Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Bromance and romance, off-stage and on!

24 June, 2014

Immediate release

Bromance and romance, off-stage and on!

As fire burns in a barrel on-stage to comfort the bohemians of modern-day Paris, the soaring music of Puccini is sure to warm all who come to welcome opera back to Christchurch on a memorable winter’s night. It is impossible not to be swept along by the romance of one of the world’s most popular and tuneful operas, as it encourages us that love outlasts all else.

Some of the world’s most glorious love songs soar above bleak barriers, bright beacons and broken hearts, as palpable mateship draws a bunch of flatmates together in the opening scenes of La bohème, the New Zealand Opera production opening in just a few weeks in Christchurch. Within minutes of the curtain going up, the vocal strength of the four flatmates is evident, in a rich, harmonious gale of tenor, baritone and bass voices. You can almost sense the testosterone.

Then, in moving contrast, within the humble and broken surroundings, love flickers, then flares. Soprano Talise Trevigne slips into their world as Mimi, adding to the heady mix - and it is moving and irresistible. So it has proven for over a century. However the impact and immediacy of this production will not be lost on the Christchurch audience, as love rises from ruins.

The staunch mateship in La bohème feels real, because it is. The four New Zealand men in the opening scenes know each other well, having grown into professional opera together. The painter Marcello (Phillip Rhodes) and the philosopher Colline (Wade Kernot) were Emerging Artists together at NZ Opera, which also nurtured Robert Tucker (the musician Schaunard) as a Resident Artist. The fourth, Shaun Dixon as the love-struck poet Rodolfo, was at Phillip Rhodes’ wedding and has shared the opera stage with him in Cardiff.

Despite a decade-long career in Europe, and private study with Pavarotti, Shaun Dixon could hardly be more down-to-earth, admitting to small-town Tokoroa as home. “Performing this role is a great honour – it’s one of the greatest roles you can sing as a tenor, very difficult but very enjoyable. There’s an immense amount of romanticism and expression, and I’m delighted to be sharing my voice with my home country once again. My voice has changed a lot over the years and I feel I’m ready to showcase it.”

Once a “Westie”, bass Wade Kernot also departed his small community to take residence in Europe, and returns to sing in La bohème for Christchurch, and in La traviata for Wellington and Auckland during the NZO 2014 season. He now lives in the borderlands of Switzerland with Germany, where he and his wife Emma both have established professional opera careers.

New York-based Talise Trevigne is the only principal not to call New Zealand home, although that might be negotiable, given that her manager is a Kiwi, and she studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music as a fellow pupil with New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neill. Talise has also just finished a South Island winter honeymoon.

“Another Bohème was on my list for this season, but my manager rang me and said I was going to New Zealand, which is a very special place for me. So I moved quite a lot to be here, including my wedding, and I’m happy that I’ve done so. Given the terrible winter in New York, this is one I will very happily take – it’s a lovely winter!”

Puccini’s moving masterpiece of burning passion and flickering loss is presented for just three, fully-staged performances in the CBS Arena (15, 16 and 18 July). It features the local Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus under the direction of Sharolyn Kimmorley, and Canterbury’s own Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

/ends/

LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini

A New Zealand Opera production. Sung in Italian with English surtitles

CREATIVE TEAM

Conductor FRANCESCO PASQUALETTI

Director PATRICK NOLAN

Restage Director STEVEN ANTHONY WHITING

Set Designer RALPH MYERS

Costume Designer ELIZABETH WHITING

Lighting Designer BERNIE TAN

CAST

Mimì TALISE TREVIGNE

Rodolfo SHAUN DIXON

Marcello PHILLIP RHODES

Musetta MADELEINE PIERARD

Schaunard ROBERT TUCKER

Colline WADE KERNOT

Benoit RICHARD GREAGER

Alcindoro RICHARD GREEN

Parpignol OLIVER SEWELL

Accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Featuring the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus

Christchurch – CBS Canterbury Arena

15, 16, 18 July 7.30pm

BOOKINGS:

NZ Opera Box Office: Tel 0800 NZOPERA (0800 696 737) or bookings@nzopera.co.nz

Auckland: Ticketmaster, Tel 0800 TICKETMASTER (0800 111 999) or www.ticketmaster.co.nz

Wellington: Ticketek, Tel 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or www.ticketek.co.nz

Christchurch: Ticketek, Tel 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or www.ticketek.co.nz

*Booking fees apply

New Zealand Opera receives core funding from Creative New Zealand and Auckland Council through the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: No Pretence. No Bullshit. Fine Poem.

John Dickson doesn’t publish much; never has. Indeed, this new collection is his first such in 18 years. As he wryly and dryly states,

I’ve published two slim volumes, and spent all
My time working on the next.
(from Wasp p.67) More>>

Scoop Review of Books: Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays On Place From Aotearoa NZ

The New Zealand landscape undoubtedly is very beautiful, but so is the British one, and my attachment to this country is much more about some particular places, and the memories and emotions that in them combine, than it is about the landscape as a whole. More>>

Canonisation Fodder: Suzanne Aubert Declared ‘Venerable’

Suzanne Aubert, the founder of the Sisters of Compassion New Zealand’s home grown order of Sisters, has been declared ‘venerable’, a major milestone on the path to sainthood in the Catholic Church. More>>

“I Have Not Performed Well Enough”: Ernie Merrick Leaving Wellington Phoenix

Ernie Merrick has stepped down from his position as Wellington Phoenix FC Head Coach. The club would like to thank Ernie for his contribution to Wellington Phoenix and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. More>>

Ray Columbus: NZ Music Icon Passes Away

60s New Zealand music Icon Ray Columbus has passed away peacefully at his home north of Auckland... Ray Columbus enjoyed more than three decades at the top of NZ entertainment as a singer, songwriter, bandleader, music manager and TV star. More>>

Review: Bernard Herrmann's Scores For 'Vertigo' & 'Psycho'

Howard Davis: The NZSO's adventurousness was richly-rewarded, as the deeply appreciative Wellington audience was given the opportunity not only to see a couple of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, but also to hear fine renditions of two of Bernard Herrmann's most accomplished film scores. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Leonard Cohen

If Bob Dylan owned the 1960s, Leonard Cohen was an inescapable presence during the early 1970s period, pre-disco and pre-punk. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Pick And Camera

Through the eyes of a miner – the photography of Joseph Divis: The occupations of miner and photographer are seldom combined. The conjunction must have been very rare indeed in the era before hand-held cameras, high-speed film and flashlights More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news