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Razor Sharp Opera Docking At A Theatre Near You


Razor Sharp Opera Docking At A Theatre Near You

Issued by Ruscoe Public Relations on behalf of The NBR New Zealand Opera

Fast, fun, razor-sharp opera takes to the road this week as The NBR New Zealand Opera's winter tour of The Barber of Seville opens in Hamilton - marking the first tour by a professional, full-time New Zealand opera company in over 20 years. In collaboration with Class Act Opera, The NBR winter tour of Rossini's The Barber of Seville sees opera docking at 12 centres nationwide during May, June and July.

Audiences in Hamilton, Gisborne, Wellington, Kapiti, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Hastigns, North Shore, Auckland, Tauranga, Nelson and Greymouth will have the opportunity to pull up a chair for a close shave with the smoothest of barbers.

"Now it is possible for more Kiwis to experience opera in their own backyard," says Alex Reedijk, General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera. "This new winter tour signals a determination to make opera available to a wider audience outside of the main centres and give more people an opportunity to experience the magic of live opera. What better way to launch this inaugural tour than with one of the world's most popular opera works performed by a largely home-grown New Zealand cast and creative team, accompanied by a live orchestral ensemble."

With its memorable tunes, deliciously witty tale and fast-moving plot, The Barber is simply an opera of sheer good fun!

"Barber is Rossini's greatest hit and clearly one of the top ten operas of all time!" enthuses director, Carmel Carroll. "It demonstrates the extraordinary lengths a young man will go to, to win the attention of a young woman. While he's busy pulling out the stops to seduce her, she's really clear about what she wants, which makes for delicious sexual tension and comic farce."

"Figaro is more than a barber of quality - he's a mover and shaker, the man you ask when you've got a tricky job that needs doing. It's why he gets called in to help with disguises, deceptions and sharp maneouvres resulting in several close shaves!"

Bringing a flavour of Seville to the opera stage is the same design team who created the magical atmosphere of the House of Almaviva in The NBR New Zealand Opera's 2002 production of The Marriage of Figaro - John Parker (sets) and Elizabeth Whiting (costumes).

Set abroad a luxury yacht, the SS Siviglia, The Barber sets a course for love on the high seas with a glittering lineup of crew and passengers fashionably attired in livery reminiscent of 1950's chic - echoing the glorious days of Aristotle Onassis' and Maria Callas' cruises around the Mediterranean. Fitted out with whitewashed decks, opulent chandeliers and plush golden furniture, the SS Siviglia provides the perfect sunrises and ambiance for seduction, slap-stick and slippery footwork on deck!

Taking this energetic operatic hit north, south, east and west, is a professional ensemble talented performers led by conductor, Michael Vinten and accompanied by players from either the Auckland Philharmonia or NGC Wellington Sinfonia.

Young, burgeoning New Zealand opera talent includes Katherine Wiles, Andrew Conley and Benjamin Fifita Makisi making their operatic debuts in leading roles. Joining them are seasoned performers; Andrea Creighton, Australian Jason Barry-Smith, Richard Green, Geoffrey Hughes, Mark Rosser and Class Act Opera's Susan Boland, Terry Barry and Greg Patel.

In the same spirit that saw the early touring opera companies arriving in New Zealand cities by boat, the SS Siviglia is set to sail into a theatre near you. When it docks, be sure you've got your boarding pass for the closest shave in town.

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