As well as being one of the most powerful pieces of classic work in existence, CARMINA BURANA has quite an interesting backstory which is almost the antithesis of the heavily ‘religious’ connotations normally associated with the piece!


The original manuscripts that the lyrics were based on were discovered by 'Goliard's in 1803. The ‘Goliards’ were defrocked monks and minstrels who, were better known for their rioting, gambling, and intemperance than for their scholarship!


Therefore the subject matter & content itself, is anything but religious and actually consists of tales and stories of mortality and fate, natural instinct & rebellion, HEAVY drinking and for the most part, explicit, and highly sensual love! 


No wonder these monks were defrocked!

To find out more on the fascinating backstory head to FUN TRIVIA

and to be a part of our 18th Century equivalent of SEX, DRUGS & ROCK N’ ROLL on November 15th secure your tickets FOR CARMINA BURANA from Ticketek New Zealand box office or online HERE

As we continue to look at our guest soloists for Novembers CARMINA BURANA in a bit more depth lets focus on the work of Henry Choo - Tenor

One of Australia’s finest lyric coloratura tenors, Henry Choo was born abroad but raised and schooled in the cultural city of Melbourne. Originally trained as a pianist, Henry turned his attention to singing shortly after the change of his voice and achieved an Associate Diploma in Singing under the tutelage of Noel Ancell OAM. He furthered his vocal and operatic studies at the Melba Conservatorium of Music and the Australian National Academy of Music, and with French repertoire specialist and vocal educator Susan Falk.

He is an alumnus of both the Young Artist Program of Opera Queensland and the Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Development Program of Australia’s national opera company, Opera Australia, and in addition to being an accomplished artist in his own right has developed a reputation as being a competent and reliable musician with the ability to learn and perform music within extremely limited time-frames.

Henry made his career debut in the role of Ernesto in Opera Queensland’s production of 
Don Pasquale, and his principal debut with Opera Australia as the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier.

Other roles for Opera Australia have included Nemorino in 
L’elisir D’amore, Gerald in Lakmé, Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte, Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tebaldo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Acis in Acis and Galatea, Oronte in Alcina, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Hotel Porter in Death in Venice, Camille du Rossillon in The Merry Widow, The Defendant in Trial By Jury, Faninal Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, Herald in Rinaldo, as well as tenor soloist in Vaughan William’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Mozart’s Reqiuem and excerpts from Mozart’s Mitridate re di Ponto.

His roles for other companies include Cassio in 
Otello, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles for West Australian Opera, Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for State Opera South Australia, Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte for Harbour City Opera, Martin in The Tender Land for Lyric Opera of Melbourne, Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance, and Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus.

He has also premiered the roles of Aldo/Nigel Clunes in 
Bliss at the Edinburgh International Festival for Opera Australia, the role of Russell in Busking Hugs for OzOpera, and appeared as Borsa in Rigoletto at the Macau International Music Festival.

Henry’s concert and corporate profile has been impressive and varied, having performed in concert with Susan Graham (under the baton of Edo de Waart), the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Australian Youth Orchestra, The Australia Ensemble, the Australian Army Band, the Three Chinese Tenors and the Three Australian Tenors.

He has also performed at many operatic concert-style events including Opera in the Rainforest, Opera in the Arboretum, Opera in the Vineyard, and at the launch of Melbourne’s Food and Wine Festival. More recently, he performed at the opening concert of the Australian International Guitar Festival held in Adelaide where he teamed up with internationally acclaimed guitarists Oliver Fartach-Naini and Lee Song-Ou to present excerpts from Schubert’s 
Der Winterreise.

On a more traditional front, Henry has performed soloist in many oratorio and symphonic works including Mahler’s 
Symphony No. 8, Mozart’s Requiem, Händel’sMessiah, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Bach’s St John PassionSt Matthew Passion and Christmas Oratorio, and Mendelsohn’s Elijah to name but a few. He has performed recitals for various organisations including the National Gallery of Victoria, Opera Society of Victoria, The Australian Robert Stolz Society and The Lieder Society of Victoria.

2014 has already seen Henry perform the role of Cassio in 
Otello for West Australian Opera, Martin in The Tender Land for Lyric Opera of Melbourne, Sailor/Shepherd inTristan Und Isolde (concert version) for Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the premiere performance of An Australian War Requiem by Christopher Bowen OAM in commemoration of the centenary of WWI.

The remainder of 2014 sees Henry embarking on a concert performance 
tour of China, followed by performances of Haydn’s Harmony Mass with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Carmina Burana with Orchestra Wellington, and Messiah performances with Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Choral Society, and the Collegium Symphonic Chorus in Perth.

For even more information including repertoire, photos & audio check Henry’s web page HERE

To secure your tickets to CARMINA BURANA pop along to the Ticketek New Zealand Box Office or alternatively online

With CARMINA BURANA creeping up next month lets take a closer look at some of our special guests soloists leading up to the concert in the upcoming weeks.

Introducing… Emma Fraser - Soprano 

Emma Fraser completed a Bachelor and Post-Graduate Diploma in Music at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2005 was offered a two-year Emerging Performer Scholarship with the prestigious Australian Opera Studio in Perth, graduating with Honours. After relocating to London in 2008, Emma made her UK debut as “Susanna” in The Marriage of Figaro for Iford Arts in Bath. 

Emma returned to New Zealand in 2009 to complete the final year of her Bachelor of Commerce whilst performing regularly around New Zealand. In 2011 she took up a one year Young Artist Scholarship with New Zealand Opera and made her debut with the company in 2012 as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, Pamina in their Auckland School’s tour of The Magic Flute and then returned in 2013 as a principal artist as Galatea in Acis and Galatea. 

Emma now resides in Sydney and was invited by Opera Australia to join their chorus for their Opera on the Harbour production of Madama Butterfly in April 2014 and their main stage production of Verdi’s Otello in July 2014. Emma will return to New Zealand in November 2014 as guest soprano to sing in the New Zealand premier of Stölzel’s Christmas Oratorio with the Auckland Bach Musica Society and Camina Burana with the Wellington Orchestra. 


Emma’s operatic repertoire includes title roles in Manon (Massenet) and Rodelinda (Handel); Galatea, Acis and Galatea (Handel), Susanna, The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), Pamina, Die Zauberflöte (Mozart) Sandrina, La Finta Giardiniera (Mozart); Gilda, Rigoletto (Verdi); Despina, Così fan tutte (Mozart); Zerbinetta, Ariadne auf Naxos (R. Strauss); Olympia, Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Offenbach); Frasquita, Carmen (Bizet) Adele, die Fledermaus (J.Strauss), Lucy, The Telephone (Menotti), Elenora, Prima la musica (Salieri), Mabel, Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert and Sullivan), Elsie, The Yeoman of the Guard (Gilbert and Sullivan) Bastienna, Bastien and Bastienna (Mozart) and Kate Pinkerton, Madama Butterfly (Puccini).


Emma is a regular performer on the concert platform. Past performances have included soprano soloist for Handel’s Messiah (City of Dunedin Choir) and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (West Australian Ballet), soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Vector Wellington Orchestra) and Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate Motet with the Canterbury Symphony Orchestra. 

Emma has also made television appearances singing the South African National Anthem for the All Blacks vs South Africa test match in 2003, the French National Anthem for the All Blacks vs France Rugby Test Match 2009. She also has appeared on ABC LIVE radio performing a cabaret show of Sondheim songs in 2006. 

For even more info including repertoire, audio, reviews and more on Emma head to her website  www.emmafrasersoprano.com

and to secure your tickets for CARMINA BURANA November 15th head to the Ticketek New Zealand box office or online HERE

BIG BIG THANKS to the SOL3 MIO boys as it was such an amazing pleasure for Orchestra Wellington to be involved in their concerts in Wellington over the last few evenings.

We can’t wait to see the DVD release so we’ll keep you posted!

Orchestra Wellington is proud to present the final concert of our 2014 Subscription Season and also the LAUNCH of our 2015 series!

Saturday November 15
Michael Fowler Centre

The last of Haydn’s Paris Symphonies opens with great brio and continues with perfect Classical form. Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana is a 20th-century cantata that brings them to life 11th-century Latin texts unearthed in a Bavarian monastery.

Featuring: Emma Fraser - Soprano , Henry Choo - Tenor, tenor James Clayton - baritone, The Orpheus Choir of Wellington and the Wellington Young Voices Choir.

Haydn - Symphony No.87, A major

Orff - Carmina Burana

The final gala subscription concert concludes Orchestra Wellington’s traversal of the Haydn Paris Symphonies.

We conclude our season with one of the grandest choral masterpieces ever written – Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, featuring rising young soloists on the international scene.

Orchestra Wellington has a longstanding relationship with The Orpheus Choir. I have been privileged to conduct them in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Missa Solemnis and the New Zealand premiere of John Adams’ masterpiece, On the Transmigration of Souls amongst many other works. Carmina Burana is, as they say in some places, a home run. Audiences flock to this fantastic work whenever the considerable forces required are assembled. - Marc Taddei 

Tickets available from the Ticketek New Zealand box office or online HERE
Otherwise follow the links directly on the Orchestra Wellington Website

Absolutely Positively Wellington
Creative New Zealand
Michael Fowler Centre


With Dads Day coming up this Sunday the 7th of September, we’re giving you the chance to go into a DAILY DRAW to win a DOUBLE PASS to the Orchestra Wellington concert!

What a perfect treat for Dad (or even keep it for yourself & a friend!)

Simply answer this question:


(CLUE…he’s a composer featured in this Sunday’s concert!)

Simply email your answer to admin@orchestrawellington.co.nz and you’ll go into the draw. A winner will be drawn everyday and notified by 6PM DAILY until the day of the concert.


Good Luck and we look forward to seeing you Sunday!

*Offer available from TICKETEK online or box office. Usual terms, conditions & booking fees apply

Meet Kieran Rayner, our guest for the upcoming 


"His voice, projection, singing and stage presence were a revelation … He is a young talent to watch." - Garth Wilshere, Capital Times
Kieran Rayner is one of New Zealand’s up and coming classical baritones. He recently graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma of Music (Classical Performance Voice) from the NZ School of Music, studying under Emily Mair and Margaret Medlyn. His performing career so far has encompassed an eclectic range of styles, including Music Hall, Shakespeare scenes, and period dance.

His solo operatic work includes roles in Alcina (Handel) and The Journey to Rheims (Rossini) with Opera in a Day’s Bay Garden, The Seven Deadly Sins (Weill), Cavalleria Rusticana (Mascagni), and the NZSM’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten, 2011), Semele (Handel, 2009) and Polly (Gay, 2007). 
Recent oratorio performances include Missa Solemnis (Beethoven, Vector Wellington Orchestra/Orpheus Choir), The Messiah (Handel, Opus Orchestra/Hamilton Civic Choir), St Matthew Passion (Bach, Vector Wellington Orchestra/Orpheus Choir), Seven Last words of Christ (Dubois and Schütz settings), Requiem (Faure), Mass in D Major (Dvorak), Mass (Saint-Saens), and a solo TV appearance in Wellington Cathedral’s Nine Lessons and Carols 2010. 

Awards he has received include:
Adastra Foundation Scholarship 2012
Sir Alan Stewart Postgraduate Scholarship 2011
Moyra Todd Memorial Scholarship, 2010
Victoria University Student Trust Scholarship, 2009
Marie D’Albini Scholarship (University of Auckland), 2009
Les & Sonia Andrews Cultural Foundation Scholarship (NSZM), 2008 

Last year he won 1st place for Modern Chanson in the Alliance Française Song Competition, and has been runner up for the Dame Malvina Major Wellington Aria (2009 and 2011), and a finalist in the Napier Computer Systems Aria (2012).

He has been a core member of the Chapman Tripp NZ Opera Chorus since 2008, appearing in La Bohème, Jenufa, L’Italiana in Algeri, Eugene Onegin, Le Nozze di Figaro, Macbeth, and Xerxes, and this year will be singing in Rigoletto and The Bartered Bride.
To secure your tickets to see Kieran alongside Orchestra Wellington go to 

This is Leila Adu.

Leila rocks.

Leila is in Ghana researching international trends in electronic music and hip-hop.

Leila is our 2014 Emerging Composer-in-Residence.

Orchestra Wellington will debut a piece currently being written by Leila as part of our 2015 Concert Series.

We are very excited.

That is all.

Orchestra Wellington presents “Songs of a Wayfarer”

Sunday September 7 The Opera House 4pm

Orchestra Wellington conducted by Marc Taddei

Featuring: Kieran Rayner, baritone

Haydn: Symphony No.85, Bb major “The Queen”

Schnittke: Moz-Art à la Haydn

Mahler arr Schoenberg: Songs of a Wayfarer

Haydn: Symphony No 86, D major

Free pre-concert talk with Music Director, Marc Taddei, and guest(s) at 3pm

Kieran Rayner is a versatile young baritone who has impressed Wellington audiences in roles ranging from Handel’s Alcina to Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins. His appearances with Orchestra Wellington embrace the same diversity: Bernstein’s Candide and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Now Kieran takes a solo spot singing Mahler’s bittersweet tribute to the young and lovelorn, “Songs of a Wayfarer”. This song cycle is one of Mahler’s most popular works, setting the energy of a young and volatile heart against music that paints the beauty of nature.

Haydn’s Paris symphonies are a feature of Orchestra Wellington’s 2014 season, and this concert features two of them: Symphony No 86, and number 85, called “La Reine” because Marie Antoinette herself expressed her pleasure in it. Haydn’s personal style had free rein in these works, written for a wealthy and cultured Paris audience who could appreciate his genius. For the final symphony in this series, Haydn created a richly-scored work to showcase the large and skilful Paris orchestra that commissioned him. 

In 1783, Mozart wrote music for a pantomime based on commedia dell’arte figures, for friends and family to perform. Most of the music has vanished, but Russian composer Alfred Schnittke fashioned a witty tribute out of what remains.

and to secure your tickets for this concert head online to TICKETEK or visit the box office.

Absolutely Positively Wellington
Ticketek New Zealand



With just over 1 week to go until our next concert 'SONG OF THE NIGHTINGALE' next Saturday, here are a few words from our head conductor & music director Marc Taddei on the ideas behind the shows ‘Bird’ theme!

"Sometimes as programmers we get a little ‘cute’ with concepts and I could not resist the idea of a ‘bird’ concert! Of course, themes like this work only if the music is first rate! I love the connection between the master of the 20th Century and his teacher. One can clearly hear the exoticism that Stravinsky absorbed from Rimsky-Korsakov. These are two orchestral tours de force. The Ravel G major concerto is a genius work of modernism that is clearly inspired by Jazz while the Haydn symphony expertly balances the grave G-minor tonality with a light-hearted quality that soon wins out” 

For a full rundown of the concert head HERE

Tickets are still available online from TICKETEK NEW ZEALAND

and also from the Ticketek Box Office so don’t forget to utilise our special offer, by presenting your PITA & THE WOLF’ stub (or proof of purchase as your details will be on file) you will get 50% OFF full-priced Adult and Gold Card Concession tickets!

Absolutely Positively Wellington