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a chamber opera in four acts

  ·  Duration:  1h 45m

Duration:  1h 45m

Composer:   Jenny McLeod

Films, Audio & Samples

Hōhepa in Rehearsal - VIDEO

External video
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Jenny McLeod: Hohepa - VIDEO

Embedded video
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Sample Score

Sample: Vocal score: Contents and first 4 pages of each act.

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Hōhepa originates from the request by Matiu Mareikura (Ngati Rangi) to Jenny McLeod to write the story of Hōhepa Te Umuroa. In 1988 Matiu ensured Hohepa’s bones were repatriated home to Pati-arero on the Whanganui River from Maria Island, Tasmania. Jenny undertook what she describes as a “sacred trust” to honour her friend’s wishes, whānau and the memory of Hōhepa. The result is a succinct hour and forty-five minute through-written opera, epic yet very human at heart.

Since taking up the task of librettist and composer in 1996, Jenny’s research has been extensive based on recorded, personal and oral histories (she has since supplied Witi Ihimaera with this material for his subsequent book The Trowenna Sea). The NBR New Zealand Opera have been connected with Hōhepa since its inception, originally encouraging Jenny to write a chamber opera. The vision for 2012, in collaboration with the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, is to realize Hōhepa on a larger scale to do justice to the scope of a story crammed with characters, and to include specialized dance and kapa haka performers in the staging.


Performance history