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The thrill of opera returns to Christchurch


Issued by New Zealand Opera

1 July 2013

The thrill of opera returns to Christchurch

As with all great pieces, the possibilities for Don Giovanni are endless, which is why it will continue to be performed forever. If Mozart is Shakespeare, then Don Giovanni is his Hamlet – an eternal work which continues to ask questions of performers and audiences.”
– Mark Stone, Don Giovanni

Opera, in all its thrilling glory, returns to Christchurch in August when New Zealand Opera presents Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni, a work that shows the art form at its very best.

Don Giovanni is one of the greatest and most popular of all operas. With a hedonistic womaniser at its heart who will stop at nothing to exercise his free will and make a conquest (librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte was a friend of Casanova), Don Giovanni remains a very contemporary piece, with its questioning of social convention and the moral code.

Don Giovanni is New Zealand Opera’s first main-stage production in Christchurch since Southern Opera joined the company last year. “Christopher Doig initiated Southern Opera’s move to become part of the national company,” Aidan Lang, General Director of NZ Opera says, “so with Don Giovanni we’re paying special tribute to Chris.”

And Cantabrians will play a big part in the production. “From singers in the Christchurch-based Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus, to musicians in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, to the production’s director, Christchurch-born Sara Brodie, we are embracing the wealth of artistic talent in Canterbury,” Lang says.

Working with a grand, visually imposing set, Director Sara Brodie will take a fresh and incisive approach to this enigmatic work.

“Sara also has a reputation for getting great theatrical results from her singers,” Lang says. “So with a cast that includes top New Zealand singing actors Jonathan Lemalu and Anna Leese, along with high-flying British baritone Mark Stone as Don Giovanni, what you see on stage will be thrilling, while Mozart’s dramatic music will sound as sublime as ever under the baton of our effervescent Director of Music, Wyn Davies.”

Don Giovanni is presented by New Zealand Opera in association with the Christchurch Arts Festival. It is sung in Italian with English surtitles.

An opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Conductor                           WYN DAVIES
Director                                SARA BRODIE
Set Designer                      JOHN VERRYT
Costume Designer           ELIZABETH WHITING
Lighting Designer             JEREMY FERN

Don Giovanni                     MARK STONE
Leporello                             JONATHAN LEMALU
Donna Elvira                       ANNA LEESE
Donna Anna                       LISA HARPER-BROWN
Don Ottavio                        NICKY SPENCE
Commendatore                RICHARD GREEN
Masetto                               ROBERT TUCKER
Zerlina                                  AMELIA BERRY

Accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Featuring the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus

CBS Canterbury Arena, Christchurch
Wed 21, Thu 22 August – 7:00pm, Sat 24 August – 2:00pm

Single Tickets: $49.50 to $124.50. Concessions available for benefactors, senior citizens, students and group bookings. Service fees apply.

Bookings: NZ Opera Box Office, Tel 0800 NZOPERA/696 737, (09) 379 4068 or (04) 499 8343, or:
Ticketek, Tel 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or


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