Events worth noting around the country. Words: Ann Warnock
Various dates until 24 April, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Arrowtown, Timaru, Dunedin, Nelson, Palmerston North, Havelock North, Hamilton and Tauranga
New Zealand’s Alliance Française network rolls out an eight-week programme of the finest French films across 11 cities. Billed as Aotearoa’s major French cultural event, the line-up includes Haute Cuisine by Christian Vincent. It stars Catherine Frot who is mysteriously summoned to Paris from her farm in the Perigord region to cook for a high-ranking government official (who turns out to be the French president). The romantic comedy Paris-Manhattan by Sophie Lellouche is about an idealistic pharmacist played by Alice Taglioni who is obsessed with the movies of Woody Allen.
Phone (04) 472 1272
Pictured: a scene from Haute Cuisine by Christian Vincent.
To 16 June, City Gallery, Wellington
Drawn from an archive of video art compiled by 40 curators with more than 200 works from China, Pakistan, Indonesia, Korea, Japan and the Philippines, Moving On Asia showcases the talent of contemporary artistic practice in the Asian region. The concept of global curatorial networking and a shared repository of video art began at the Alternative Space LOOP in Seoul. City Gallery has selected a series of video art productions with special relevance to Aotearoa, including a creation by the cutting-edge Shanghai-based artistic collective MadeIn Company.
Phone (04) 801 3021
23 March to 27 April, The Court Theatre, Christchurch
Heralded as “a deliciously sharp comedy of manners dripping with equal parts venom and wit”, The Women traverses artifice, vanity, comedy, tragedy, hope and disappointment. A group of wives, girlfriends and mistresses navigates high-society Manhattan armed with the smartest fashions, latest hairdos and juiciest gossip. Penned by New York playwright, congresswoman and ambassador Clare Boothe Luce, the original Broadway production opened in 1936. Artistic director of The Court Theatre Ross Gumbley says: “Some things never go out of style – like sex, infidelity and the irresistible maliciousness of gossip”.
Phone: (03) 963 0870
From late April until September,
Auckland War Memorial Museum
At 11.30am on 29 May 1953, after seven weeks of climbing, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mt Everest, the highest mountain in the world. They were the first to ascend the rugged 8850-metre Himalayan peak, considered unclimbable by many. Auckland Museum celebrates the 60th anniversary of Kiwi endeavour with a glance at the legacy left by Sir Ed. The exhibition includes rarely seen photos taken by the official photographer of the 1953 Everest Expedition and equipment Sir Ed used to achieve his historic feat.
Phone: (09) 309 0443
16 to 21 April, Wanaka, Queenstown, Luggate, Hawea, Cromwell
Central Otago shines the spotlight on music, theatre, dance and the visual arts as its biennial festival rolls out a menu celebrating top-notch local and international talent in a magical autumnal setting. The hottest acts include leading contemporary dance company Black Grace, pianist Michael Houston in Beethoven mode, Tracing Hamlet, an innovative locals-only Shakespearian production directed by Sara Brodie, Auckland Theatre Company’s play
On the Upside Down of the World and Pouwhenua – The Billboard Project for
which four artists paint giant billboards on Lake Wanaka’s foreshore.
Phone: (03) 443 4172
Pictured: Innovative play Tracing Hamlet.
18 to 28 April, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland, then 11 to 18 May,
St James Theatre, Wellington
Longing, betrayal, youth and innocence are the anguished themes of Puccini’s famous opera set in the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Fifteen-year-old Cio-Cio, known as Butterfly, is besotted with her American naval-officer lover Pinkerton, who marries her and then makes tracks. Butterfly bears his son and waits devotedly for his return. When he does, he has his American bride by his side. It features Australian soprano Antoinette Halloran and Italian tenor Piero Pretti in
the lead roles, with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the Vector Wellington Orchestra respectively.
The Edge, 0800 BUYTICKETS (0800 289 842) or
Ticketek, 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or
24 April, 6.30pm, Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington
A time to honour our Anzac heroes as the NZSO’s musical narrative traverses foreboding, grief, austerity, hope and solace. Saluting Aotearoa’s closest allies, the concert commences with Australian composer Ross Edwards’ Symphony No 1 Da Pacem Domine, penned in the aftermath of the Gulf crisis.
A passionate plea for peace, Till Human Voices Wake Us by Kiwi composer and NZSO chief executive Christopher Blake, follows with a text by pacifist Archibald Baxter, father of poet James K. Finally, love and friendship and the vibrant Anzac spirit are encapsulated in English composer Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.