The Magic Flute and the magic of the Theatre Royal

Southern Opera’s production of Mozart’s whimsical and beautiful opera,  recently performed at the Theatre Royal,  got the full sci fi treatment complete with Star Trek screens and noises. I was bemused by the overly elaborate staging and found it overworked, with a lot of distracting gimmicks. What looked to this viewer like a bank of blue portaloos, I have since found out was a representation of Sarastro’s temple! This left me somewhat confused at times  and I came away feeling I needed to read up on the opera. It now makes a lot more sense, as I’m clearer on the Masonic overtones.

Exterior view of the Theatre Royal, Christchurch, prior to opening
Exterior view of the Theatre Royal, Christchurch, prior to opening

Nevertheless the CSO was fantastic and Papageno (Jared Holt) and the Queen of Night (Emma Pearson) were outstanding, the Queen of the Night hitting incredibly high notes with ease and grace.  The Solid Energy chorus was powerful and nothing could ruin Mozart’s glorious music. Ultimately it was a great experience.

The grand old Theatre Royal has not lost its magic for me it is always a comforting step back into the past.

For further information about this Christchurch treasure, go to their website, or there is interesting material at the library on its history.

Frocks on Bikes


Did you think ladylike fashion and riding a bike were mutually exclusive? Frocks on Bikes is set to prove you wrong! Christchurch Frocks on Bikes is being launched on October 24th, 2-5pm Victoria Square.

Frocks on bikes promotes cycling for its environmental benefits but also as a chic mode of transportation. Think of a smiling girl clad in floral sunfrock, windswept hair and a basket of peony roses on the front rather than sweaty lycra clad battler.

Here’s the good (bike) oil from the Frocks and Bikes crew:

Christchurch’s freshest Frockers and their faithful steeds will rendezvous at Victoria Square for an afternoon of delightful divertissements, featuring … entertainments, a “catcycle” (think taking to the catwalk on two wheels), spot prizes, food and coffee stalls … and many other flavours of fun stuff  …
Frock up and come along – help us kick-start the freshest Frocks On Bikes Flock, in Aotearoa’s prettiest and most bikeable city!

Get some fashion ideas here:

Talking library things and LibraryThing

LibraryThing is an online service to help people catalogue their books. People catalogue together, so LibraryThing connects them with others who have the same books, it comes up with suggestions for what to read next, and so forth.

As part of the LIANZA (Library and Information Association New Zealand Aotearoa) Conference held in Christchurch from the 12th to 14th October, we were lucky enought to talk to keynote speaker Tim Spalding, creator of LibraryThing.

Part One: An introduction to Tim and LibraryThing.

(6.2 MB, 6:38 minutes)


We discuss cataloguing and challenges for libraries with Tim Spalding in Part Two of our interview.

(6.3MB, 6:57 minutes)

We finish our interview with Tim Spalding of LibraryThing, talking about social networking and sharing, and different way of seeing the world. Tim on Facebook and social networking book applications: “To some extent they’re competitors, to some extent they’re gateway drugs to LibraryThing”.

(6.17 minutes, 5.75 MB)