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To Shiver the Sky

29 Feb

The NZ premiere of Christopher Tin's oratorio 'To Shiver the Sky' performed by Hamilton City Brass and chorus at the Hamilton Arts Festival.

Following the success of The Armed Man in 2023, Hamilton City Brass returns to the Hamilton Arts Festival Toi Ora Ki Kirikiriroa 2024 and joins forces with a festival chorus to perform the New Zealand premiere of Christopher Tin’s ‘To Shiver the Sky’.

Conducted by Maria Colvin, and expertly arranged by our very own Musical Director Todd Smith, Hamilton City Brass will be joined by a vocal soloists Elaine Wogan (soprano) and Emmanuel Fonoti-Fuimaono (tenor), a Festival Chorus of 70 singers, a chamber choir, and a children’s choir.

This oratorio tells the story of flight and humanity’s quest to conquer the heavens.  Told through the words of aviation history’s pioneers – astronomers, inventors, visionaries, statesmen and pilots, it charts our relentless need to explore the universe, defy the shackles of gravity, reach for the face of God, and ultimately claim our place among the stars.

Audiences will hear from the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart’s poem ‘Courage’, and John F. Kennedy’s 1962 address at Rice University on the USA’s space efforts.  The oratorio is sung in a panoply of languages: English, Latin, Italian, German, French, Polish, Russian, and Sanskrit.

One of the more unique features of ‘To Shiver the Sky’ lies in its orchestration; to parallel the march of aviation progress across the centuries, the musical language similarly evolves through the many eras of classical music: ranging from medieval to classical, impressionism to romantic, modern to post-classical.

It is a story of courage, of failure, of disaster, death but also resilience and determination and of humanity’s quest to break the bonds of earth, challenge the heavens, and take our place among the stars.

BYO blanket or low seating

As this is a licensed event, no liquor can be brought onsite.

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29 Feb
7:30pm – 8:30pm


Rhododendron Lawn, Hamilton Gardens, Cobham Drive, Hamilton
Hungerford Crescent
Hamilton East

Ticket Info

Ticket Provider




Hamilton Arts Festival