Oliver's new twist gives arts a boost
For many in New Zealand, sports and arts are as separate as chalk and cheese. Former All Black Anton Oliver is hoping to change that perception.
Oliver is on tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, stopping off at various southern locations to perform as a narrator in their show Tall Tales & Tangos.
It would be easy to compare the challenge of playing a test match for the All Blacks to preparing for his current role, but Oliver said there's definite differences.
"It's fundamentally different because I don't really know what I'm doing.
"At least with a ball on the field I knew what I was doing and could talk with some authority on it."
He said there had been a distinct separation between the arts and sport in New Zealand, and that's something he hoped to change.
"In New Zealand especially the two are separated but I don't think it needs to be that way. The arts look upon sport with an element of snobbery and derision.
"Sports get a lot of money and attention and that's what the arts want and need. Sports kind of look on arts as flowery, emotional effeminate type thing, you know, 'what do we need it for', it doesn't need to be that way."
As part of his tour with the orchestra he would speak at schools in the south with the aim to encourage more young people into classical music, he said.
If someone like him, with his background, could get involved in the arts anyone could, he said.
So far the tour had gone well, though he still suffered pre-show nerves, he said.
"It's not as bad now because I've done it once or twice, but I'm still very out of my comfort zone. We had two rehearsals [before the tour started] and I worked my butt off. I really enjoy it."
Once the tour wraps up he is retreating to his cottage in Central Otago for a spot of fishing.
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's Tall Tales & Tangos, conducted by Tecwyn Evans, is at the Fiordland Events Centre in Te Anau today at 7pm; the Memorial Hall in Balclutha tomorrow at 7pm; and the Civic Theatre in Invercargill on Saturday at 6.30pm.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with the city council's cut back on meals?Related story: Shadbolt bemused by 'prince of gluttony' tag