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

 
Review: Howard Davis On Olivier Assayas' 'Personal Shopper'

Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper is stylish, mysterious, and very strange indeed. It manages to be both ghost story and suspense thriller, yet also a portrait of numbed loneliness and ennui , held together by an peculiarly inexpressive performance from ... More>>

Howard Davis: Never Too Old To Rock & Roll - Jethro Tull

As Greil Marcus recently observed in an NYRB review of Robbie Robertson's autobiographical Testimony, in rock and roll there is always an origin story. In the case of Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson, he claims to have been influenced by his father's big band and jazz record collections and the emergence of rock music in the 1950s, but became disenchanted with the "show biz" style of early US stars like Elvis Presley... More>>

October: Alice Cooper Returns To NZ

It was March 1977 when Alice Cooper undertook his first ever concert tour of New Zealand – and broke attendance records. 40 years on and this revered entertainer continues to surprise and exude danger at every turn, thrilling audiences globally! More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: The Contemporary Relevance Of Denial

Denial has all the hallmarks of a riveting courtroom drama. Based on a 1996 British libel case that author David Irving brought against Lipstadt, the movie has been criticized as flat and stagey, but it nonetheless conveys a visceral clarity of vision and sense of overwhelming urgency. More>>

Obituary: John Clarke Dies Aged 68

Andrew Little: “I grew up with Fred Dagg and I am devastated by John Clarke’s death. He taught us to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh at our politicians.” More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis: Colin McCahon's 'on Going Out With The Tide'

Curated by Wystan Curnow and Robert Leonard, On Going Out with the Tide features major works that have been assembled from public and private collections across New Zealand and Australia. It focusses on McCahon’s evolving engagement with Māori subjects and themes, ranging from early treatments of koru imagery to later history paintings which refer to Māori prophets and investigate land-rights issues. More>>

Howard Davis: Rodger Fox Gets Out The Funk

By now a living New Zealand legend, band leader and trombonist Rodger Fox has performed with some of the biggest names in the jazz business, including Louie Bellson, Bill Reichenbach, Chuck Findley, Randy Crawford, Bobby Shew, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Paulson, Diane Schuur, Arturo Sandoval, David Clayton-Thomas, and Joe Williams, to name only a few. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news