‘Compass Rose’ received a promo in the March / April edition of Stage Whispers.
Compass Rose & the Birdnesters
It is the early 19th century and Queen Victoria is on the throne in England. An ocean away in the far Pacific, the HMS Shearwater, with famous explorer Captain McAlister at the helm, is nearing the mysterious Island at the End of World’. Locked in her cabin for disobedience (and not doing her homework) is his wanna-be explorer daughter, Constance Rose.
Already on the apparently deserted island is ex-pirate Captain Jack Daw and his crew. They’re birdnesting – collecting rare bird eggs for a rich baron back in England. Since this is against the law, they hide themselves as soon as the navy ship is spotted.
Constance escapes from her cabin, rows to the island and goes exploring. Unfortunately, the first thing she discovers is her father and the crew. After a lecture on following orders, she’s locked back in her cabin. Captain McAlister informs his crew of his secret orders; to capture the birdnesters reported in the area. Lookouts are posted, a cannon set up and the botanists start collecting animals.
Rapa Nui – the language – is spoken by a minority of Easter Island’s population. Figures suggest perhaps 800 out the 3700 or so inhabitants.
I wanted to include some authentic Rapa Nui language in the script for my new musical ‘Compass Rose’, though I’m not convinced I’ve achieved it!.
There aren’t a huge number of resources out there, but these sites were useful:
- Rapa Nui Language – Wikipedia
Good overview, if a little technical. Lists of numbers, vowel sounds and links through to other sites.
On Easter Island, dedicated few trying to preserve native Rapa Nui language
This was an inspiring article and part of the impetus to include Rapa Nui in the script. Interesting video on Rapa Nui in the classroom.
The Language of Easter Island
Pronunciation, preface to the dictionary.
- Rapa Nui – English dictionary
My main resource, and a fascinating excursion into the way the environment shapes our language. There are hundreds of entries regarding fish, and nine different phrases for the various phases of the tides.
- Learn a Little rapa Nui
Beginners guide, simple words and phrases.
- Rapa Nui Language Information & Dictionary
List of Rapa Nui place names, phrases and pronunciation guide. Complete with photos!
Here’s the latest songbook file.