembered youth by listening to tapes of his younger self, and reflecting on his failures. The Fortune Theatre play is part of Dunedin Arts Festival.

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Southern Orchestra Celebrates fifty years

Thu, 08 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Dunedin Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a concert featuring two artists linked with the orchestra's history - pianist Michael Houstoun and former Principle Guest Conductor Nicholas Braithwaite. Nick has an association with the orchestra of more than 25 years. 

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Telling the story of a legend

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 13:45:00 +1200

Singer and actor Tim Draxl takes to the stage to tell the story of the brilliant but self-destructive jazz artist Chet Baker in his new show Freeway: The Chet Baker Story. Draxl co-created the show which offers its challenges – including the fact that Baker was an instrumentalist who adapted his voice to be like his horn, while Draxl is a singer and had to discover instrumental phrasing and flexibility.

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From A to Z – the ABC of American classical music

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

The name Frank Zappa doesn’t often associate with classical music, however US based conductor Eckart Preu has been handed the baton to lead the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s Appalachian to Zappa concert which brings together American composers Aron Copland and Frank Zappa with Mozart’s most famous Piano Concerto and his last symphony.

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21 years of Going West

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

The Going West Books and Writers Festival celebrates 21 years, with two new people at the helm, including critic and agency creative Mark Easterbrook. He explains how it is important to combine entertainment with thought-provoking discussions that spark imagination.

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The Art of Etiquette – Book launch

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

In this week’s episode Upbeat producer Zoë George turns the page on poor etiquette at book launches. Unity Books’ Dylan Sherwood explains whether we have to buy the book that is being launched, what the protocol is around getting an autograph, and is it ok to indulge in the drinks and nibbles on offer.

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Vocal students extending the range

Tue, 06 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

New Zealand School of Music puts on a show this week featuring its vocal performance students in a mix of classical opera and musicals. Music Director Mark Dorrell used to work in London’s West End and talks with fourth year student Elyse Hemara about how today’s professional singers have to be open to music from every part of the spectrum. 

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Young players steal the show

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Mark Donlon from the New Zealand School of Music casts a critical eye over the combined forces of the NZSO and the Rodger Fox Big Band augmented by star trumpeter Allen Vizzutti from the US. Mark has taught many of the big band’s soloists and says it’s wonderful to see them hit the high notes in such stellar company.   

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Giving hope through movement

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Dancer Rodney Bell tells his story through Meremere, an autobiographical piece that spans 20 years of his life. It addresses issues around homelessness – which Bell was for a few years – and disability. The performance also includes a choral commission sung in Te Reo Maori directed by conductor Robin Kelly.

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New Sponsor for University Opera Programme

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Gregory Camp, Director of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Auckland's School of Music, announces a major new sponsor  for its Opera Teaching Programme.  Dr Camp is Director of the University’s upcoming Opera Scenes concert showcasing the future young stars studying at the School of Music.  

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'Humpty' sending himself up and loving it!

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 13:30:00 +1200

Engelbert Humperdinck is 80 and still touring and packing them in. Next year he celebrates fifty years since he changed his name from Gerry Dorsey to that of a nineteenth century classical composer, performing 'Release Me' on Sunday Night At The London Palladium and having his first number one hit.

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To the memory of an Angel

Fri, 02 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Wilma Smith, former NZSO concertmaster, is playing her first major concerto date in years with Orchestra Wellington soon. She has a direct link with the Berg Violin Concerto:  it was written and premiered for her teacher Louis Krasner. 

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Fire-breather injects chemistry into the show

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Lizzie Tollemache, actor, variety entertainer and fire breather is one half of Rollicking Entertainment, bringing circus and stunts to festivals and stages around the globe. Based out of Lyttleton, Tollemache combines improv with fire eating, escapology, whip cracking, and a human block head act.

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Tiny Ruins at the City Gallery

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Tiny Ruins' Hollie Fullbrook presents a new song 'The School Of Design' amidst the Francis Upritchard figurines at The City Gallery of Wellington, and speaks to Upbeat's Eva Radich about her collaboration with David Lynch.  

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Laureates inspire artists of the future

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Three artists are visiting three high schools in various centres as part of the Laureates on Stage events. Arts Foundation Laureates Rachel House, Don McGlashan and Laurence Aberhart will each run a masterclass with five selected students. Photographer Laurence Aberhart uses the sort of technology and print material the students may not have seen before. But it’s his way of seeing that will be most revelatory.

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Written especially for her

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:50:00 +1200

When your former student starts writing plays for you, Art and Life collide. Michele Hine, Artistic Manager of the Actors Programme, stars in Sham, a blistering black comedy about family dysfunction at New Lynn’s Te Pou theatre as part of the Going West Festival this week. 

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Modern music with a vintage vibe

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Music collective Postmodern Jukebox rose to fame via YouTube for their vintage arrangements of modern hits. Upright bassist Adam Kubota explains how their creations come about; a sad clown singing Royals and why his bass is called Dumbo.

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Top trumpeter thrills

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:00:00 +1200

US trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti is here for a nationwide tour. As famous for his compositions as his technique, equally at home in classical and jazz work, Allen will have a starring role with the Roger Fox Big band and the NZSO in keeping with Big Band tradition. Watch his performance of Firedance a piece he wrote with friend Jeff Tyzik to experience his incredible playing.  

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The Art of Etiquette – drag shows

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:40:00 +1200

In this week’s episode Upbeat producer Zoë George goes behind the glitter and glamour of drag shows. What is a drag show? Can I get on stage with the performers? What’s the proper way to address a drag performer? And what is “throwing shade”?

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The Ability to Dance

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:20:00 +1200

Dancer Suzanne Cowan is in London with dance partner Adrian Smith performing Grotteschi – a dance that explores ideas around the classical and grotesque body – at the festival for the Lord Mayor of London. The work, produced by Touch Compass, is an iconic and highly entertaining duet that Suzanne and Adrian have danced 42 times now.

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Salvation through Music

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:00:00 +1200

Scottish conductor Paul MacAlindin has written a book about creating a National Youth Orchestra in Iraq, in 2007 right after the end of the war. Upbeat describes his journey pulling together a diverse orchestra of young traumatised people who had a desperate desire to learn to play despite the tension in their lives.

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A journey to the other side of the world

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:40:00 +1200

Lyric soprano Virginia Warbrick, and partner Nga taonga puoro player Warren bring the story of New Zealand and Spain together through an imaginary tunnel connecting the two countries. The story is told through contemporary New Zealand music and 16th Century Spanish song.

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Championing better representation for women

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:20:00 +1200

In theatre women are still underrepresented in every aspect – on stage, behind the scenes, directing and in management and governance roles. The Hui on Women in Theatre in September brings together women in the industry on Women’s Suffrage Day to address ways of achieving equality in the arts.  

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Big Sing almost too close to call

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:00:00 +1200

The talent was so good in this year’s Big Sing Finale that the judges had a very difficult time choosing the top choirs. Chair of the judging panel Peter Watts, explains how outstanding all the choirs were, creating a tough job for the judging panel.

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