Supported by generous help from the Turnovsky Endowment Trust

Posts tagged: opera

Magical I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bellini) the tenth production by Rhona Fraser’s Opera in Days Bay

By , 27/08/2016
This production of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, like the productions of several of the operas done by Rhona Fraser’s Days Bay company, was probably the New Zealand premiere. Though there may have been performances by minor opera groups over recent years, I’m sure no recent professional production would have escaped me. (but see more in the Appendix below) One of the problems with this assumed Shakespeare-modelled piece has been... read more

Don Giovanni scores impressively in performance by Eternity Opera’s second cast

By , 24/08/2016
When I arrived at the theatre at 7pm, I was surprised (and delighted) to find a box office queue out to the street. Though it proved to be largely because there was only one person handling both sales and the collection of already purchased tickets, it did show that the production had attracted high interest, and indeed by 7.30, there was scarcely an empty seat in the house. This was... read more

The Don rides out again – Eternity Opera’s “other” Don Giovanni

By , 20/08/2016
What a delight to be able to enjoy, within the space of a few days, a second, almost entirely different cast performing the same operatic production! Eternity Opera's Don Giovanni had opened on the previous Saturday (reviewed by Middle C, below) and this was the single chance for the "understudy cast" members to demonstrate what they could do in public - with the exception of the Zerlina, Emily Mwila... read more

Opera with energy and excitement – Eternity Opera Company’s Don Giovanni at the Hannah Playhouse

By , 20/08/2016

The name “Eternity Opera” is itself a splendid gauntlet-brandishing gesture, an assertive declaration of overall purpose and intent, reinforced by a note in the programme for Saturday night’s opening of the new company’s season of “Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”–  firstly, “to stage productions that are exciting and accessible to anyone” and, just as importantly, “to support the many talented singers and musicians in the Wellington region”. Judging by what... read more

The Magic Flute in brilliant production, with mainly New Zealand cast of polish and energy

By , 28/05/2016
This production that has engaged a number of young and highly promising New Zealand singers (only three from overseas), was probably among the most spectacular (and expensive I imagine) ever seen in New Zealand. Happily, it also succeeded in capturing the essential qualities of this hybrid work. It combines singspiel, comic opera, mime, vaudeville, employing a text that mixes Masonic ritual and ancient Egyptian religion, a touch of Christianity... read more

Brass Poppies – ordinary people at war

By , 03/03/2016

Poet Vincent O'Sullivan and composer Ross Harris have collaborated on no less than eleven words-and-music works since 2002, the most recent being the chamber opera "Brass Poppies". The work received its premiere at Shed 6 in Wellington last week, and after finishing a four-night season has gone on to Auckland's Mercury Theatre where it will play for two more nights later this week.

Though the opera was actually... read more

Handel’s early Agrippina in brilliant Days Bay production

By , 14/02/2016
Wellington’s boutique opera company that presents most of its productions in the beech forest-surrounded garden of the company’s producer, Rhona Fraser, staged its ninth opera at the height of an unusually warm summer. We regretted not making time before the performance to join the thousands on the beach, for a swim, with the temperature hovering around 27 degrees. This was the company’s second Handel opera, after Alcina in 2012. Other... read more

A few days in Sydney for opera and symphony

By , 04/12/2015
Readers with sharp eyes will have noticed my absence from the pages of Middle C over the past month. It is partly to be explained by my little trip to Sydney to fulfil a long-standing ambition to see the work of a small Sydney opera company, Pinchgut Opera, which specializes in early opera, of the 17th and 18th centuries. When I edited New Zealand Opera News (till 2006), I... read more

New Zealand Opera’s Tosca a triumph at all levels

By , 10/10/2015
The Wellington run of Tosca no doubt benefitted after uniformly positive reviews and word-of-mouth reports from Auckland. The reports from Auckland were not mistaken; here was one of the most impressive and successful productions from this company yet. In Wellington, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra was in the pit, and it was, of course, a superb collaboration that obliged the audience to notice Puccini’s masterly dramatic orchestration and the ways in... read more

NZSM Voice-Students at St Andrew’s

A varied programme was provided, both in terms of the styles of voices, and of the composers whose music was sung.  The items were all solos, unlike the equivalent programme two years ago, when ensembles were included in the programme.  There was a nice mixture of the familiar and the less familiar.

Each singer sang two or three (or in one case, four) items.  I have grouped the... read more

Panorama Theme by Themocracy