This work was a ‘top secret’ commission, premiered at a well-kept surprise birthday party for Bruce (earlier a pupil of, as well as later married for some years to, the composer).
Aidan Lang head of NBR NZOpera was MC for the evening, which was generously hosted by Jack Richards and attended by some seventy of Bruce’s friends, family and professional colleagues. The piece was received with acclaim (no critics invited!)
This is third McLeod song cycle to be set to poems by Janet Frame. It is also the most difficult, the vocal part receiving little support from the fairly independent piano accompaniment. (Note: it is largely beyond the scope of amateur performers, though certain gifted adult students may be able to cope with some of the songs.)
For the occasion a limited edition of five copies only of the score was printed (presented to Medlyn, Barnes, Richards, Greenfield & McLeod) with a specially designed cover by Roger Joyce, well-known designer and partner of Margaret Medlyn.