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World class tenor in Christchurch – for one night-only

17 March 2014

World class tenor in Christchurch – for one night-only

‘The best heroic tenor to emerge over the last decade’ (The Telegraph, London, 2009)

Christchurch audiences are in for a special treat next month in a one-night-only event with world-class tenor Simon O’Neill on Thursday 3 April.

Taking time out of his demanding international concert schedule, Simon will take audiences on an intimate journey through his life and career in a live, interview-style event, hosted by the Choir’s former Music Director of 22 years, Brian Law. Anecdotes and personal insights from his extraordinary life story will be punctuated by live performance, as Simon sings from some of his favourite operatic arias.

From Ashburton piano lessons with Mrs Perkins at the age of 8, to principal artist with Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Teatro alla Scala, Simon has earned critical acclaim as one of the finest tenors on the international stage.

This event provides a truly unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the ‘persuasive artistry’ of this ‘turbo-charged tenor’. VIP Ticketholders will also get the opportunity to meet Simon in a post-performance supper reception.

The event will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday 3 April at the Aurora Centre. Doors open at 7pm and a cash bar will be available.

Tickets (VIP, Premium and Standard) are available through Ticketek, 0800 842538,

All funds raised will go to the Christchurch City Choir, of which Simon is also the Patron.

VIP Tickets (Adult $125):
• Preferential seating (first six rows - centre)
• Complimentary Green room interval drink
• VIP supper reception after the show
• Opportunity to meet Simon during the reception
• Complimentary programme

Premium Tickets (Adult $75/Child $40):
• Preferential seating (rows 5-11)
• Complimentary Programme

Standard Tickets (Adult $50/Child $25):
• General admission (from row 12 back)

Simon O’Neill – biography
Recognised as amongst the foremost of singers of his generation, Simon O’Neill has performed many of the greatest tenor roles at the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich Staatsopern and both the Salzburg and Bayreuth Festivals with a number of illustrious conductors including Levine, Muti, Gergiev, Pappano, Barenboim, Rattle, Boulez, De Waart, Davis, Runnicles and Thielemann.

Notable debuts have included the Royal Opera House as Jenik in The Bartered Bride with Mackerras, the Salzburg Festival in Die Zauberflöte with Muti, the Metropolitan Opera as the Gran Sacerdote in Idomeneo with Levine, Opera Australia as Sergei in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk with Armstrong, La Scala as Siegmund in Die Walküre with Barenboim, the title role of Otello with the London Symphony Orchestra with Davis, the Bayreuth Festival in the title roles of Lohengrin with Nelsons and Parsifal with Gatti, Chairman Mao in Nixon in China with Renes with the San Francisco Opera, and the Vienna Staatsoper in the title role of Parsifal with Thielemann.

He has performed his signature role of Siegmund in Die Walküre in every major house in the world – Teatro alla Scala in the Cassiers production with Barenboim, the Metropolitan Opera in the Otto Schenk and Lepage productions with Runnicles and Luisi, the Keith Warner production at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with Pappano, the Berlin Götz Friedrich Deutsche Oper staging with Rattle and Vienna with Welser-Möst, Hamburg with Young and Munich Staatsopern with Nagano.

Other important engagements have included Parsifal, Die Walküre, Lohengrin, Fidelio and Meistersinger at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Siegmund at the Metropolitan Opera, Berlin and Hamburg Staatsoper, Tosca in Berlin, Hamburg and Tokyo, the Missa Solemnis and Das Lied von der Erde at Carnegie Hall, Gurrelieder at the BBC Proms and Fidelio in concert at the Salzburg Festival.

His discography includes his debut solo award-winning album with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Pietari Inkinen for EMI; Father and Son, Wagner Scenes and Arias, the title role in Verdi’s Otello with Sir Colin Davis with the London Symphony Orchestra, Die Walküre on DVD and Bluray from Teatro alla Scala with Daniel Barenboim, Die Zauberflöte for the Salzburg Festival Mozart 25 DVD with Riccardo Muti and Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with Vladimir Ashkenazy and the Sydney Symphony. Most recently he is included in the EMI release alongside history’s greatest singers in Voices of German Opera.

Simon’s love of music started at the age of 8 with piano lessons with Mrs Perkins and joining the Ashburton Silver Band as second baritone and euphonium. He went on to Eb bass in the 1992 A grade national champions, St Kilda Brass under conductor Peter Adams and performed principal tuba with the Southern Sinfonia. His singing career began in his mid teens as 1st Bass with the New Zealand National Secondary Students Choir conducted by Roger Stevenson going on to the New Zealand Youth Choir under the direction of Dr Karen Grylls.

Born in 1971, Simon is an alumnus of the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington, the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard Opera Center. He is a Fulbright Scholar and was awarded the 2005 Arts Laureate of New Zealand. Simon lives in London and Auckland with his wife, Carmel, and their three children Grace, Tom and Violet.


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