Story: Popular music

Grand Costume Concert, 1889

Grand Costume Concert, 1889

Light operatic shows were popular in New Zealand in the second half of the 19th century. By then, towns were well enough established to have an opera house or theatre. In 1889 the St John's Ambulance Association had a fundraising concert at the Theatre Royal in Christchurch. Singers performed songs from a range of well-known light operas, including Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. Concertgoers were also treated to an exhibition of Highland dancing by members of the Scottish Rifles. 

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-A-OPERA-1889-01-front

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Chris Bourke, 'Popular music - Shows, musical groups and songwriting, 1860s–1910s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 October 2021)

Story by Chris Bourke, published 22 Oct 2014