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Sealord Opera in the Park update

Sealord Opera in the Park with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Friends is attracting a lot of attention as Nelson's biggest entertainment event ever.

The tenth anniversary of the popular event is marked by a shift to Trafalgar Park and a programme of special stars brought to Nelson from Europe for the show.

Musical Director Pete Rainey says the line up featuring Dame Kiri, tenor Simon O'Neill, bass Jonathan Lemalu and mezzo Helen Medlyn, backed by the Vector Wellington Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei is causing a stir in opera circles.

"It is tremendously exciting to have a couple of the operatic Œyoung guns' who are doing so well in the international arena, performing alongside New Zealand's most revered ever international star."

And he says there have been additions since the programme was first announced: "There is a thrilling karanga to open the programme with Richard Nunns and other top exponents of Maori instruments and vocals, and we have a 16 member chorus from Auckland's renowned Opera Factory," he said. "And we have a great range of local talent to entertain before the show - from the Celtic group Cairde to rising stars the Nancies."

Nelson City Council Festival Director Annabel Norman says there have been strong ticket sales to locals and out of town visitors.

"This really is a once in a lifetime event and people are responding to that," she said. "Sales have been steady since November, and with settled weather and the growing Œbuzz' they are really picking up this last few days."

Ms Norman says there are still plenty of tickets left. She is warning picnickers to pre-buy. "I would not advise people to rely on gate sales for the $15 tickets as it is possible these will sell out," she said.

And she urges opera-goers to make sure they get a souvenir programme: "This has all the info on the stars and the music they will perform, plus a look back at ten years of opera in Nelson," she said. "It is a very impressive production for just $10 and sales will help the Cancer Society Nelson to do its wonderful work with the people and families of our region."

Gates will open at 5pm and food and bar service will be available throughout the park. Everyone is to be seated at 7.15pm for the 7.30pm show.

Sealord Opera in the Park is presented by the Nelson City Council as a celebration for residents and an attraction for visitors. Sealord has generously sponsored the event since its inception in 1999.

Housekeeping details:


Parking will be available at the Trafalgar Centre car park off Paru Paru Road and off Akerston Street in the port area. There is a footpath that leads from there to the footbridge across to Trafalgar Park from here you can access gates A & D.

There will also be parking in the surrounding areas eg The Wood & Millers Acre carpark.

Disabled Parking is available on Paru Paru road opposite the foot bridge that accesses Trafalgar Park.

There is a drop off area that will be marked with cones on Trafalgar Street which is easy access to both the Picnickers GATES C & D and allocated seating area in the Gold, Silver and Grandstand areas GATE B.

Bus services

Busses will leave Richmond from the Queen St Mall carpark entrance at 5pm, 5.30pm, 6pm, 6.30 & 7pm, stopping at all bus stops (Salisbury Road, Main Road Stoke, Annesbrook Drive, Tahunanui Drive, Rocks Road/Haven Road). After the show busses will continue until all passengers have been picked up.

Cost $6 one way, $10 return trip.


There will be food vendors set up in the Picnickers' area, however people may bring a small picnic of their own providing they keep down the size of chillybins and hampers.

In the allocated Gold, Silver and Grandstand areas there will be a food service marquee with a selection of food stalls suppliers. Food will include German sausages, gourmet pies and picnic boxes. There will also be bar service available in all of these areas.

Again people may bring a small picnic bag in but space is very limited with the allocated seating so no chilly bins or hampers will be allowed at all in these areas.

Top Tips
§ Arrive early, we suggest 90 minutes prior to start time.
§ Buy the souvenir concert programme.
§ Be prepared for a three hour show including intermission.
§ If you are booked in the East Grandstand take a cushion.
§ For picnickers - find the area for low sand chairs and rugs, separate from higher outdoor chairs.
§ This is an outdoor event - even Gold Patrons need to find footwear that merges glamour with practicality!
§ Gold and Sliver seats do not have room for picnic hampers - bar and food on sale on site.
§ But most of allŠ Enjoy the show!

More information at


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