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Students Taste First-Hand Opera Experience

21 June 2005

Students Taste First-Hand Opera Experience

Local college students from around Wellington will have a first-hand operatic experience this week as they create their own piece of musical theatre which they get to perform on the set of Don Giovanni at the Westpac St James Theatre on Sunday (26 June).

The students are participants in a creative workshop which is part of The NBR New Zealand Opera's Outreach Programme and which coincides with the opening of Don Giovanni this Saturday.

During the workshop the students compose both music and lyrics taking inspiration from the themes of Mozart's masterpiece, Don Giovanni. Leading opera and theatre professionals - conductor, John Rosser; composer, John Gibson and director Anna Marbrook guide them through the process.

"The students don't just have to have a passion for singing to participate," says Jude Froude, The NBR New Zealand Opera's Artistic Administrator. "One of the great things about the creative workshop process is that everyone gets to do everything - from script writing to creating music and performing. It is designed to provide the students with a taste of a real-life, hands-on opera and theatrical experience. Performing their own work on the stage set of Don Giovanni is also a real buzz and adds another dimension to the experience."

The music written by the students is not in the traditional operatic style, but embraces more contemporary influences including hip-hop, gospel, and rock. The workshop is all about the creative process and pushing the boundaries rather than focusing on the final performance.

"Previous workshop performances have demonstrated a wonderful depth of talent among budding young performers, and the result is sure to be interesting and very original," says Jude Froude.

The showing of the yet to be named work, takes place on Sunday 26 June at 5.00pm at the Westpac St James Theatre. Admission is free.


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