This year’s charity concert of the Crown Law-based “Counsel in Concert” combines well-known choral works with what is believed to be the New Zealand premiere of Kurt Weill’s Ballad of Magna Carta. The concert forms part of the worldwide celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta.*
Counsel in Concert members: L-R : Tim Workman, Gillian Gillies, Jo Mildenhall, Aedeen Boadita-Cormican, Edrick Child (seated), Clare Tattersall, Merran Cooke.
The concert will feature works associated with freedom and personal liberty, including Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from his 9th Symphony.
About the Ballad of Magna Carta
The centrepiece of the concert is Kurt Weill’s Ballad of Magna Carta – a 15 minute cantata for orchestra, choir and soloists dramatically telling the story of the sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215. The work features the grumpy, gouty king reluctantly forced into signing the Magna Carta by his rebellious barons. Roger Wilson will sing the role of King John and John Beaglehole is the narrator. The piece was written for a special CBS radio broadcast in 1940 following emerging American interest in the Magna Carta, which was safeguarded at the Library of Congress during WW2. This was the first time the original document had left British shores. Kurt Weill wrote this as one of his earliest American works, having fled from Germany and Europe before the war. It preceded Weill’s run of American musicals and operas that made him one of Broadway’s most successful composers in the 1940s.
About Counsel in Concert
Counsel in Concert has been running since 2009. The choir and orchestra are comprised of lawyers from throughout the Wellington region and law staff from Crown Law, augmented by members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington.
Where and when
Date and time: Tuesday 15 December at 12.15pm and 5.30pm
Place: St Andrew’s on the Terrace, Wellington
Entry: Donation – all proceeds to the Child Cancer Foundation
What to do if you’d like to attend but can’t
If you’d like to support Counsel in Concert, and their cause the Child Cancer Foundation, and can not attend the performance you can make your donation through their Givealittle fundraising page. Thank you!
The organisers of the concert are very grateful to the sponsors: Simpson Grierson, Thomson Reuters, Greg Kelly Law, DLA Piper, Tripe Matthews & Feist, Lambton Chambers Barristers, Rachael Dewar Law, New Zealand Law Society, Duncan Cotterill, Lambton Goods, Fyfe & Doherty and WCM Legal. Their generosity means that all proceeds from the concerts will be donated to the Child Cancer Foundation.
*More about the Magna Carta
The Magna Carta of 1215 is widely regarded as the foundation stone of democracy and the rule of law. The unpopular King John was forced by his rebellious barons into agreeing to their terms at Runnymede on the Thames. For the first time in English law the King promised the barons protection from arbitrary imprisonment, access to swift justice and limits on taxation. Throughout the ages the Magna Carta has come to stand for individual liberty and freedom and the restraint of royal power. One of the Magna Carta’s most famous clauses, from the 1297 version, is still part of New Zealand statute law today, giving freemen the right to justice and a fair trial.
See other events marking the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta
This concert is one event in a year long series coordinated by the New Zealand Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Committee.
What the committee sought to achieve
“The Magna Carta 800 Committee for New Zealand seeks to spark a rich debate about the rule and role of law in New Zealand, and how we might advance rights and support progress in society. We hope not just to reflect on the past, but to promote a debate about how we want NZ law – and society – to develop in the decades to come. The formal anniversary is 15 June 2015, but events can be held anytime during the year. We will promote any events related to Magna Carta in New Zealand this year, lead a lecture series, and seek to preserve records of this year to provide a foundation for future debate” – Dr Jennifer Lees-Marshment (Chair) and Dr Stephen Winter (Deputy Chair), Magna Carta 800 Committee for New Zealand
To view more please click the link: events in New Zealand.
NB. Transcripts and videos of the year’s events are available on the site.