I am lucky to have a wife who is interested in the arts as well as the sciences. Gaby has encouraged me to stretch my comfort zone and become a more rounded person – that there is more to life than rocks and computers.

Although Christchurch is not a huge metropolis known for the arts (the capital city of Wellington has traditionally been known as a center of arts and culture in New Zealand) we are not a city devoid of culture.

On 9 June we watched a performance of Maui – One Man Against the Gods at the Isaac Theatre Royal. Maui is a character from the Maori Creation Myths who, according to Maori Legend cast a magic hook into the sea and hauled up Te Ika a Maui (the Fish of Maui), the North Island of New Zealand (among other things).

The Christchurch City Choir performed Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil: Vespers in the Christchurch Cathedral 13 August. We braved bouts of hail and blustery winds during our walk to the cathedral. The stormy weather created an interesting backdrop for the Vespers. The choir performed to a packed audience and the acoustics of the cathedral matched well with the powerful voices.

On 9 September the Christchurch Symphony along with the Christchurch City Choir and Tower Voices New Zealand performed Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis in D Major Opus 123 at the Christchurch Town Hall. Missa Solemnis is not often performed in New Zealand because it is a difficult piece. The conductor related to the audience many musicians described this piece as the most difficult music they have performed. I informed Gaby this concert was my introduction to live classical music. What struck me most was hearing the human voice as an instrument along with the rest of the orchestra – amazing.

We look forward to attending some great upcoming events.

“The arts make your character gleam/
Like pebbles tumbled in a stream.”