News - 16 Jan 2024

A taste of the arts in 2024

Dunedin’s arts calendar for 2024 is starting to fill up. Rebecca Fox of the Otago Daily Times takes a look at some of what has been programmed so far. From Shakespeare to ABBA and everything in between, Dunedin audiences will again be spoilt for choice as local arts practitioners get set to do the hard graft to entertain people this year.

Classical music

While the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) full programme is not out until February it does have some big news - it has secured New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) music director emeritus James Judd as its principal guest conductor for 2024-26. This year he will conduct the DSO twice.

"I am honoured to become the DSO’s principal guest conductor for the next three seasons. I greatly look forward to being a part of the creative team and especially to be making more music with the orchestra’s wonderful musicians, including a concert in the Dunedin Town Hall which is one of my most favourite halls in the world."

Judd’s first concert is in July at the town hall with one of Dunedin’s favourite sons, bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu, who is returning to sing with the DSO, performing some Mozart and Mahler arias. The concert also includes the NZSO’s concertmaster Vesa-Matti Leppanen as a soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5.

Another highlight will be the Matariki celebration with Rerenga by Michael Norris, a work which won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award at the 2020 Apra Silver Scroll Awards.

Two new conductors bookend this year’s Matinee Series, Swiss conductor Matthias Bamert launches the series in April, and in September the 2024 NZ associate conductor Ingrid Martin, of Australia, will close the series.

This year also sees a return visit by Umberto Clerici in August to conduct Mozart’s Requiem, featuring City Choir Dunedin along with four vocal soloists.

The DSO’s year finishes in November with something quite different - a concert of the music of ABBA. This follows on from its 2023 hugely successful Beatles music concert. To be held in the town hall, it will feature four of the University of Otago’s contemporary singers.

Rebecca Fox : Otago Daily Times - 11 January 2024

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