Chris Gendall (*1980, ZEL): Incident, Opera in one act (2012-14)


In 1943, 48 Japanese Prisoners of War were killed in Featherston, New Zealand, after an incident from cross-cultural confusion and miscommunication. All events surrounding the incident were kept secret until well after the war had finished: the Prisoner-of-War camp’s existence was hidden from the New Zealand public, and the official military report on the incident was riddled with ambiguities.

The incident itself involved lining up 240 protesting prisoners in a relative small area within the camp, after a sit-in. Some nervous moments ensued, in wich prison huards allegedly suspected an inclement mutiny. The guards then opened fire, killing 48 Japanese, and injuring more – including 6 New Zealanders who were hit by wayward bullets.


Guards: Donaldson-Baritone; Malcom-Tenor; Guard-Bass; Men’s chorus;

Prisoners: Adachi-Tenor; Men’s chorus



Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Percussion, Accordion, Violin, Viola, Cello