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World Premiere Features in Otago Arts Festiival

World Premiere Features in Otago Festiival of the Arts 2004

Dunedin City Council

Opera Otago is taking a bold new step into the world of professional opera, with a new opera by pre-eminent Dunedin and New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie, which will receive its world premiere as part of the 2004 Festival of the Arts Programme. The God Boy is based on the classic novel by Ian Cross, and has been faithfully adapted by librettist Jeremy Commons. The work will be directed by leading New Zealand director Elric Hooper, and the Southern Sinfonia will be conducted by Holly Mathieson.

The cast is a mixture of youth and experience, with Benjamin Kidd appearing as the 11 year old Jimmy Sullivan, with his older counterpart played by University of Otago student, Robert Tucker. His parents are played by well-known New Zealand dramatic soprano Judy Bellingham, and her husband by Dunedin baritone Chris Fennessy, who has recently returned to base himself in Dunedin following a successful career in music theatre in Australia and Britain. Other cast include Penelope Muir, Rosemary Tarbotton, Goeknil Meryem Biner and Bruce McMillan.

The set and costumes for the opera have been designed by Kari Morseth, with lighting design by Joe Hayes.

The God Boy represents Opera Otago's exciting first steps in its strategy to present quality professional opera to Dunedin and Otago audiences, and we are heartened that these first steps will be ably supported by the experienced artistic team who produced the stunning Madama Butterfly in 2003.

The opera will play for four performances during the Otago Festival of the Arts at the Westpac Mayfair Theatre on:

Friday, 1 October
Sunday, 3 October
Wednesday, 8 October
Friday 8 October

All performances commence at 8.00 pm, except for the Sunday performance which will begin at 3.00 pm.


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