WWI wasn’t primarily a musical

The Unusual Silence is Voices NZ’s first collaboration with NZ Opera’s General Director Stuart Maunder, who is taking time out in between the Auckland and Wellington seasons of NZ Opera’s production of Kátya Kabanová.

It has been an exciting and enlightening journey for all. Maunder writes, “American satirist Tom Lehrer has said ’World War 1 produced many great songs, although it wasn’t primarily a musical’. It’s easy for us now to question the futility of war, and especially as we approach the centenary of the end of the Great War. But people ‘lived’ it; the horror, the loss, the uncertainty. Just how did these people get through the day?”

“This collaboration ‘smudges’ together some of the great popular songs of the time and personal reminiscences and great choral writing. It’s full of truth, regret, joy and a bit of wonder. And there is always the lingering worry ‘there is still the future to be fought’. We are still fighting. I have always loved mixing it up; opera, musicals, popular song. This project gave me my chance to mix it up with choral music… always time for a first?”



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