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"Many will have vivid memories of Miss Brill, The Daughter of the Late Colonel and The Woman at the Store, the three operas based on Katherine Mansfield short stories which were composed by Dorothy Buchanan to words by Jeremy Commons and presented in Wellington some years ago, two of them by Sirius Opera and all three, under the title The Mansfield Stories by Musicwomen Aotearoa, the Third Composing Women's Festival.
Once encountered, Katherine Mansfield proves a stimulating and continuing source of inspiration, so it is not surprising to learn that Dorothy and Jeremy have written a new work, this time it is a song-cycle or musical monologue. Called The Man who sold Goldfinches, it imagines Katherine Mansfield in her last days at Fontainebleau, looking back and remembering her youth in New Zealand. We hear speaking of how New Zealand provided the inspiration and the raw material for so much of her work, and listen as she reminisces about the family environment she grew up in, the southerly busters that lashed Wellington and a wagon trip she once made in the Ureweras. The title refers to a man who kept a small pet-shop in Tinakori Road, and who is mentioned in both the Notebooks and The Garden Party."
from New Zealand Opera News
Text by Jeremy Commons
29 Mar 2009: Song Recital