“The human animal's continuing passion and compulsion for violence, regret and recrimination are brought alive on stage”

— The Guardian on I AM 

Created in turbulent and perplexing times, القدس Jerusalem is Lemi Ponifasio’s major new work. Inspired by the epic Concerto Al Quds by the great poet Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Esber), it will premiere here before touring internationally.

القدس Jerusalem is not a documentary about a city. Nor a political or religious commentary. It is a meditation on the universal tensions between idealism and reality, life and death, beauty and malice, freedom and control, love and hatred. It is the creation of a space to come together, seek recovery and new beginnings.

Expect impeccable artistry from the performers of the MAU company and exquisite, stark design. If defined in traditional terms, this could be opera, theatre and dance. But it’s better framed as ceremony: an intense, unforgettable evening for you to question, reflect and dream.

Concept / Design / Director: Lemi Ponifasio
Technical and Light Director: Helen Todd
Management: Susana Lei’ataua

There is a pre-show talk with Lemi Ponifasio for this event on Sunday 23 February at 4pm in the Opera House foyer.

Jerusalem is commissioned by New Zealand Festival of the Arts, Toi Whakaari, Oper Köln and Akademie der Künste der Welt Köln.



Rosie Te Rauawhea Belvie
Tame Iti
Kawiti Waetford
Ery Aryani
Terri Crawford
Anitopapa Kopua
Manarangi Mua
Rangipo Wallace Ihakara
Helmi Prasetyo

Head of Stage:

Mike Skinner

Head of Sound:

Chris Ward

Technical Director:

Helen Todd


Susana Lei’ataua

Partnered by
Thanks to


Opera House

  • Wheelchair Access Symbol.png Wheelchair accessible
Duration: 1hr 30mins no interval

Lemi Ponifasio

Curated by
Lemi Ponifasio

Artist Talk Lemi Ponifasio Theatre Dance
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