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Freemasons boost their opera support to Gold level

MEDIA RELEASE

Issued by The NBR New Zealand Opera

14 May 2012

Freemasons boost their opera support to Gold level

The NBR New Zealand Opera’s commitment to nurturing young singers has been given a significant boost through the generous support of Freemasons Roskill Foundation.

The Freemasons have been providing financial support for the opera company’s Resident Artists since 2008. Now, they have committed to a considerable increase in their funding for the next five years, becoming the overarching sponsor of the three-tier Freemasons New Zealand Opera Internships.

The Freemasons join existing sponsor, the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, in funding the internship programme. The three internship tiers, providing support for a total of 15 singers during the 2012/2013 period, are:

• Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Young Artist

• Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists

• Freemasons Resident Artists

General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera, Aidan Lang, says that in this economic climate it is heartening to be at the receiving end of such philanthropy. “The Freemasons are an extraordinary organisation,” he says, “with a laudable commitment to giving back to the community, particularly in the areas of science and the arts. The development of new talent is the lifeblood of opera, and we are absolutely thrilled that the Freemasons see the value in fostering that talent, and are committed to working with us to help New Zealand’s emerging singers realise their potential.”

Freemasons in New Zealand were first organised in 1890 and have approximately 9,000 members in around 250 Masonic Lodges throughout the country. Each year, Freemasons give millions of dollars to New Zealand community groups, charities, higher education, medical research, and the young in the arts. All funding for this activity is derived solely from Freemasons own resources, both personal contributions of present members and by accumulation since the beginnings of Freemasonry in New Zealand by the settlers in the 19th century.

David Mace, Chairman of Freemasons Roskill Foundation, said that this support for the NBR New Zealand Opera continues the Freemasons tradition of fostering the finer qualities of life. “By encouraging developing singers and rewarding those who succeed, the real beneficiary of this relationship will be New Zealand society which will derive pleasure and stimulation from world class opera, delivered in this country by this talented group of artists.”

The official announcement of the Freemasons’ heightened involvement with The NBR New Zealand Opera takes place at a function in Wellington on Monday 21 May.


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