Home > Recent Projects > Peter and the Wolf

Peter and the Wolf

Michael was the narrator for the New Zeland Symphony Orchestra's
production of Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf at Auckland Town Hall
on 14 March 2009 as part of the Auckland Festival.


REVIEW from Metro Daily, Issue 08, March 16

When Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf debuted at a children's theatre in Moscow 73 years ago, the composer himself described the event as rather limp: "[The attendance] was poor and failed to attract much attention."  Not so at yesterday's triumphant performance of the musical tale, which has become a classic since that inauspicious start.

A long queue at the box office before the show and hardly a spare seat in the Town Hall proved Prokofiev's piece is a firm favourite and succeeds in its aim to introduce children to orchestral music.

The NZSO expertly brought the characters to life with well-modulated performances, from the sparkling strings depicting Peter's confidence to the horns signalling the wolf's approach layered over sawing cellos and double basses, all crescendoing to a terror-filled Hitchcockian clash when the wolf gobbled the oboe duck.  "Scary!" muttered the seven-year-old next to me.

Michael Hurst relished his role as narrator, so much so it felt as though he was consciously restraining himself from prowling about the stage acting out each part.  Instead, he grinned widely as our hero Peter, flashed a wolfish snarl, and hid his teeth with his lips to beomc a gummy, grumpy grandfather.

While their playing was beautiful, it would have been nice to see the orchestra loosen their stony-faced concentration and perform with some of Hurst's sense of fun.  Regardless, it was truly delightful.



Michael on Upbeat, Radio NZ Concert, 12 March 2009

Michael talks first about directing a group of young actors in Life is a Dream for Silo Theatre's Ensemble Project, then about preparing to do the narration of Peter and the Wolf with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.  This is followed by a reading of Peter and the Wolf by Patrick Stewart.


Home  Recent Projects Future Projects