âVotes and Notesâ Exhibiting and Contesting Gender in the Orchestra of the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition (1889â1890) Inge van Rij n November 26, 1889, in the South Island town of Dunedin, the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition opened to rapturous accolades as âthe ï¬rst great event of our national life.â1 In the official procession to the exhibition building, âfathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, sweet-hearts, marched in the grand column,â witnessed by a gathering â[more] representative of the upper and middle social strata of New Zealand [than had ever] taken place before.â2 Inside the concert hall, at the heart of the exhibition building, the women of the choir entered the stage from the right, the men from the left.3 âThe wide platform easily held the 370 singers, and a ï¬ne mass of positive colour the blue and red sashes of the sopranos and altos made, against the neutral tints and the grey with which the walls and roof are painted.â4 The female choristers were also offset by the âsea of sombre, masculine black coatsâ in the auditorium, as well as the similarly clad men of the orchestra, which comprised professional musicians brought from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and
Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Oct 20, 2017
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