Special Event

The Strangest of Angels

Composer & Conductor Kenneth Young (with Anna Leese) — Story & Libretto Georgia Jamieson Emms — Director Eleanor Bishop

Katherine Baillie Anna Leese — Janet Frame Jayne Tankersley

“Your great power lies not on the surface, but deep within your being.”
– Roger McDonald

A poignant and imaginative reflection on events during Janet Frame’s time at Seacliff Mental Hospital, The Strangest of Angels is a harrowing and hopeful experience that throws light on mental health then and now.

Co-created by Kenneth Young, Georgia Jamieson Emms and Anna Leese, The Strangest of Angels is born of an exciting and conscious collaboration between composer and performers that explores the contrast between a calm, rational psychiatric patient and a traumatised nurse torn between empathy and the relative power of institutional duty.

World premiere performances directed by Friedlander Foundation Associate Artist Eleanor Bishop and starring Anna Leese and Jayne Tankersley. Proudly presented by NZ Opera and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

This Opera is an artistic and critical work. While it features actual events and real life individuals, this is a work of fiction and content has been created for dramatic purposes

We’re keen to keep our musicians safe and the music playing in 2022, so we strongly encourage mask wearing at all concerts.

This opera is an artistic and critical work. Not all depictions or statements are based on true events.

This production of The Strangest of Angels contains scenes referring to historic mental health practices and features a character showing signs of distress. This may be disturbing to those with a lived experience of mental distress and mental illness.

Where to get help:

National Helplines - need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Lifeline - 0800 543 354 (o800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

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