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New Zealand Opera Gets $1Million Sponsorship

October 20th, 1999

EMBARGOED Until 12.30pm October 20th

New Zealand Opera Gets $1Million Sponsorship

Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley, today announced a $1million sponsorship by financial publication, The National Business Review, for the newly merged New Zealand Opera company.

Auckland's Opera New Zealand and the National Opera Company of Wellington recently merged to form a single, cohesive organisation and will now be known as The National Business Review New Zealand Opera.

The National Business Review New Zealand Opera general director, Jonathan Alver, believes the naming rights sponsorship is the biggest single corporate sponsorship contribution to an individual arts organisation in New Zealand.

"As far as I am aware a corporate sponsorship commitment of this size is unprecedented in the New Zealand arts community and we are delighted The National Business Review has had the courage to back our newly created company.

"This sponsorship and the commitment of The National Business Review, provides a fresh new platform for the voice of New Zealand Opera to be heard around this country - and the world," says Mr Alver.

As a result of the merger, Auckland and Wellington audiences will now be able to see the same performances.

The National Business Review has been a strong sponsor of the arts since Liberty Press Ltd acquired the paper from the Sydney Morning Herald - Fairfax Group in 1989.

Its publisher, Barry Colman, says of the newly formed opera company "the cultural flattening of the Bombay Hills is nothing short of a miracle and demonstrates a growing maturity among the cash-stretched arts community.

"It is good business to support the arts and I think private enterprise should play a bigger role in this area. An overwhelming dependence on government funding is not healthy for the arts community," he says.

Two years ago The National Business Review initiated the Awards for Business Sponsorship of the Arts which showcase corporate sponsorship programmes and encourage business to support the arts, in addition to the traditionally favoured sports sponsorships.

In the past the National Business Review has sponsored the Royal New Zealand Ballet company, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Art Gallery exhibitions and major outdoor opera events like Carmen and La Traviata.

It has also staged concerts by Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras and on November 20 hosts Luciano Pavarotti at his only New Zealand concert in Auckland.

Other major sponsors of the National Business Review New Zealand Opera and its programme for 2000 will be announced at a special function on November 16.

For further information please contact:

Jonathan Alver The National Business Review New Zealand Opera 09 379 4020
Barry Colman The National Business Review 09 307 1629

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