10 Dec 2017
A young New Zealand Chinese man searches for his roots with the help of a magical cicada and a Māori ferryman in a story that explores the themes of migration, home and a sense of belonging.
Developed from a play by Renee Liang into a stunning opera, The Bone Feeder received funding through the Asia/New Zealand Co-Commissioning Fund to be developed and presented with New Zealand Opera.
A multicultural story unique to New Zealand, the story moves between two words – contemporary New Zealand and the afterlife – and is heavily influenced by the experience of early Chinese settlers and their interactions with Māori and Pākehā.
“The opera takes [composer] Gareth Farr’s unique combination of Western, Māori and Chinese instruments to create a sweeping, beautiful and playful piece of music sung in English, Māori and Cantonese.”
– Auckland Arts Festival
“I have spent the 20 something years of my career to date dreaming of writing an opera and striving for new and interesting ways to combine the music of different cultures. When both dreams materialised in a commission from the Auckland Arts Festival as The Bone Feeder, I was beyond thrilled,” said composer Gareth Farr.
The Bone Feeder was presented in association with New Zealand Opera at the Auckland Arts Festival in March 2017.
Composed by Gareth Farr
Libretto by Renee Liang
Conducted by Peter Scholes
Directed by Sara Brodie
Commissioned by the Auckland Arts Festival
Artform – Music
Location – Auckland
Funding – Asia/New Zealand Co-Commissioning Fund $119,060
This is one of 10 stories from our Annual Report 2016/17 about the diverse range of arts projects and organisations that Creative New Zealand funded.
For a quick visual overview of how much revenue was received and how it was invested see Our Year in Review: Creative New Zealand
For detailed information see Arts Council of New Zealand (Creative New Zealand) Annual Report 2016/17 (PDF 1.7MB)