Ac­claimed opera fig­ure busy in ‘re­tire­ment’

Whanganui Chronicle - - News - Lin Fer­gu­son

After 50 years, renowned opera vir­tu­oso repeti­teur Bruce Green­field has re­tired from the New Zealand Opera Com­pany.

Though Green­field re­tired just two weeks ago, he is with the New Zealand Opera School again in Whanganui this week ac­com­pa­ny­ing and coach­ing stu­dents.

“Well, I couldn’t just stop. To be hon­est, I’m still feel­ing quite weird about be­ing re­tired. It does sound very fi­nal.”

With a wry grin, Green­field said he will still be teach­ing at the New Zealand School of Mu­sic in Welling­ton and tak­ing pri­vate stu­dents at his in­ner city stu­dio.

His home on the Kapiti Coast at Rau­mati was a bliss­ful place to live, he said.

“Ex­cept for the travel in and out of the city. The sooner they fin­ish Trans­mis­sion Gully the bet­ter be­cause then I will move my stu­dio to my home and stu­dents will be able to come to me without too much trou­ble.”

Green­field is ac­claimed as one of New Zealand’s great­est repeti­teurs. It is a spe­cialised field in that it means you don’t sim­ply play the ac­com­pa­ni­ment for a singer, you have had to have learned the en­tire score of an opera and are able to re­hearse the singer or singers through the en­tire opera, singing the other roles when re­quired.

Ac­cord­ing to the “Sch­m­opera” Face­book page, it is im­por­tant for the repeti­teur to see the “for­est for the trees”.

“Re­mem­ber­ing that the mu­sic in front of them wasn’t writ­ten for the pi­ano . . . it may be too fast for even the best pi­anist — but no one cares,” the quote said.

Green­field laughs, say­ing be­ing a repeti­teur meant a whole new skill set and was not for ev­ery pi­anist.

But for him it has meant a long and glo­ri­ous ca­reer do­ing what he loves.

“And re­tire­ment is not the end for me. It just means I won’t be get­ting as much money and I am a bit wor­ried about how I will cope ini­tially. I’m prob­a­bly wor­ry­ing for noth­ing.”

To be hon­est, I’m still feel­ing quite weird about be­ing

re­tired. It does sound very fi­nal.

Bruce Green­field

Bruce Green­field is re­tir­ing from the New Zealand Opera Com­pany.

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