Arvo Part Experience

Performers: 13Arvo new cast
Repertoire: Fratres, Summa, Tabula Rasa,  Spiegel im Spiegel
Requirements: Grand piano. Candle-friendly venue.

The Arvo Part experience is a beautiful mixture of his finest and most famous instrumental works for strings and piano. Beginning the show as audience arrives with solo cello and piano ‘Speigel im Speigel’ welcomes the audience and sets the mood. Next, the full ensemble perform ‘Summa’, followed by Fratres for solo Viola and Piano. Finally the two movements of the Tabula Rasa, Ludus and Silentium. Intense dramaticism and wild string crossing of the violin solos in ‘Ludus’ followed by the achingly beautiful and meditively slow ‘Silentium’ is a 26 minute musical experience that the audience will never forget. Performed entirely in candlelight and in a small concert space, the audience are truly able to connect to the performance and be moved by the spiritual music of Arvo Part.

Duino Elegies

Performers: 24duino
Repertoire: Nick Cave, Bjork, Radiohead, Philip Glass, Bill Frisell, Thomas newman, Gareth Farr +more
The Duino Elegies is a seamless theatrical musical concert experience. Fusing together genres and styles with words from Rilke’s Duino Elegies, the show incorporates a full emotional spectrum. The themes for each musical work from artists as diverse as Bjork, Nick Cave, Radiohead and Philip Glass, are taken from the elegies themes concerned with "the identity of terror and bliss" and "the oneness of life and death. "Highlights include:Nick Cave’s ‘Do you love me’ complete with brass section and mad percussion setup. A vocal duet from Bjork’s ‘Dancer in the dark’ with a beat made entirely from live typewriter. Also Radiohead’s pyramid song delightfully re-interpreted with great artistic license by the ensemble to include moments of orchestration mixed with live electronic processing. 

By the Sea

Performers: 24Blackbird at the Vic
Repertoire: Nick Cave, Nina Simone, PJ Harvey, Portishead, Bill Frisell, Claire Cowan, Philip Glass, Lykke Li +more

A 24 piece band including brass, wind, string octet, banjo, electronics and marimba, create a celebratory and awe-inspiring mix of orchestrations in their new ocean themed concert ‘By the Sea.’  The band is fronted by a quartet of singers who unite in four part harmonizations of new and old songs re-imagined. Sailors, dock works and sea captains wander the stage as gulls circle around our ears with the simple stroke of cello harmonics, the scene is set. Prepare to be immersed in a salt-sprayed, spine-tingling, sea-themed sonic experience.

Watch a short video about the show here.

The Ballet Banquet

ballet blackbird Performers: 13
Repertoire: Ballet music from Giselle, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, La Sylphide

In collaboration with Antipodes water Co, and Nautilus Estate, sponsors of the NZ Ballet, we created a very special collection of compositions based on famous ballets, to which Auckland’s top Chef’s also created a collection of degustation courses. In the mighty Civic Theatre beneath the stage where Swan Lake was being performed, the very special 50 ticketholders were treated to a rare feast of cullinary and aural delights where no detail  was spared. This show is going to be developed into a full length dance show at Q theatre later in 2016. Watch this space. Watch the video here.


Blackbird Carnivale

Performers: 5-6. Requirements: 4mx4m platform.

Our smallest and most portable show was created for Heart of the City Auckland as part of the 12 Days of Christmas project. Featuring a quintet of strings and voice, this show features covers by Artists such as Joanna Newsom, James Blake, and Sufjan Stevens. The 60 minute show is perfect for a smaller sized space, and features three vocalists and string quartet. Also available with a drum kit for an even groovier ‘band’ feel.

The Night Sky

blackbirdnightskyQPerformers: 24
Repertoire: John Williams, Module, Jess Chambers, Bowie, Gustav Holst, Portishead, Bjork, Beastie Boys + More.

With aerial performance by The Dust Palace, The Night Sky Show is our most spectacular live show to date. A glowing orchestra in a black-hole theatre. Star Projections by Joseph Michael.

Come along and be transported to another galaxy!

Watch our explosive finale from our premiere galatos show. Bjork’s Pluto!

The Wilderness

Performers: 22. Requirements: Harpsichord, venue that allows haze/dirt on floors.
Repertoire: Max Richter Four Seasons Recomposed, Bjork, Newsom & Bat for Lashes

Musical director and arranger Claire Cowan, award-winning violinist Amalia Hall, and vocalist Jessie Cassin collaborate with Celia Harrison and Ella Mizrahi from Celery Productions (Art In the Dark) to create the world in which The Wilderness takes place. This unprecedented musical event is brought to life by an exuberant team of instrumentalists, featuring an 18 piece string orchestra, harp, harpsichord, vocalist, banjo, tabla and electric guitar.
The Wilderness takes inspiration from Max Richter’s Four Seasons Recomposed – a major new work that features in the programme. Richter has remixed, re-scored and modernised Antonio Vivaldi’s Baroque masterpiece into an electrifying and pulsating display of violin virtuosity. Other works on the bill include a poetic masterpiece by songwriter/harpist Joanna Newsom, an acoustic version of Bjork’s Hyperballad, and a Blackbird variation on a theme from indie-rocker/violinist Andrew Bird.

Watch highlights here:

On at Q Theatre July 10-13



Performers: 9. Dir. Renee Lyonsdreamsposterfinished
Repertoire: Radio Head, Nina Simone, Loudon Wainright, Piazolla, Iron and Wine, Stravinsky, Cowan, Gillian Welch, Fleetfoxes and more.

Starring 9 versatile multi-instrumentalists, this miniature orchestra presents an eclectic mix of music by artists such as Stravinsky, Piazolla, The Smiths, Calexico, Fleetfoxes and Radiohead. Blackbird Ensemble’s set list adopts its usual disregard for genre, binding its concert together with thematic links; this time, music inspired by dreamstates, nightmares, lullabies and the rituals of the bedroom. A golden ladder ascends from a ceiling trapdoor. Sleeping musicians are scattered throughout the stage, and a fluffy glowing clouds litter the rafters.

Grab your hot toddy and put on your PJs.

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