NZ Opera

La boheme
La boheme by Giacomo Puccini

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The La boheme season has now closed.

Eternal Flame.

A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. Puccini’s glorious masterpiece of youthful flirtation, passionate love and heart breaking tragedy springs to life in this exciting production which brings freshness, energy and a modern perspective. Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, La bohème will remind you what it means to be alive and in love.

The Cast

This NZ Opera production, revisited from our acclaimed 2008 season, stars Talise Trevigne as Mimì, with New Zealanders tenor Shaun Dixon as Rodolfo and baritone Phillip Rhodes as Marcello.

The Story

When Rodolfo, a penniless poet, meets Mimì, a seamstress, they fall passionately in love. But their happiness is threatened when Rodolfo learns that Mimì is gravely ill. As her health rapidly declines her friends gather and watch on helplessly as she succumbs, her true love at her side.

Accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Featuring the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles. 

A New Zealand Opera production.

Phillip Rhodes performance is generously supported by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.


Christchurch CBS

July 15—18

CBS Canterbury Arena

  • Tuesday 15
  • Wednesday 16
  • Friday 18
Pre-show Talks

16, 18 July 6.30pm
South Concourse, CBS Canterbury Arena

Opera Exposed Night

16 July from 6.30pm

Pre-Opera Dining

In Christchurch enjoy a superb meal at George Hotel's Pescatore Restaurant. Pre-Opera dinner packages are available at $55 per person (book now on 03 371 0257).

La boheme flyer

La boheme flyer


Talise TrevigneShaun DixonPhillip RhodesMadeleine PierardRobert Tucker Wade KernotRichard GreagerRichard GreenOliver Sewell

Talise Trevigne Mimì

Shaun Dixon Rodolfo

Phillip Rhodes Marcello Read bio

Madeleine Pierard Musetta

Robert Tucker Schaunard Read bio

Wade Kernot Colline

Richard Greager Benoit

Richard Green Alcindoro

Oliver Sewell Parpignol

Phillip Rhodes

New Zealand baritone, Phillip Rhodes, begins the 2013-14 Season as Balstrode (cover) Peter Grimes at Opera North (UK). He continues with the company in his role debut as Marcello La Boheme. He appears in concert with his mentor, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa several times throughout the season. Recent successes include his debut as Count de Luna Il Trovatore at Dorset Festival Opera, and his debut engagement at Opera North as Aeneas Dido and Aeneas/ Iago (cover) Otello.

In previous seasons, the artist covered Monterone Rigoletto at NBR New Zealand Opera and in the title role of their new production of Hohepa, presented at the New Zealand International Arts Festival. He sang Scarpia Tosca at Dorset Opera, and returned to Australia and New Zealand for concert appearances with Auckland Philharmonia in Carmina Burana, and recital appearances with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa throughout Australia.

Previous roles include Tonio Pagliacci and Alfio Cavalleria Ruticana at New Zealand Opera, as well as Geronimo Il Matrimonio Segreto (Cimarosa) and Signor Bruschino Il Signore Bruschino at Opera Barga Festival in Italy. Phillip also appeared in The New Zealand Arts Festival as Maori Chef in Trial of the Cannibal Dog by Matthew Suttor and John Downie.

In 2006, Phillip toured with New Zealand Opera in the role of Malatesta Don Pasquale. He appeared as Ping Turandot and covered Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor. Phillip also enjoyed playing Grandfather Clock and Black Cat in Auckland Opera Factory’s production of L’Enfant et Les Sortilèges.

In 2008, Phillip was awarded a scholarship to attend the Cardiff International Academy of Voice under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill. He won Second Place in the International Montserrat Caballe Competition held in Zaragosa, Spain, and appeared in concert with the legendary diva in Cologne, Germany.

In 2005, Phillip won the prestigious New Zealand Aria Competition and quickly followed this success by winning the highly significant Lexus Song Quest, which brought him to the attention of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who still maintains her interest in his career. Phillip is proud to acknowledge the support and guidance of Dame Kiri and her foundation.

Graduating with a Diploma in Performing Arts (Voice and Drama) from the Eastern Institute of Technology, Hawkes Bay (New Zealand), Mr. Rhodes appeared as Riff West Side Story, Pilate Jesus Christ Superstar and MacHeath/The Beggar The Beggar’s Opera. He became an Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera in 2004, appearing in step-out roles in several productions as well as singing Marcello La Bohème, covering Monterone Rigoletto, and inaugurating the title role in Turpin, a world premiere.

In future seasons, Phillip returns to New Zealand for the role of Marcello, and Iago Otello.

Phillip Rhodes

Robert Tucker

Background Born in Australia but raised in Dunedin. Holds a BMus (University of Otago). Became an Emerging Performer at the Australian Opera Studio in Perth in 2005. Opera repertoire Masetto: Don Giovanni, Schaunard: La bohème, Polyphemus: Acis and Galatea, Noah: Noye's Fludde, Prout/Army Major/Reporter/Settler: Hōhepa (NZO); Masetto: Don Giovanni, Ford: Falstaff (IFAC Opera Japan); Count Almaviva: The Marriage of Figaro (English Chamber Opera); Moralès: Carmen (Scottish Opera, Auckland Opera Studio); Guglielmo: Così fan tutte (Australian Opera Studio, Opera Otago); Papageno: Die Zauberflöte, Harlequin: Ariadne auf Naxos, Lescaut: Manon, Mr Peachum: The Threepenny Opera, Garibaldo: Rodelinda (Australian Opera Studio); Opera Highlights tour (Scottish Opera). Concert repertoire includes Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Elijah, Vaughan-Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, Stanford’s Songs of the Sea.

Robert Tucker


Francesco PasqualettiPatrick NolanSteven Anthony WhitingRalph MyersElizabeth WhitingBernie Tan

Francesco Pasqualetti Conductor Read bio

Patrick Nolan Director

Steven Anthony Whiting Restage Director

Ralph Myers Set Designer

Elizabeth Whiting Costume Designer

Bernie Tan Lighting Designer

Francesco Pasqualetti

Francesco studied Orchestral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music London with Sir Colin Davis and Colin Metters, at the Accademia Chigiana with Gianluigi Gelmetti and at the Accademia Musicale di Stresa with Gianandrea Noseda.

Maestro Noseda invited Francesco to conduct Rachmaninoff II Symphony with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester and he attended the LSO Discovery Scheme, having the chance to conduct Brahms III Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra.

In 2015 Francesco will debut at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice with La Scala di Seta, he will perform the symphonic season of the Orchestre d'Avergne and conduct a new production of Madame Butterfly at the New Zealand Opera.

Operatic engagements include Il Matrimonio Segreto and Die Zauberfloete at the Teatro Regio in Torino, La Scala di Seta at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, La Boheme at New Zealand Opera, Barbiere di Siviglia at Stresa Festival with the OGI Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, La Traviata and Italiana in Algeri at the Teatro di Como AsLiCo, Le Nozze di Figaro and Il Don Giovanni at the Teatro di Pisa, L’Elisir d’Amore at the Teatro di Cagliairi, at the Teatro di Sassari and at the RNCM (Manchester). In summer 2013 Francesco was Maestro Noseda’s assistant and cover conductor for Rigoletto at the Aix-en-Provence Festival with the London Symphony Orchestra. During the Festival he also conducted two symphonic concerts with the OJM-Mediterranean Youth Orchestra. He is a visiting professor at the National Opera Studio in London for the Italian operatic repertoire.

He has conducted symphonic concerts with the ORT-Orchestra della Toscana as well as the I Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra , the RNCM Symphony Orchestra-Manchester, the I Virtuosi del Teatro alla Scala, the Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino and the Orchestra del Teatro Regio di Torino, performing with soloists like Boris Belkin, Francesca Dego, Bruno Canino and Marie-Josèphe Jude.

Francesco has been the assistant of Gianluigi Gelmetti, Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Colin Davis and Trevor Pinnock at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opéra de Monte Carlo, Stresa Festival.

He was awarded the “Diploma d’onore” from Accademia Chigiana, and the “Henry Wood” Prize at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He has a Magna cum Laude Master Degree in Philosophy at the University of Pisa.

Francesco Pasqualetti