Opera singer contributes to understanding of First World War

22 February 2018

Soprano Madison Nonoa has teamed up with MC Oblique to create original music for the Luck of the Draw (LD) project.

Part of the First World War Centenary programme, the LD project consists of an interactive website, designed to spark conversations among young New Zealanders around conscription and war, and contribute to a deeper understanding of WWI.

Madison, who has a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) from the School of Music at the University of Auckland, took part in the project alongside other artists working in a variety of media including animation, dance, illustration, music, film and playwriting.

The First World War is considered one of the most significant events of the twentieth century, which had a deep and lingering impact on New Zealand society.

A century on from WWI, the Waikato-born singer collaborated with MC Oblique to create lyrics, which she sings accompanied by his music, as their contribution to the LD project.

The artists were initially all asked to respond to film footage of the first conscription ballot, held in 1916.

The one line Madison wanted to include in the work was ‘we’re here because we’re here’.

“The reason I loved that line so much was because in the trenches during the war, that was a lyric of a song that the soldiers would sing,” she says.

“Its sums up the futility of the war and the lack of choice these men had. Ultimately I want people to take away a theme of unity and hope.”

Madison has enjoyed considerable success in her singing career including receiving the Iosefa Enari Memorial Award at Creative Arts New Zealand’s Pacific Arts Awards, being accepted into the inaugural Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Development Programme for Young Singers, and recently appearing in Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Amadeus. She is currently studying in the UK.

To view Madison and MC Oblique's work visit: http://www.lotd.nz/artists/mc-oblique-madison-nonoa