New Zealand’s premier symphonic choir
NZ’s premier symphonic choir
Thrilling audiences for seven decades
Tena Koe Welcome!
We’re often referred to as “the mighty Orpheus” because we bring the big choir experience — dramatic, spectacular and emotionally charged performances of stunning choral music — to a wide variety of events. These include not just our own sell-out subscription series concerts but also festivals and pop concerts — think NZ’s biggest backing group. Our concerts are often recorded by Radio New Zealand.
Formed in 1947, our varied and sometimes surprising repertoire includes everything from the most loved works like Messiah and all the great Requiem Masses to forgotten or less known masterpieces such as Vaughan Williams spectacular Sea Symphony and James MacMillan’s emotionally devastating Seven Last Words from the Cross to Māori Waiata and Dave Dobbyn.
We are custodians of some of the greatest music ever written and we love to make it come alive for contemporary audiences of all ages and stages.
2020 in review
What a year! After all the postponements and cancellations, we were delighted to stage three live performances. The first, in October, was with Orchestra Wellington as part of its 2020 Great Romantic Series featuring Rachmaninoff’s The Bells and Fauré’s Requiem. We then went on two self-presented sell-out Gloria concerts featuring two glorias (Vivaldi and Poulenc) and a bonus second half of seasonal music to give us something new to get our vocal chords into.
We’d been rehearsing most of this repertoire since February, so it was incredible to be able to finally perform them. While it’s been frustrating, looking at what others are still coping with around the world, we have been deeply grateful for the relative freedom we’ve had in our little corner of the world Aotearoa.
Like so many others, through the lockdown, we were determined to find ways of continuing to do what we love. Thanks to the tech-savvyness and innovative thinking of our Music Director Brent Stewart, we barely missed a beat. Rehearsals moved online and choir members logged in from their living rooms or bedrooms. Physical warm-ups were attempted in unusualplaces and members of the choir displayed skill and flair as Brent found ways to showcase their talents. Importantly these virtual rehearsals kept the spirit of community alive within the choir and gave us an opportunity to sing.
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou
Season’s greetings for a very happy Christmas and a transformed New Year
What the critics say
Peter Mechen, Middle C
John Button, Dominion Post/Stuff
Orpheus Choir Wellington
In action at the Michael Fowler Centre
Sounds like you?
If you would like to join the choir we encourage you to register
your interest in auditioning.