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Opera a thrill for the senses


Issued by New Zealand Opera

5 August 2013

Opera a thrill for the senses

“Expect theatricality!” says Wyn Davies, conductor of New Zealand Opera’s forthcoming new production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, opening in Wellington on 14 September and in Auckland on 5 October.

NZ Opera’s production of The Flying Dutchman is New Zealand’s first fully staged Wagner opera in over 20 years, so no stone is being left unturned to ensure it’s a thrilling night in the theatre.

Wyn Davies, who is also NZ Opera’s Director of Music, says when it comes to The Flying Dutchman, what’s so staggering is its newness, and the shock of it. “The year is 1839,” he says, “and out comes the 28 year old Wagner’s Dutchman, all guns blazing. This is theatrical, even cinematic Romanticism undiluted, fully formed and foaming. The hero is the Heathcliff of opera, a storm-beaten piece of rough; and the girl who falls for him does so with a soaring, scorching passion of the kind only opera can supply.”

Add to that exhilarating, heart-on-sleeve music, and it’s clear why this opera, the earliest of Wagner’s masterpieces, is still a favourite, 175 years after it was written by a young and avant-garde composer.

Aidan Lang, General Director of NZ Opera, has put this new production of The Flying Dutchman in the hands of award-winning Australians Matthew Lutton (director) and Zoe Atkinson (designer). “Together with lighting designer Jon Buswell,” Lang says, “this team has created a production that is probing and challenging, and gets right to the very heart of this intriguing drama.

“We’ve secured a cast of international opera stars as well,” he says, “with Welsh baritone Jason Howard as The Dutchman, New Zealand bass Paul Whelan as Daland, Irish soprano Orla Boylan as Senta, English tenor Peter Auty as Erik, and New Zealanders Shaun Dixon (tenor) and Wendy Doyle (mezzo soprano) as The Steersman and Mary, respectively. With the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus and the full force of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington, and the Auckland Philharmonia in Auckland, expect a theatrical and musical tour de force,” he says.

The Flying Dutchman is a co-production between New Zealand Opera and Opera Queensland. It is sung in German with English surtitles.


Wellington – St James Theatre

Sat 14, Thu 19, Sat 21 September, 7:30pm; Tue 17 September, 6:00pm

Auckland – ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

Sat 5, Thu 10, Sat 12 October, 7:30pm; Tue 8 October, 6:30pm

Single Tickets: $49.50 to $189.50. Concessions available for benefactors, senior citizens, students and group bookings. Service fees apply.

Bookings: NZ Opera Box Office, Tel 0800 NZOPERA/696 737, (09) 379 4068 or (04) 499 8343, or:

Auckland: The Edge, Tel 0800 BUYTICKETS (0800 289 842) or

Wellington: Ticketek, Tel 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 538) or

Group Bookings

Opera for Groups offers great incentives for social or corporate groups, including a 10% discount on each ticket for groups of 10 or more people plus one ticket free for every 10 purchased. Call New Zealand Opera for more information.

*WARNING: contains nudity

Further information:


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