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

 

Zany opera to banish recession blues

The Italian Girl in Algiers


The NBR New Zealand
Opera: The Italian Girl in Algiers
Click to enlarge

MEDIA RELEASE

Issued by The NBR New Zealand Opera

4 March 2009

Zany opera to banish recession blues

Modern, sexy, sassy, fun – The NBR New Zealand Opera’s daring new production of The Italian Girl in Algiers, opening in May, is opera as you have most likely never seen it before.

Director Colin McColl and Set Designer Tony Rabbit both have reputations for thinking well outside the square. Their take on The Italian Girl in Algiers will be scintillating and surprising, with much of what they have in store for audiences remaining under wraps until opening night.

“We’re giving audiences a taste of something totally new with this production,” says Colin McColl. “By adopting an untraditional way of looking at this opera buffa favourite we have come up with a concept that hasn’t been done before in this country. Music aside,” he adds, “this opera is basically a very funny sex comedy with all the twists and turns of a daytime soap opera or sitcom, with all the glib morality of that genre. And while I can’t give away exactly the direction we’re taking, I can say that we’ve incorporated something of that in our production – we want it to zing for today’s audiences.”

General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera, Aidan Lang says that he felt it was time the Company presented a comedy. “While we programmed this opera long before the recession took hold, it now seems timely to be giving audiences a night of pure escapism and zany comedy, a chance to just kick back and have a thoroughly good time. And though this opera does have a fairly madcap plot, it actually bears a strong resemblance to everyday life. There is much to identify with in the characters and how they live their lives.”

A strong contingent of New Zealand singers are secured for the lead roles. London based mezzo soprano Wendy Dawn Thompson – now a major name overseas – is returning to sing the feisty Isabella. The irrepressible Conal Coad takes on the role of the lusty Mustafà. Hot young German tenor Christian Baumgärtel makes his NBR New Zealand Opera debut as Lindoro, and established and highly regarded Australian baritone Warwick Fyfe sings Taddeo. Three talented New Zealanders complete the principal artist line-up: Katherine Wiles has a release from her Opera Australia contract to perform the role of Elvira;

Auckland-based Richard Green sings Haly; and also returning from overseas, The NBR New Zealand Opera’s new PwC Dame Malvina Major Young Artist Kristen Darragh joins the cast as Zulma.

The Company’s esteemed Director of Music, Wyn Davies, takes the podium; alongside him are the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus, Vector Wellington Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Colin McColl and Tony Rabbit are complemented in the creative department by Costume Designer Nic Smillie.

The Italian Girl in Algiers returns to Wellington and Auckland stages after an absence of more than 20 years. A collaboration with Scottish Opera, the production travels to Scotland for a series of performances in October following its New Zealand season.

The Italian Girl in Algiers is energetic, fast and funny – a pure antidote to the recession blues...

The Italian Girl in Algiers

Wellington – St James Theatre

Sat 9, Thu 14 and Sat 16 May (7:30pm), Tue 12 May (6:00pm)


Auckland – Aotea Centre, THE EDGE®

Thu 28, Sat 30 May, Thu 4 and Sat 6 June (7:30pm), Tue 2 June (6:30pm)

Single Tickets: $49.50 to $187.50. Concessions available. Service fees apply.

Bookings: The NBR NZ Opera Box Office, Tel (09) 379 4068 or (04) 499 8343, or:

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

Auckland: The Edge Box office, Tel (09) 357 3355 or visit www.the-edge.co.nz

Further information at www.nzopera.com

The NBR New Zealand Opera receives core funding from Creative New Zealand

The Italian Girl in Algiers is made possible with major support from Pub Charity

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'


The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>


Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland