They’re young, vivacious and vocal virtuosos. Meet Amelia Ryman, Kimberley Wood, Matthew Harris and Harry Meehan, the faces of Oriana. This premier ensemble is rocking retrospective songs like nobody else – think sixteenth/seventeenth century retrospective!
The name Oriana is a nod to Queen Elizabeth I. “Oriana was a kind of nickname for her; it was slipped into many poems and compositions at the time,” explains Dublin born Harry. “And we do that, too,” adds Amelia, brainchild and founder of Oriana, “At the end of each performance, we sing ‘Long Live Fair Oriana!’”
Their debut concert was Christmas 2017 at Avebury House, while 2018 has seen Oriana sing the Easter Vigil at St Michael and All Angels, and a lunchtime concert at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral on 18 April. Coming up are 2pm concerts at Knox Church, 10 June, and The Piano, 19 August.
Kimberley says that Oriana’s choral pieces and madrigals are filling a gap in the market; Harry nods in agreement. “Auckland and Wellington have these groups but Christchurch, post-quakes, had nothing; now we can provide that high standard, quality music.”
Amelia says the friendship they have outside of performing is important. “Our connection with each other makes for a good connection with our audiences.”
Oriana also does private functions. “Corporate events, engagements, weddings, birthdays, whatever’s wanted, we’ll do it,” Matthew says. “And we happily do modern, and can go unscripted,” he adds, with a not quite cherubic smile.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or find Oriana on Facebook.
If you are a self-confessed music nut that loves great coffee, quality eats and reckons the only way to listen to an album is with a record on a turntable, then you owe it to yourself to visit Vinyl Café.
Located at 24B Essex Street, Phillipstown, Vinyl Café is the front of house café extension of The Coffee Workshop, famous for its comprehensive range of blends and the fact customers can have their coffee roasted while they wait.
Vinyl Café, as the name suggests, is a Mecca for music lovers. Upon arrival you notice Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan’s faces on the outside wall above the entrance way. Inside, a feature wall made entirely of album covers, from Kenny Rogers to Huey Lewis and the News, immediately grabs your attention. Vintage furniture and stereo, complete with functioning record player, completes the ensemble nicely.
Along with quality coffee, tea and other hot and cold drinks, a great selection of savoury and sweet items are made fresh each day to bring ‘satisfaction’ to your culinary cravings. Most popular by far would be Vinyl Café’s toasted sandwiches, offering a wide range of flavours to suit every taste.
March is a musical month at Lansdown, with its festival tradition of presenting opera as entertainment and enjoyment. Short-winded and mesmerising, this is ‘narropera’ – narrated opera presented in word and song for 85 minutes.
Enjoy Mozart’s magical Don Giovanni, on 11 and 17 March; revel in Weber’s wonderful romantic opera Der Freischütz (The Devil’s Marksman), on 25 and 31 March.
Narropera’s success lies in beauty and brevity, clarity and passion. Its surroundings are altogether impressive: ‘Lansdown’ is one of the oldest and most cherished properties in Canterbury, situated between Halswell and Tai Tapu, just 11 kilometres from Cathedral Square.
A fairytale atmosphere of exotic Victorian trees, majestic architecture and a performing room of great elegance and size awaits the visitor. Enter another world and enjoy listening to the beautiful German soprano voice of Dorothee Jansen, to the fine musicianship of the Narropera Trio and to the dramatic narratives of Haydn Rawstron.
Leave Lansdown with a much deeper knowledge of these two operatic masterpieces. And, as a curtain-raiser to the narropera season of performances, the fifth Lansdown Summer festival presents a glorious evening of Schubert songs – The Fashion Journal Songs – also with narratives, this Saturday evening, 3 March. All performances are from 8pm to 9.30pm. Tickets from $42.
You’ll find the venue at The Golden Room, Lansdown House, 132 Old Tai Tapu Road, parking in substantial grounds. Details (bookings, artists’ biographies, location map) at www.lansdownsummer.com or c/o The Box Office, Court Theatre 03-963 0870. Bring a picnic to enjoy before the performance, gates open at 6.30pm.