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Top Line-Up For NZ Opera’s 2007 Season

ISSUED BY THE NBR NEW ZEALAND OPERA


MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday 25 October 2006


Top Line-Up For NZ Opera’s 2007 Season

Two iconic operas featuring two famous title roles are at the heart of The NBR New Zealand Opera’s 2007 programme announced today. Audiences can look forward to opera at its grandest, with drama, spectacle, powerful music and a journey that reaches from the Scottish Highlands of Lucia di Lammermoor to the Imperial China of Turandot.

The company will also be associated with concert performances featuring renowned New Zealand opera singers, including a recital tour by bass-baritone, Jonathan Lemalu.

“2007 offers 27 scheduled opera and concert events which The NBR New Zealand Opera is associated with,” says Aidan Lang, General Director, The NBR New Zealand Opera. “We’re delighted to welcome some top opera performers and creative talents to our 2007 programme – some names will be familiar and have already thrilled New Zealand audiences in previous seasons, and others who are newcomers and can’t wait to do so!”

Building on the success of this year’s seasons - The Magic Flute and Faust - and its 14-centre national tour of Don Pasquale, The NBR New Zealand Opera continues its commitment in 2007 to delivering world-class opera performances of the highest musical and theatrical excellence, both on the stage and concert platform.

Highlights of 2007 Opera Season:

- Two opera productions for Auckland and Wellington – The NZI Winter Season Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (June/July); and the Genesis Energy Spring Season of Puccini’s Turandot (September/October).

- Lucia di Lammermoor is a new production directed by award-winning Australian director Lindy Hume and designed by New Zealander Kate Hawley, whose international career spans opera, theatre, television and film.

- A bold and challenging production of Turandot presented in association with Welsh National Opera, originally conceived by two of America’s foremost theatre and opera creatives - director Christopher Alden and designer Paul Steinberg. Acclaimed conductor Nicholas Braithwaite makes a welcome return to New Zealand to lead the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Vector Wellington Orchestra.

- Two majestic title roles that are a tour de force for soprano. As Lucia, The NBR New Zealand Opera welcomes the return of stunning Russian soprano, Elvira Fatkyhova – star of 2005’s La Travaita. And in the towering role as the Princess Turandot, renowned New Zealand soprano, Margaret Medlyn, makes her role debut.

- A five-centre recital tour by young New Zealand bass-baritone, Jonathan Lemalu, with Malcolm Martineau, co-presented with Chamber Music New Zealand, during May.

- Association with a high-calibre line-up of New Zealand and international singers including New Zealanders Patricia Wright, Helen Medlyn, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Grant Dickson, David Griffiths, Simon O’Neill, Jud Arthur, Carmel Carroll, Benjamin Fifita Makisi, Phillip Rhodes and Madeleine Pierard; alongside Italian soprano Maria Costanza Nocentini; Korean tenor Dongwon Shin; Bulgarian tenor Yvan Momirov and Welsh baritone Jason Howard.

- New working partnerships with other major arts organisations including Chamber Music New Zealand and Welsh National Opera, alongside existing relationships with the Auckland Festival, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Vector Wellington Orchestra.

- The Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus has been invited to perform in several concert events alongside a number of esteemed New Zealand opera singers:

o Mahler’s Symphony No.2, The Resurrection performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra opening the Auckland Festival AK07 in March, and marking the Orchestra’s 60th anniversary celebration. Conducted by James Judd, two of New Zealand’s leading singers, Patricia Wright and Helen Medlyn, will perform along with a massed choir comprising the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus and several other fine choirs from the Auckland region.

o Two concert events presented by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra: Opera in Concert – Beethoven’s Fidelio featuring Metropolitan Opera star Erika SunnegÃ¥rdh and New Zealand opera singers Simon O’Neill, Madeleine Pierard and David Griffiths. And Mendelssohn’s Elijah featuring New Zealand-born baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes as Elijah.

Ends.

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