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Strong Kiwi Line-Up For 2005 Opera Season

Strong Kiwi Line-Up For 2005 Opera Season

A strong contingent of New Zealand singers is a feature of The NBR New Zealand Opera's 2005 season. Among those returning home from overseas are internationally acclaimed performers Conal Coad and Paul Whelan, alongside emerging stars, Jared Holt and Wendy Dawn Thompson. Several New Zealand resident singers who will take the stage in 2005 include Patricia Wright, Rodney Macann, David Griffiths, Roger Wilson, Zan McKendree-Wright and Anne Lamont-Low.

"We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest standard of professional opera to discerning New Zealand audiences," says Alex Reedijk, General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera. "So it is especially gratifying for us to be able to secure such a large number of top kiwi singers for our 2005 season. We have a duty of care to the produce the best opera product possible - to do this with such an esteemed line up of New Zealanders is also part of that mission."

The 2005 season includes a New Zealand premiere and two of the world's most admired operas from among the classic top-10 which will be presented as full, mainstage productions.

- John Adams’s THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER is a contemporary masterpiece and marks a New Zealand premiere. Co-produced with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and staged as a concert performance at AK05, the Auckland Festival, in February this celebrated event is supported by Shell.

Echoing the continuing disquiet and turmoil surrounding issues of religious plight and terrorism, Adams’s masterly retelling of the 1985 hijacking of a cruise ship is powerful, complex and truly belongs to the present day.

The cream of New Zealand's rising operatic talent take the platform alongside some of our most established performers. The cast includes 2000 Mobil Song Quest winner, Jared Holt on leave from the Vilar Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Convent Garden; Auckland singers David Griffiths and Zan McKendree-Wright, Christchurch singer Anne Lamont-Low, Wendy Dawn Thompson and Australian, Jason Barry-Smith. This large chorus work with its lush music will be performed by the NZSO conducted by American Mark Stringer, a graduate of New York's Juilliard School of Music.

- The NZI Winter Season of Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI boasts an esteemed cast of international New Zealand performers in a dazzling overseas mainstage production during June/July in Wellington and Auckland.

Paul Whelan stars in the title role alongside some of our other finest singers - Conal Coad and Patricia Wright.

The ultimate seducer, Don Giovanni dices with divine retribution as he makes a play for what turns out to be his final conquest! Mozart’s musically brilliant ghost story, sees the welcome return to New Zealand of Welsh conductor, Wyn Davies - last seen here for the company's 2001 Falstaff season.

- The Genesis Energy Spring Season of Verdi’s LA TRAVIATA, is the classic romantic drama coming to Wellington and Auckland September-October.

Cherished by audiences around the world, Traviata's tale of reckless love, scandal and self-sacrifice is recounted in some of the most elegant and expressive music ever written, with a cascade of famous melodies.

In the coveted soprano role of Violetta is exciting Russian soprano Elvira Fatykhova making her New Zealand debut. Miss Fatykhova has received rave reviews for her recent performances in Manon for Opera Australia. Respected New Zealand baritone, Rodney Macann, takes the role of Germont.

In announcing the 2005 season, General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera, Alex Reedijk, said 2004 has seen the busiest year of activity for the company since its inception in 2000. This included the new productions of three mainstage operas - THE ELIXIR OF LOVE (a co-production with the New Zealand International Arts Festival), RIGOLETTO and CARMEN - and a 14-centre nationwide tour of COSI FAN TUTTE. This resulted in the delivery of 58 opera performances throughout New Zealand with approximately 50,000 people attending - marking a growth in audience numbers. However recent shifts in the entertainment marketplace had impacted on the company's decision to continue to produce two mainstage productions in 2005, and settle into a biennial touring pattern resulting in a return to the regions in 2006.

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