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The Cloud Capp'd Towers

Shakespeare in the land of the long white cloud

2016 marks 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, the English language’s greatest poet and dramatist. Nota Bene, under its new music director Peter Walls, marked this occasion with a celebration of his work in word and song.


We started with the title The Cloud-capped Towers (a line from The Tempest), which led us to think about Shakespeare in the Land of the Long White Cloud. It’s extraordinary how much fine music has been inspired by Shakespeare right here in Aotearoa.


The concert includes Douglas Lilburn’s Willow Song (for Ngaio Marsh’s production of Othello), some witty and attractive Shakespeare choruses by David Farquhar, and David Hamilton’s suite A Shakespeare Garland that parodies styles from jazz to '60s pop.

The programme also included some real gems from Shakespeare’s own time—music by Byrd and Tomkins—and masterly Shakespeare settings by Vaughan Williams and Amy Beach.


It wouldn’t be Shakespeare without some theatrical flair, and Nota Bene was delighted to welcome back actor Nigel Collins as the Bard of Avon, performing some of his most famous speeches from The Tempest and other plays. 


We see Shakespeare in his last days, dreaming of the new world about to be discovered: Aotearoa—the land of the long white cloud whose mysteries were about to be explored and mapped by voyagers from the North.


Fiona McCabe featured as pianist.


Tickets available from Eventfinder.


The Cloud Capp'd Towers

7.30pm, 9 April 2016

Salvation Army Citadel

Vivian Street







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