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The Bone Feeder
Thursday 23 Mar 2017
Sunday 26 Mar 2017
When the bones of Chinese wanderers float, lost on the vast black of the sea and then come to rest on the shores of the Hokianga, they become embedded in the spirit and memory of the Harbour, entwined in a story that soars across lands and oceans, deep into the heart of who we all are.
The Bone Feeder is a new opera, beautifully and imaginatively scored by Gareth Farr and written by poet and playwright Renee Liang, which explores the mysteries, traumas and gifts of migration, home and belonging. A young Chinese man searching for his roots is guided by a magical cicada and Māori Ferryman. He crosses to 'the other side', where ghosts reveal secrets of love, loss and betrayal. His attempt to uncover his ancestor's bones disturbs the earth and, ultimately, threatens his life.
Directed by Sara Brodie and conducted by Peter Scholes, the opera takes Gareth Farr’s unique combination of Western, Māori and Chinese instruments to create sweeping beautiful and playful music sung in English, Māori and Cantonese.
Slip through the gateway between East and West, reality and myth, past and present and encounter music and a story never before experienced on a New Zealand stage.
*The Bone Feeder is inspired by the story of the SS Ventnor, which sank off the Hokianga coast and is a lost part of NZ's history. It is grounded in the experiences of early Chinese settlers and their interactions with Pākehā and Māori.
This event is supported by an Asia New Zealand Foundation arts grant