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What Have You Done to Your Rivers?

for soprano, baritone and orchestra

  ·  Duration:  12m

Duration:  12m

Rosa Elliott

Composer:   Rosa Elliott

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Rosa Elliott: What Have You...

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‘What Have You Done to Your Rivers?’ sets the poetry of Cantabrian writers Blanche Baughan and Ursula Bethell, to highlight the, “pollution of the New Zealand landscape, in particular the rivers of Canterbury, and dwell on the grievous consequences of this neglect.”

The first song, ‘What is the River?,’ uses excerpts from Blanche Baughan’s ‘A Bush Section’ in which she marvels at the ‘running river’ and calls others to listen closely to its stirring. The second is taken from Ursula Bethell’s By the River Ashley, basking in the music of the Waimakariri as the “ripples and silence sing together.” The work ends with Bethell’s sobering turn as the once sweet voice of nature begins to lament and probe its listeners: “what have you done to your rivers?”