Continuing last year's Summer Times quest to find out
what was the best day of people's lives (except the birth of
their children or the day they met or married their partners),
another eight Otago residents tell their stories.
Kath Kenrick, writer, of Dunedin
Let me tell you about the best, the most memorable day of my
life. Even after 60 years I look back and remember the thrill
of a life-changing experience. I was a bookworm, spending
much of my time lost in the world of books.
One Saturday afternoon when I was 11 years old, my older
brother's girlfriend invited me to go to the movies with her
to see an Italian film of the opera Il Trovatore. I
had grown up in a home where music was practised, appreciated
I was very familiar with popular music, songs from the shows
and the stately chant of the Latin High Mass, but I knew
nothing of the world of opera and I had never encountered
music like Verdi's. As I watched the film my life was
transformed - I was totally entranced by the unfolding of the
tragic story and the music, so passionate and splendid, with
which it was told.
The exciting world of opera opened to me a new dimension
where music that was already an important part of my life
joined forces with dramatic stories. I spent the next few
years searching out opera music on the radio and going to the
cinema to watch the operas, which back in the '50s were often
screened in some of Auckland's smaller theatres.
The magic of that experience remains and every time I hear
some of the arias I am transformed into an 11-year-old girl
and transported back to that magical afternoon. I still enjoy
a variety of styles of music, but nothing moves me or touches
my heart like the grand arias of opera - especially those of
A lifelong love affair began on that Saturday so many years