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Opera’s Year of Magic, Marriage and Mysticism

Issued by The NBR New Zealand Opera

MEDIA RELEASE: For immediate release

2 May 2006


Hot on the heels of its successful Opera for Groups initiative introduced last year, The NBR New Zealand Opera is again offering incentives for Group Bookers for the 2006 opera seasons: The Magic Flute (June-July) and Faust (September-October) in Auckland and Wellington; and the National Tour of Don Pasquale (August-September) travelling to 14 centres throughout New Zealand.

The Group Bookers package for bookings of 10 or more is designed to help make the experience of booking and attending The NBR New Zealand Opera's productions enticing, easy and enjoyable. Each Group Booker receives a promotional opera pack which includes; a synopsis and background information on the upcoming season, "Ten Great Reasons to go to the Opera" and tips for making the occasion an extra special night out. Incentives include early booking rewards, substantial discounts off standard ticket prices, one free ticket for every 10 purchased and a flexible payment plan.

“We know that organisers are always searching for new and exciting ways to entertain their groups,” says Vicki Allpress, Marketing Manager of The NBR New Zealand Opera. “Whether they are Rotary Clubs, corporate and office groups, or simply informal social groups, the organisers always have a challenging task on their hands and they are often busy people themselves! We have a fantastic season lined up this year to tempt even more people to a night out at the opera, with three very different and sumptuous productions."

The 2006 season begins with the delightfully whimsical The Magic Flute by Mozart in June-July. Always an audience favourite, this exciting and highly imaginative production comes to Auckland’s Aotea Centre and Wellington’s Westpac St James Theatre direct from Los Angeles Opera. Designed by world-renowned cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe, and directed by Stanley M. Garner, this highly acclaimed production of The Magic Flute has won over both critics and audiences across the United States in the last few years. Aside from being a spellbinding experience, this is an opportunity to hear, live, one of the opera world’s most famous and challenging soprano arias – the Queen of the Night’s Der Holle Rache.

Mid-winter’s opera offering sees a lively, romantic and humourous romp with Donizetti’s Don Pasquale touring to 14 centres from Kerikeri to Invercargill during August-September. This new production sung in English, will be directed by and star in the leading role one of New Zealand’s most well-known international opera performers, Conal Coad. The show has the country covered, so it’s certain to be heading to a town that will mean some Group Bookers may not need to travel far at all to catch this gem of an opera.

Spring sees the dark and mysterious Faust return to delight Auckland and Wellington audiences, in a production that blends international creativity with fresh directorial insights and a superb international cast.

Throughout 2006 both renowned and emerging opera stars and creative teams from New Zealand and abroad will take the stage in a total of 35 opera performances throughout the country across these three productions.

“Opera provides superb entertainment on a grand scale - with great stories, famous tunes, top-notch singers, live orchestras, spectacular sets and gorgeous costumes. It’s just such a fabulous night out and enjoying it with a group always provides lots to talk about in the days after," says Vicki. "People are often blown away by the experience, no matter what their age or background. There's bound to be at least one tune they will know, and the spectacle, romance and pageantry that opera offers is unsurpassed!”

Opera for Groups packages for 2006 opera seasons are now available by contacting The NBR New Zealand Opera's Group Booker Coordinator, Rowena Donghi on (09) 379 4068 or (04) 499 8343.

The NZI Winter Season of The Magic Flute (17-24 June, Wellington; 6-11 July Auckland).
The National Tour of Don Pasquale (1 August–9 September: Kerikeri, North Shore, Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Wanaka, Greymouth, Hastings, Wanganui and New Plymouth).
The Genesis Energy Spring Season of Faust (16-23 September, Wellington; 5-14 October, Auckland).


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