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The stars come out for Nelson's Opera in the Park 2018

The stars come out for Nelson's Opera in the Park 2018
18 January 2018

One of Nelson’s favourite events is back with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for a night of music and song.

What: Opera in the Park
When: Saturday 24 February, 7.30-10pm
Where: Saxton Cricket Oval, Stoke
Cost: Early bird adult $15 (until Wed 31 Jan) full price adult $25, child (5-15) $5, child under 5 FREE (prices exclude TicketDirect service fee)

Opera in the Park is one of Nelson’s most anticipated events, attracting an audience in the thousands. The 2018 concert will see the welcome return of New Zealand Symphony Orchestra – it’s been five years since they last played in Nelson and 15 years since they last played at Opera in the Park.

The pre-show entertainment is Nelson City Brass led by Musical Director Nigel Weeks. Always a crowd favourite, the band will set the mood for the night, playing tunes in their inimitable big brassy style.

The NZSO will be led by acclaimed New Zealand conductor Hamish McKeich, joined by three celebrated singers: Simon O’Neill and Anna Leese, who both have international opera careers, and are well known to Opera in the Park audiences; and straight off the back of her 20th anniversary tour, Bic Runga will sing her songs accompanied by the might of the orchestra.

McKeich is excited to be bringing the NZSO back to Nelson. “As New Zealand’s national orchestra, we truly relish the opportunity to play to audiences around the country. Nelson Opera in the Park is a particularly special occasion, as it’s the only outdoor concert we will perform in 2018, making it the largest audience for any single concert for the NZSO. And with such a stellar line-up of singers, we can’t wait!”

Councillor Gaile Noonan, Chair of the Community Services Committee, says, “Opera in the Park is the perfect combination of a large-scale outdoor concert, featuring our national orchestra and some of the country’s most feted singers. I know it’s going to be a wonderful night.”

Selected by Musical Director Pete Rainey, the 2018 programme has broad appeal, from instantly recognisable film scores such as Star Wars and Jurassic Park, well-known arias from La Bohème and Tosca, as well as Bic Runga’s much-loved contemporary pop songs. Opera in the Park is the perfect occasion to pack a picnic, gather family and friends, and settle in for a night under the stars with music that will make the heart swoon. And that’s even before the finale of fireworks!

Opera in the Park is part of Nelson City Council’s Summer Events, featuring in the Summer Events Guide, which is full of community, cultural, sports and recreation events.

Copies of the Summer Events Guide 2017/18 can be picked up at Council’s Customer Service Centre, libraries and i-SITES throughout Nelson and Tasman, or downloaded from

For further information and updates, go to ‘summerinnelson’ Facebook

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