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Words and music

At our literary extravaganza this month, a visit from award-winning Austrian writer Linda Stift. Plus music and poetry. There is nothing not to love.

* Linda Stift (writer)
* Anna Livesey (poet)
* Gracie Francis (piano)
* Bernice Austin (soprano)
* Alexander James (baritone)

Presented in association with the Goethe-Institut.

Linda Stift
(photo: Christine Andorfer)

Linda Stift is an Austrian writer. She was born in 1969 and studied Philosophy and German Literature. She lives in Vienna. Her first novel Kingpeng was published in 2005. She has won numerous awards und was nominated for the prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2009. Her second novel Stierhunger (2007, English title: The Empress and the Cake) was translated into English, Italian and French. The novel Kein einziger Tag was published in 2011. Her most recent novel Unter den Steinen (2016) is available as e-book by Hanser.

Anna Livesey

Anna Livesey is an Auckland-based poet, comic, strategist and curator-at-large at the Open Book. Anna’s most recent book is Ordinary Time, available here: You can listen to Anna interview New Zealand book people in the podcast Ears Wide Open, available here or where ever you get your podcasts.

Gracie Francis

Gracie loves coming to the Open Book and she has even performed here before! Gracie is a collaborative pianist and is currently preparing for her Masters auditions in the United States. She is really grateful to you all for giving her a platform to try out some of her audition music, and especially grateful to Bernice for being her audition partner!

Bernice Austin

Soprano Bernice Austin completed her Masters in Music (with first class honours) at the University of Auckland in 2015 and she also holds a Bachelor of arts in Italian. Her musical journey began when she joined the Mt Roskill Children’s choir at age six and she has been a regular performer with Opera factory for over ten years. In 2015 she travelled to the United States to sing in the International Art Song festival Songfest. Bernice is a previous winner of the John Bond award for most promising voice at the New Zealand Aria Competition and a recipient of the Anne Bellam Scholarship. In 2016-2017 she was a part of Artist Lee Mingwei’s performance installation ‘Sonic Blossom’ at the Auckland Art Gallery, where she offered strangers the gift of song as they visited. In May 2017 she sung as the soprano soloist in the New Zealand Premiere of Annelies by James Whitbourn (a large scale choral work based on the diary of Anne Frank) with the Auckland Youth choir and chamber ensemble. Aside from music she is an avid reader and researcher with a particular love of children’s books. She has been a member of the New Zealand Opera Chorus since 2012.

Alexander James

Baritone Alexander James holds an LTCL in Singing and an ATCL in Piano, and a BSc in Mathematics. He performs regularly as a soloist and with the Freemasons NZ Opera Chorus, most recently in La Bohème. He has won senior vocal competitions and was selected for the 2018 Lexus Song Quest masterclass.

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Earlier Event: October 27
Book Clearance Sale