It's an unlikely collaboration but holds a great deal of promise. Three of the country's top performers have joined forces to show how the worlds of opera, musical theatre and pop collide.
Tenor Simon O'Neill joins well-known pop diva Jackie Clarke and musical theatre baritone Tim Beverage for an evening of "great songs and each other's company".
Simon O'Neill, has appeared in opera houses all over the world. He has performed with the BBC Proms and at festivals in Edinburgh, Salzburg and Bayreuth.
He is a Fullbright Scholar, an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit, alumnus of The Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Otago. He holds a Doctor of Music from Victoria University. He is an Arts Foundation Laureate and is a Grammy-nominated recording artist with EMI, Decca and Naxos.
Jackie Clarke is known for a maverick entertainment style which includes treading the boards in musicals or as a judge on NZ Idol. She most recently took her solo cabaret show Jackie Goes Prime Diva to the Te Tairawhiti Arts Festival for a sold-out season.
She co-founded When The Cat's Been Spayed and she has toured with the likes of Dave Dobbyn and Annie Crummer.
Tim Beveridge played The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera in Sydney. His first recording, Singer, with the NZ Symphony Orchestra went gold within four weeks of release.
He created The Music is Bond, a celebration of 50 years of the music of Bond films with the Christchurch Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia orchestras.
His principal roles include the Australasian premier of Sunset Boulevard and the Australian-NZ tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables, Evita, Me and My Girl, Anything Goes and Carousel.
He has a Kerikeri connection with a 10-year collaboration with legendary arranger, the late Russ Garcia.
The show is on June 4 at the Turner Centre, Kerikeri. Visit iticket.co.nz for tickets or more information.
Kerikeri artist exhibits at Kohukohu
Christchurch-born artist Jane Malloy-Walt has spent the past 18 months shuttling between her home in Kerikeri and Christchurch. Her latest work reflects her time in lockdown and post-Covid 19 and through her constant movement between two islands. She is exhibiting at Village Arts in Kohukohu.
She has named the series "Fun in a Box", "Little Pink" and "Whammo". It was made in Kerikeri from June 2020 to February 2021. The earlier travel-related drawings of the "Motel Series" was made in 2020 and includes "Cook Strait Crossing" in Marlborough, "25 Frederick St" and "The Grange" in Wellington.
Significant to the work were her ideas of family and the inter-relationship of travelling between Northland and Christchurch.
"It defines moments in time, sitting with elderly family, listening to precious stories never heard before and passing on important conversations of my history and culture. This period of travel, both frustrating and anxious, determined the urgency to document and continue making art on the road," she said.
Of her time in her Northland studio she says it was completed in a "time of uncertainty and displacement and with the freedom and space in the studio to work undisturbed from everyday distractions".
In the exhibition she has produced large-scale abstract canvases and added 3D forms and knotted foams dredged from skips in the city. The paintings and drawings interact with each other to produce the abstract.
Molloy-Walt's exhibition is at Village Arts, Kohukohu, Tuesday to Sunday 10am–3pm until May 30.
Quiet Room for Bay of Islands Hospital
It was 20 or so years ago that the prospect of having a Quiet Room at Bay of Islands Hospital in Kawakawa was first mooted but it didn't progress very far from there.
Twelve years ago along came Sally Macauley, then a board member (she has since become chairman) of the Northland District Health Board, to manage the suggestion in collaboration with volunteer hospital chaplain Rev Christine Bray. Finally, on May 13 the room was officially opened.
Called Te Rangimarie, it was blessed by Te Ihi Tito, the NDHB kaumatua, who also performed the karakia.
"When times are troubling, you need a quiet place to go to," he said.
Bray was a vocational deacon at St Paul's Church in Paihia when she started working at the hospital as a new hospital chaplain. She first took up the mantle of having a quiet room then.
"There was nowhere where you could have privacy in the hospital, the corridors were filled with gurneys so everyone could see what was going on with you."
Slowly the concept became a reality. Macauley said initially it fell between the cracks "but I am like a bit of a dog with a bone and would not give up".
Charlotte Scott, one of the midwives at the hospital, did the patchwork wall hanging for the room. Bay of Islands Rotary members pitched in with funding, helped with the garden, bought the lounge suite and chairs, the jug and crockery and representative David Scoffham was there to see the dream become a reality.
Under the second phase of the hospital construction, Te Rangimarie is already going to be extended by adding a porch that looks out over the garden, readying the room for further quiet contemplation.
Russell residents force an open meeting
Far North Council had booked Russell town hall as a "drop-in centre" where one-on-one consultations were to take place to discuss the Draft District Plan with five district council representatives.
Russell residents had other ideas. More than 150 turned up at the advertised start time which forced the council representatives into accepting an open meeting.
For 2.5 hours council planners Greg Wilson and Tammy Wooster stoically fielded questions about the Draft District Plan, Significant Natural Areas, what constitutes a Heritage precinct, sewerage, water reticulation, roading and coastal areas.
They were quizzed why the minimum section size for redevelopment had been reduced to 300sq m in the new plan.
"It means infill housing, apartment development and Air BnBs," said one resident.
They were asked why Russell township had been designated an urban area under the new District Plan when it had Heritage recognition in the old plan.
The planners stood their ground for the most part, citing national and regional considerations, but on other occasions conceded Russell needed to be considered as a "special needs" area. They stressed this is a draft plan and further consultation would take place.
The eclectic nature of the audience was demonstrated by a German woman saying Māori be given more representation, an American quoting the appropriate laws and bylaws, an English woman querying why her property is considered a Significant Natural Area and a Kiwi questioning the zoning of Long Beach.
There was robust discussion and when the meeting threatened to become too boisterous councillor David Clendon stepped in and calmed things down.
The open meeting concluded with the council planners agreeing to go back and look at Russell zoning and to make recommendations which will be inserted into another draft plan upon which submissions can be made.
When that draft was accepted, it would go to councillors for endorsement or change.
The good oil at Kerikeri Mission Station
Soon to go on display at the Kerikeri Mission Station is an artefact that harks back to a more deregulated era of medicinal cure.
It's an empty glass bottle that once contained a concoction known as Weston's Wizard Oil which Dr James Robinson, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Northland archaeologist, diagnosed as a severe case of quackery.
Known as the Wizard Oil Prince, Frank Weston toured Australia and New Zealand from the 1860s to the 1880s pedalling his bogus health tonic on the road.
The presence of the bottle in the Kerikeri Mission Station collection is not a complete surprise given Weston's profile and his impressive market share in quack remedies at the time.
When he came to town it was an occasion. Described by one observer as "a comical card possessing a great amount of dry Yankee wit, humour and assurance", Weston was known for his ability to draw a crowd.
According to the promotional material, Weston's Wizard Oil was taken either internally or externally and was a cure-all for a whole range of ailments including spasms, headaches, coughs and colds, swellings and wounds, and "relaxed state of the bowels".
"The cost of a bottle of Mr Weston's elixir in New Zealand was advertised at half a crown which was fairly pricey for those days and the health benefits were at best questionable," said Robinson.
In 1917 the South Australian police caught up with Weston and accused him of manufacturing his Wizard Oil in part from wood-derived methylated spirits which was a breach of the Commonwealth Spirits Act 1905. Penalty for conviction was a potentially ruinous £100 to say nothing of the complete loss of his business.
Weston was later found to be not guilty at trial and the case was dismissed. He could possibly have added "legal immunity" to the long list of other benefits his Wizard Oil provided. The mercifully empty bottle can be seen at the Kerikeri Mission Station.
• Email Sandy Myhre at email@example.com if you have any news you'd like to see in Bay News.