Give me culture – shake the earthquake blues this winter

CoverChristchurch is still going to get some excellent orchestral concerts this year from both the NZSO and the CSO. Don’t miss Demindenko – I don’t often get the hairs standing up on my neck at a concert but, his performance of Prokofiev’s third piano concerto a couple of years ago was phenomenal. This is a master pianist at the top of his game.

I’ve been contemplating a little trip over to Sydney. No earthquakes and no frosts, that’d be a treat. The Australian Opera are offering a nice selection this year and I could fit in a little shopping. I’ll probably need a bit of help choosing which one to go to, so I’ll be trying out the music on Naxos Music Library and watching videos in Naxos Video Library.

If I’m clever I might even be able to coordinate things so I get a bit of ballet as well. I must say the sets and costuming for the Merry Widow look wonderful.

Of course I may not actually go … but I can still have a lot of fun thinking about the possibilities.
If you had the choice – what cultural events would you go and see?

Words for Christchurch on National Poetry Day

StencilIn March and April, we brought you Words for Christchurch from some wonderful New Zealand poets. Today is National Poetry Day – so take the chance to explore these poems in all their consoling, confronting poetic strength:

“When Mother Nature got one s***-kicking
surprise for you”
Words for Christchurch: Andrew Bell – That Tuesday

The age-old question
Words for Christchurch: Mark Pirie – Water

That’s what
he now remembers. A whole library
flying at him, to the thunder and slams
and hammers of hell.
Words for Christchurch: Kevin Ireland – A house in Christchurch

Will we leave Christchurch Cathedral’s spire as rubble or rebuild it
too as a sign, like the words: Monte Cassino, Gallipoli, Anzac, signs of what
we feel is and was our innocence abroad, …
Words for Christchurch: Jan Kemp – i.m. Victims of the Christchurch Earthquake, NZ,  22nd February 2011

we are naked in the doorway
we are shaking like leaves
we are up to our neck in it

scrabbling for a handhold calling –
Words for Christchurch: Mary McCallum – Earth

Anxiety is a hand held
trauma is hands and knees on the ground
Words for Christchurch: Emma Currie – State of Emergency

our islands have dived like dolphins below the sea time & time before: our hills are sea-carved our mountains jagged from upthrust -no steadfast footing anywhere nearby- just a sure blue light of certainty that I, as a dreamer, trust- we will continue living in these unsteady lands hoping & dying & helping & building -because we are human, because we must-
Words for Christchurch: Keri Hulme – Korure

Things go on
leaving. They go on because
they leave. A leaf falls over
itself, the very.
Words for Christchurch: David Howard – REMEMBER WE THEM WILL in memory of Rhys Brookbanks

Someone is picking a library book and someone is baking bread
Someone is making love and someone is poaching eggs
Words for Christchurch: Paula Green – February

National Day of Shame

July 22 National Day of shame

30 years ago today … Wednesday 22 July 1981, named the “National Day of Shame”, was the day of the first match of the Springbok tour, against Poverty Bay in Gisborne.

More information on the Springbok Tour: