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Student Opera Project: The Electrical Eclipse

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  • Fri 20 May ’11, 7:30pm
  • Sat 21 May ’11, 2:30pm
  • Sat 21 May ’11, 7:30pm
  • Sun 22 May ’11, 7:30pm


Kenneth Myers Centre, 74 Shortland Street, Auckland CBD


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • School of Music students and staff: $0.00
  • Full price: $15.00
  • Concessions: $10.00

The Electrical Eclipse is a student written, student led and student performed opera. This inter-disciplinary project sees students from a variety of majors within the School of Music, Elam School of Fine Arts and the Faculty of Arts collaborating creatively on a wholly original project. The student production team includes composers, conductors, instrumentalists, singers, writers, artists and directors.


Storytelling is the primary civilising instrument in culture. When storytelling goes bad in society, the result is decadence. – Aristotle

The Electrical Eclipse discovers four rag-tag young people suddenly plunged into isolating, disabling, disorienting darkness. For this one unusual evening, the clocks have stopped and the world outside their four walls is abandoned.

From this primordial chaos (for there is little else to pass the time), stories emerge. Stories of transformation and disembodiment, magic and sorcery, fertility and famine, colonisation and subsumption - which together illuminate a rich and troublesome tapestry of humanity.

Cast and crew:

Celeste Oram – composer / director
Claire Bracegirdle – librettist / director
Tianyi Lu – conductor
Marlena Devoe – soprano | Elizabeth Mandeno – soprano
Amitai Pati – tenor | Anthony Schneider – bass
Angela Kong – violin | Robert Drage – cello
Mike Merry – oboe | Natasha Port – bassoon
Daniel Chung – guitar | Laurence McFarlane – marimba

A note from the directors:

The Electrical Eclipse has been devised over the past two years. The first story, The Skelkie, was presented in a workshop performance at the University in June 2010 and an extract from the second story, Yerma, was performed in October at the University Lilburn Prize Concert. In this competition the piece was awarded first place for composition and performers Tianyi Lu (conductor) and Marlena Devoe (soprano) were awarded the top performance prizes. It was this success that kick-started the process of the work being programmed for the 2011 University Voice Class project. School of Music staff and faculty members are offering generous support and mentoring to the student directors, conductor, and performers, and are closely involved with the production process.

We are working toward a finished product but the experience of bringing a new and original work into being is an exciting and stimulating event in itself. So we invite you, our future audience, to jump onboard as of now and engage with the project behind-the-scenes. You'll find regular updates on our website – a production journal with rehearsal updates, a photo diary, and video footage – clocking the journey of a new opera from a dream to the stage.

Proudly supported by the HRL Morrison Music Trust. Held in Studio 1.

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