7 May 2022

Eleanor Bishop: new opera draws inspiration from Janet Frame

From Saturday Morning, 9:40 am on 7 May 2022
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Photo: Andi Crown

Writer Janet Frame’s time at Seacliff Mental Hospital in the 1940s and 50s has provided inspiration for a new operatic work premiering in Christchurch this month. A fictionalised work, The Strangest of Angels explores the contrast between a calm, rational psychiatric patient and a traumatised nurse torn between empathy and the relative power of institutional duty.

For Eleanor Bishop, the show is her first foray into taking the reins as an opera director, having been the assistant director on The Marriage of Figaro last year. However, Bishop is no stranger to the stage, with multiple theatre productions tucked under her belt - including a show about consent called Yes Yes Yes, which she and Karin McCracken are touring around schools throughout June.

NZ Opera production The Strangest of Angels premieres at The Piano in Christchurch on 27-28 May. It will be heading to Dunedin in October. Tickets and more info here.