Story: Opera and musical theatre

Māori-influenced opera

Māori-influenced opera

Composer Alfred Hill, like other Pākehā writers, artists and musicians of the late 19th century, often looked to Māori legends for inspiration; but the results could be a peculiar cultural mix. Hill's opera Tapu, composed in 1902 and performed first by the Pollard Opera Company in Wellington in 1903, was nevertheless a great success. Pictured is Nellie Wilson, who played the role of Makutu Pohoi, wearing an odd interpretation of Māori traditional dress.

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Hocken Library, University of Otago
Reference: S14-290g

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Nga Taonga Korero (Arthur Hill talks about 'Hinemoa' / Reference number ID 33716)

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How to cite this page:

Lindis Taylor, 'Opera and musical theatre - Composers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 January 2022)

Story by Lindis Taylor, published 22 Oct 2014