12 Oct 2009

This content is tagged as Music .


Vibrant drama at heart of 2010 Opera season

Issued by The NBR New Zealand Opera

The NBR New Zealand Opera launched its 2010 Season today, revealing a programme rich in drama as two masterpieces of the theatre, The Marriage of Figaro and Macbeth, are brought to New Zealand’s opera stages.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The Marriage of Figaro (15-22 May: Wellington; 3-13 June: Auckland)
The Marriage of Figaro reveals Mozart at his most daring in setting to sublime music Beaumarchais’ contemporary and highly subversive play. The result is opera at its best.
It is eight years since The NBR New Zealand last staged Mozart’s much-loved opera, so for many, a new production is well overdue. Many also believe that it has been a long wait for the Company’s General Director Aidan Lang to make his New Zealand directing debut. Board Chairman Sir David Gascoigne says, “Aidan has an international reputation as a highly respected and creative director on the opera stage. We’ve had this ace up our sleeves since he joined the Company in 2006 and have been waiting for the perfect opera for him to direct. His interpretation of The Marriage of Figaro will prove the wait has been worth it.”
Alongside Lang, an excellent line-up of New Zealand and international opera singers have been secured for the principal roles including one of the biggest names in opera circles today – Italian soprano Nuccia Focile. “It’s a great coup to have Nuccia Focile in the role of the Countess,” Lang says. “Renowned for her interpretation of Mozart’s heroines, Nuccia is a consummate performer as those who saw her in Simon Boccanegra in 2000 will agree.” Joining her is a strong New Zealand cast led by exciting up-and-coming bass Wade Kernot as Figaro. Renowned opera and orchestral conductor Lionel Friend takes the baton.
The Marriage of Figaro
Sung in Italian with English surtitles

Conductor Lionel Friend
Director Aidan Lang
Set Designer Robin Rawstorne
Costume Designer Elizabeth Whiting
Lighting Designer David Eversfield

Figaro Wade Kernot
Susanna To be announced
Count Almaviva Riccardo Novaro
Countess Almaviva Nuccia Focile
Cherubino Wendy Dawn Thompson
Doctor Bartolo Gennadi Dubinsky
Marcellina Helen Medlyn
Don Basilio Richard Greager
Antonio Richard Green
Don Curzio Derek Hill+
Barbarina Alexandra Ioan*

With the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus
Accompanied by the Vector Wellington Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

* PwC Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist
+ NBR New Zealand Opera Resident Artist

Wellington – St James Theatre
15, 20, 22 May (7.30pm), 18 May (6pm)

Auckland – Aotea Centre, THE EDGE®
3, 5, 9, 11 June (7.30pm), 13 June (2.30pm)

Genesis Energy Season of Macbeth (18-25 Sep: Auckland; 9-16 Oct: Wellington)
Verdi’s Macbeth, one of the greatest operas Shakespeare’s work has inspired, is the classic tale of ambition, corruption and bloody revenge.
On deciding to programme Macbeth, Aidan Lang had no doubts that bringing in Opera North’s 2008 production was the ideal option. “Opera North is an award-winning opera company and one of the leading arts organisations in Europe,” he says, “and this is a compelling production. It’s austere, hard hitting and truthful, an uncompromising piece of work that gets to the heart of the tragedy.”
Brought to the stage by internationally acclaimed theatre and opera director, Tim Albery, Lang says he has secured a top national and international cast to make this a captivating production. Welsh baritone Jason Howard, who was thrilling as Enrico in the Company’s 2007 production of Lucia di Lammermoor, is in the title role. Alongside him are Italian soprano Antonia Cifrone as Lady Macbeth, New Zealand-born bass Jud Arthur as Banquo, and returning following his exciting portrayal of Lensky in 2009’s Eugene Onegin, Russian tenor Roman Shulackoff as Macduff. Conducting the orchestras is highly lauded maestro Guido Ajmone-Marsan.

Genesis Energy Season of Macbeth
An Opera North production
Sung in Italian with English surtitles

Conductor Guido Ajmone-Marsan
Director Tim Albery
Associate and Movement Director Maxine Braham
Set Designer Johan Engels
Costume Designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel
Lighting Designer Bruno Poet

Macbeth Michele Kalmandi
Lady Macbeth Antonia Cifrone
Banquo Jud Arthur
Macduff Roman Shulackoff
Malcolm Derek Hill+
Lady-in-waiting Morag Atchison
Doctor Matthew Landreth

With the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus
Accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the Vector Wellington Orchestra

+ NBR New Zealand Opera Resident Artist

Auckland – Aotea Centre, THE EDGE®
18, 23, 25 September (7.30pm), 21 September (6.30pm)

Wellington – St James Theatre
9, 14, 16 October (7.30pm), 12 October (6pm)

The NBR New Zealand Opera receives core funding from Creative New Zealand
Media enquiries: Caroline Nelson, ParadisePR Ltd, caroline.nelson@paradise.net.nz 021 244 1299
Further information: www.nzopera.com