Orpheus in Rarohenga

2002

Original
Oratorio - Solo Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Choir, and Orchestra

Overview

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A joint commission from myself and New Zealand poet Robert Sullivan to mark the 50th anniversary of the Orpheus Choir of Wellington resulted in this major oratorio. The subject matter is Captain James Cook’s 1769 voyage to the Southern Hemisphere, ostensibly to view the Transit of Venus but which also resulted in the European discovery of the islands of New Zealand. This voyage, and its resulting historical ramifications, are literally merged with the journey by the mythical figure of Orpheus to the Underworld.The premiere performance took place on November 23, 2002, featuring Jenny Wollerman, Richard Greager, David Griffiths, the Orpheus Choir of Wellington, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Cantrill. The commission for this oratorio was made possible with financial support from Creative New Zealand and the Lion Foundation.

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Orpheus in Rarohenga

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Project Details

Orpheus in Rarohenga

Oratorio - Solo Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Choir, and Orchestra

Author: Robert Sullivan

Composer: John Psathas

Instrumentation: STBar soli / choir (SSAATTBB) + 3(pic).3(ca).3(bcl).2+cbn / 4.3.3.1 / timp.5perc / hp / pf(cel) / org / str 

Premiered by Jenny Wollerman (S), Richard Greager (T), David Griffiths (Bar), Orpheus Choir of Wellington, NZSO with Andrew Cantrill (cond) on November 23, 2002

Difficulty Level:
Advanced
Duration:
45:00
Type:
Original
Instrument Tags:
Voice
Piccolo
Flute
Oboe
English Horn
Cor Anglais
Clarinet
Bass Clarinet
Bassoon
Contrabassoon
French Horn
Trumpet
Tenor Trombone
Bass Trombone
Tuba
Timpani
Mixed Percussion
Harp
Piano
Celeste
Organ
Violin
Viola
Cello
Double Bass
Voice/Choral
Winds
Brass
Percussion
Strings

Full Instrumentation

Soprano, Tenor, Baritone soli

Choir (SSAATTBB)

3 Flute (dbl pic)
3 Oboe (dbl ca)
3 Clarinet (dbl bcl)
2 Bassoon
Contrabassoon

4 Horn
3 Trumpet
2 Trombone
Bass Trombone
Tuba

Timp
5 Percussion

Harp
Piano (dbl celeste)
Organ

Strings

Resources

RESEARCHERS: EXPLORE ORPHEUS IN RAROHENGA: ORATORIO SOLO SOPRANO, TENOR, BARITONE, CHOIR, AND ORCHESTRA AT THE ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY