Rangi Ruru Girls’ School is well represented in the upcoming Christchurch Arts Festival NZ Opera production of Noye’s Fludde (Noah’s Flood).
Seven students (four singing and three orchestra roles) will perform this Saturday in the production which sets to music a 15th Century play telling the story of Noah being told by God to build an ark and fill it with animals.
The students are Grace McKenzie (Year 9, chorus), Isabella Gregory (Year 9, chorus), Lily Li (Year 9, recorder), Pauline Ward (Year 11, chorus and named role), Sarah Pride (Year 10, recorder), India Borelli (Year 9, recorder) and Anna Bruce (Year 9, chorus).
Sarah Pride says she became involved when Rangi’s Director of Music, Janet Kingsbury told Rangi music students there was an opportunity to play in the orchestra for the production. Sarah decided to audition for the orchestra and was successful in gaining a place.
“My role in the production is a Treble Recorder player in the orchestra. The sectionals (recorder rehearsals specifically) have been great. The recorders are a small but strong section!
The first full orchestral rehearsal is on Friday and Sarah says she can’t wait.
“I'm most looking forward to the experience of performing. I have played in lots of concerts and performances, but this will be my first experience of performing in a professional stage production, so I'm very excited!
Music runs in the Pride family but Sarah says there is one member of the family who doesn’t quite cut the mustard musically.
“My twin sister plays the violin, and my mum used to play the piano and violin, but my dad doesn't have a musical bone in his body!”
Janet Kingsbury says Sarah’s rehearsal schedule is not too onerous, but it does fall into an exceptionally busy period for her.
“With school examinations, her Grade 6 piano examination, the Strum Strike and Blow Festival and Secondary Schools’ Orchestral Festival all in the same week it’s pretty intense. Sarah has a schedule telling her exactly where she needs to be at any particular time during the week, and she tells me that when she doesn’t have anything on, she’ll be studying or practising for the next thing that's coming up. Like all the girls, Sarah’s focus and dedication makes us very proud of her achievements,” says Janet.
Noye's Fludde (Noah's Flood)
Saturday 21 September 2013, 5:00pm
To celebrate Benjamin Britten's centenary New Zealand Opera is performing his wonderful opera, Noye’s Fludde (Noah’s Flood) with children from all around Christchurch.
This one-act opera features soloists, a children’s chorus, orchestra, and you – singing along with us in three hymn-like settings.
Noye’s Fludde (Noah's Flood) was written in 1957 by the great English composer Benjamin Britten, and is his most extended and elaborate work for children. It deliberately brings together professional and amateur performers: Noah and his wife are to be experienced adult singers, while the rest of the solo parts are sung by children, and the orchestral music is carefully penned for a variety of performing levels. The audience also gets to participate, in three hymns.
Noye’s Fludde sets to music a 15th century mystery play from the town of Chester. Noah enters to the singing of the ‘congregation’ and hears the voice of God telling him to build a ship. He agrees and asks his family to help. His sons and their wives enter with tools and materials and set to work, but Mrs Noah and her gossiping friends mock the project. Meanwhile, the ark takes shape.
God tells Noah to fill the ark with animals, and they enter in groups from everywhere, singing or squeaking ‘Kyrie eleison!’ (Lord, have mercy). Noah orders his family aboard, but Mrs Noah and her gossips refuse, preferring to drink. Her sons pick her up and amid her loud protests carry her onto the ark. Rain begins and builds to a great storm. At the storm’s height, the congregation sings the Victorian naval hymn ‘Eternal Father, strong to save’.
When all is calm again, Noah sends out a raven. That it doesn’t return must mean that it has found dry land and so he sends off a dove, which flies back with an olive branch. Everyone sings ‘Alleluia’ and disembarks. God promises never to send another flood and sends a rainbow as a sign. The cast files out singing ’The spacious firmament on high’ (to Tallis' famous Canon) and Noah is left to receive God's blessing.