World Choir Games 2024 Unveils Star-Studden Creative Team for Opening and Closing Ceremonies

World Choir Games 2024 Unveils Star-Studden Creative Team for Opening and Closing Ceremonies

Published: Monday 8 April, 2024


As anticipation of the 13th World Choir Games continues to build, the spotlight falls on the star-studded team behind the creative elements in the Games’ massive Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

Over 250 choirs have now registered for the event, which means that around 10,000 participants will descend on Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in July. On Wednesday 10 July they will be welcomed in spectacular style, as Spark Arena is transformed into an Olympic-style stadium with an event that features an international flag parade, national anthems and a breathtaking show devised by a celebrated line-up of creators, directors and producers.

As a prelude to the World Choir Games 2024, organisers will soon unveil the event’s Official Song. Composed by NZ Music Hall of Fame inductee Don McGlashan, with further lyrics and translation by Hana Mereraiha, the song celebrates the importance of breath, voice and togetherness, and will act as the heartbeat of the Games. The song will be performed at the Closing Ceremony by beloved New Zealand musicians Marlon Williams (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāi Tai) and Ria Hall (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui).

A highlight of the 2024 Opening Ceremony, and the whole Games, will be the spectacular ‘Welcome to Aotearoa New Zealand’ show, which will also be referenced at the Closing Event. Steering the creative team is director Malia Johnston. Perhaps best known for her long-time role as Show Director for the World of WearableArt (WOW), as director of the opening ceremony for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, or as the mastermind behind dance organisation Movement of the Human, Malia brings a wealth of experience in cross-form collaboration to the World Choir Games stage.

Show designer Rowan Pierce’s work synthesises video, sound and light to deliver innovative and impactful live experiences, while the music and soundscape are being created by award-winning composer Eden Mulholland, a prolific writer for dance, theatre, film, and large-scale stage events. Both regularly collaborate with Johnston on WOW.

Guest choreographer and concept advisor for the show, Kura Te Ua (Te Rarawa, Te Aupōuri, Te Aitanga a Māhaki, Te Whakatōhea, Tūhoe), who is also Artistic Director and Kaihaka of kapa haka dance group Hawaiki TŪ, brings both national and international performance experience to her role. Pak Peacocke, a creative force behind iconic events such as NZ Fashion Week, Christmas in the Park, NZ Comedy Festival and the Aotearoa Music Awards, assumes the role of Production Manager.

With Spark Arena situated on mana whenua land, it is especially appropriate that tikanga advisor Otene Hopa (Ngāti Whātua, Ngāpuhi, Waikato) will work with the team across all the Games’ ceremonies, ensuring that a vital te ao Māori perspective is woven into each celebration.

Artistic and Games Director John Rosser says, “It has been a genuine joy to bring this show team together. Each member brings huge talent and experience to the project, but the collaboration between them adds a whole extra layer. As for the song, I always had confidence Don would write something very special, and he has. I can’t wait for the choral world to experience both of these offerings.”

The World Choir Games was established in 2000 by INTERKULTUR, the world’s leading organiser of international choir competitions and festivals, and has grown to become the largest international choral competition in the world. Held every two years, it typically attracts hundreds of choirs from across the globe and is known for fostering an atmosphere of creativity, unity, and joy among a host of diverse nations.

In partnership with New Zealand Choral Federation, New Zealand Major Events, and Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the 13th World Choir Games will take place in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland from 10 to 20 July 2024.

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