NZ Opera

La traviata
La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi

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The La traviata season has now closed.

LOVE BLOSSOMS IN WELLINGTON. 11-19 July, St James Theatre

Verdi’s heartfelt tale of a beautiful but fragile courtesan forced to give up the man of her dreams is the most performed opera in the world and an irresistible classic. Reckless love, masked revelry, family strife and self-sacrifice; La traviata is musical storytelling at its most spectacular recounted in a cascade of instantly recognisable tunes.

The Cast

This lavish new production stars Australian soprano Lorina Gore as Violetta Valéry with Scottish baritone David Stephenson as Giorgio Germont and Australian tenor Samuel Sakker as his son Alfredo. We welcome the return of the dynamic Creative Team who gave us an exquisite Madame Butterfly in 2013; Kate Cherry (Director), Christina Smith (Designer) and Matt Scott (Lighting Designer).

The Story

Violetta is one of the most desirable women in Paris. When she at last meets a young man with whom she truly falls in love, his father demands a supreme sacrifice from her to save the family's reputation. Her broken heart and the disease that ravages her body bring her to an early and tragic death.

Download Synopsis

Accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington. 

Featuring the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus.

A co-production between New Zealand Opera, The State Opera of South Australia and Opera Queensland. 

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

- Lorina Gore's performance is proudly supported by The Friedlander Foundation.
- Samuel Sakker's performance is proudly supported by Trevor and Jan Farmer.
Rachelle Pike's performance is proudly supported by John and Margaret Hunn.
Wade Kernot's performance is proudly supported by Wellington Friends of the Opera.
- Wendy Doyle's performance is proudly supported by Auckland Friends of the Opera.



June 19—29

ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre

  • Thursday 19
  • Saturday 21
  • Wednesday 25
  • Friday 27
  • Sunday 29
Pre-show Talks

21, 25, 27 June 6.30pm, 29 June 1.30pm
Air New Zealand foyer, Level 5, Aotea Centre

Opera Exposed & Friends Night

25 June from 6.30pm

Dinner option Auckland

In Auckland enjoy a superb two course meal and glass of wine at Hotel DeBrett’s award winning Kitchen Restaurant. Pre-Opera dinner packages are available at $45 per person (book now with Hotel DeBrett on 09 969 1545).


July 11—19

St James Theatre

  • Friday 11
  • Sunday 13
  • Tuesday 15
  • Thursday 17
  • Saturday 19
Pre-show Talks

13 July 1.30pm; 15 July 5pm; 17, 19 July 6.30pm
Hospitality Suite, 1st Floor gallery, St James Theatre

Opera Exposed & Friends Night

15 July from 5pm

Dinner option Wellington

In our capital city, Wellington, enjoy a fabulous pre-Opera Bistro meal with the ever-wonderful Logan Brown Restaurant for $49.50 per person (book now with Logan Brown on 04 801 5114).

La traviata flyer

La traviata flyer


Lorina GoreSamuel SakkerDavid Stephenson Jared HoltWade Kernot Kieran RaynerDavid HibbardOliver SewellAndrew Grenon Wendy Doyle Laurence Walls Rachelle Pike

Lorina Gore Violetta Valéry

Samuel Sakker Alfredo Germont Read bio

David Stephenson Giorgio Germont

Jared Holt Baron Duphol Read bio

Wade Kernot Marchese d'Obigny Read bio

Kieran Rayner Marchese (13, 15 July)

David Hibbard Doctor Grenvil

Oliver Sewell Gastone (A)

Andrew Grenon Gastone (W); Giuseppe (A)

Wendy Doyle Annina

Laurence Walls Giuseppe (W)

Rachelle Pike Flora Read bio

Samuel Sakker

Background Born in Australia. Attended the Queensland Conservatorium where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music (2008). Began his singing career as a chorister and understudy for Opera Queensland (2006) and went on to join Opera Australia’s full time chorus while also understudying and performing roles (2008). The recipient of several awards and scholarships including: the More Than Opera German-Australian Opera Grant (2010), the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust (2011–12), the Herald Sun Aria Competition (2013) and the Australian International Opera Awards (2014). And this year he commences as a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, London. Repertoire Alfredo: La traviata, Baroncelli: Rienzi (Melbourne Opera); Fenton: Falstaff, Young Servant: Elektra (West Australian Opera); Trin: La Fanciulla del West (Opera Queensland); Don Ottavio: Don Giovanni (OzOpera tour); Giuseppe: La traviata, Charles Edward/Judge/Inquisitor/Cosmetic Merchant: Candide, Managing Director: Bliss, Servant: Capriccio (Opera Australia). Concert appearances tenor soloist, London Calling concert season (Sydney Symphony Orchestra), soloist, the 2010 New Year’s Eve Gala (Opera Australia), soloist, the Verdi 100th Birthday Gala (Melbourne Opera) and Bottesini’s Messa da Requiem (Brisbane Festival).

Samuel Sakker

Jared Holt

Proudly supported by the Cranleigh Harper Barton Cultural Trust.
Madama Butterfly, Christchurch 2015.

Background: Born in Christchurch. Won the 2000 Mobil Song Quest and studied at the Royal College of Music in London before joining the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Has appeared with the Royal Opera House, Northern Sinfonia, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Teatro Giuseppe Verdi, Opera Australia, New Zealand Opera, Southern Opera and at the Adelaide and Auckland Festivals. Repertoire; Baron Douphol: La traviata, Yamadori: Madame Butterfly, Valentin: Faust (NZO); Silvano: Un ballo in maschera, Orphée: Orphée (Glass), Junius: The Rape of Lucretia, Marullo: Rigoletto, Schaunard: La bohème (Royal Opera House); Demetrius: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sid: Albert Herring (Glyndebourne Festival); Marcello: La bohème, Belcore: L'elisir d'amore (Opera Australia); Ned Keene: Peter Grimes (Teatro Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste); Ramiro: L’heure espagnole, Papageno: The Magic Flute (Southern Opera), Sharpless: Madame Butterfly (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra); Captain: The Death of Klinghoffer (Auckland Festival). Recordings include Melot: Tristan und Isolde (Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden).

Jared Holt

Wade Kernot

Background: Born in New Zealand. A 2007/2008 PwC Dame Malvina Major Young Artist and an Emerging Artist and Circle100 Scholar in 2004. Won the New Zealand Aria and Napier Aria competitions in 2007 and was runner-up in the Lexus Song Quest the same year. A founding member of Opera Factory who has performed with all the major New Zealand orchestras. Studied at the National Opera Studio, London, attended the Solti/Te Kanawa Accademia di Bel Canto and the Verbier Festival Opera Studio. Principal Artist of Theater St Gallen, Switzerland 2010-2015. Repertoire: Figaro: The Marriage of Figaro, Colline: La bohème, Marchese d'Obigny: La traviata, (NZO); bass role: Kurt Weill double bill (IFANZ/Opéra de Lyon); bass role: Pulcinella (Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden); Comte des Grieux: Manon, Truffaldino: Ariadne auf Naxos, Il Pedone di Schnals: La Wally, Commendatore: Don Giovanni, Melisso: Alcina, Méphistophéles: La Damnation de Faust, Frank: Die Fledermaus, First Nazarene: Salome, Handwerkbursche: Wozzeck (St Gallen); Nachtwächter: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Tiroler Festspiele, Erl); Zuniga: Carmen, Ferrando: Il trovatore, Speaker: The Magic Flute (Southern Opera); title role: Elijah, Truffaldino: Ariadne auf Naxos, Crespel/Luther/Coppélius: Les contes d'Hoffmann, Don Alfonso: Così fan tutte, Colas: Bastien und Bastienne, Comte des Grieux: Manon, Sarastro: The Magic Flute (Australian Opera Studio).

Wade Kernot

Rachelle Pike

Winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Connecticut District Auditions, Rachelle Pike hails from Christchurch, New Zealand. Recent activities include: Auntie (Peter Grimes) and selections from the Wesendonck Lieder, Chautauqua Opera; Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Young Artist as Flora (La traviata) New Zealand Opera; Eva cover (Comedy on the Bridge) by Martinů and ensemble (Baden-Baden) 1927, Gotham Chamber Opera, NY; Priyàmvada cover (Sakùntala) with Teatro Grattaceilo; Countess Ceprano and Maddalena cover (Rigoletto), Opera Santa Barbara. Other roles include Mercedes (Carmen), Die Dreite Dame (Die Zauberflöte); Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel) Samira (The Ghosts of Versailles); and, Begbick (Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny.)

She is a recent graduate from the Manhattan School of Music with a Masters in Music in Professional Studies. Prior to that she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Canterbury and became a member of New Zealand Opera’s Emerging Artist program.

Rachelle Pike


Emmanuel Joel-HornakKate CherryChristina SmithMatt Scott

Emmanuel Joel-Hornak Conductor

Kate Cherry Director Read bio

Christina Smith Set & Costume Designer Read bio

Matt Scott Lighting Designer Read bio

Kate Cherry

Background: Born in Melbourne. Currently Artistic Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company. Directing credits: Glengarry Glen Ross, Dinner, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Seagull, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Importance of Being Earnest (BSSTC); La traviata, (NZO, State Opera of South Australia, Opera Queensland); Madame Butterfly (NZO); Signs of Life (BSSTC, Sydney Theatre Company); Arcadia, The White Divers of Broome, Rising Water (BSSTC, Melbourne Theatre Company); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Boundary Street, (BSSTC, Perth International Arts Festival, Brisbane International Arts Festival); Other Desert Cities, Madagascar, Much Ado About Nothing, The Glass Menagerie, The Year of Magical Thinking, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, (BSSTC/Queensland Theatre Company); The Swimming Club (BSSTC /MTC);The Turn of the Screw, The Coronation of Poppea, Brundibar (Victorian Opera); The Female of the Species (Queensland Theatre Company); All My Sons, The Clean House (MTC). Associate Director credits: Take Me Out, Honour, The Glass Menagerie, Humble Boy, The Goat or Who is Sylvia?, Cloud Nine, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Duchess of Malfi, Three Days of Rain, Betrayal, Death of a Salesman, Art and Soul, Life After George Burnt Piano, The Woman in the Window (MTC); The Sick Room (Playbox Theatre Company); The Marriage of Figaro, Spring Awakening (WAAPA); Romeo and Juliet (American Conservatory Theatre); Cymbeline, Pericles (Shakespeare and Company).

Kate Cherry

Christina Smith

Background: Born in Australia. Has worked as a set and costume designer throughout Australia since graduating from WAAPA in 1995. Won the 2005 Green Room Award for Theatre Design for Honour, Daylight Atheist (MTC) and Julia 3 (Playbox), having been several times nominated for the same award. Other design projects include the scenic elements for the Tim Burton exhibition at ACMI, the renovation of the Circa Theatrette installation at the National Museum of Australia, and the 2006 Commonwealth Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies as part of the design team. Opera and theatre credits: La traviata (NZO, State Opera of South Australia, Opera Queensland) Madame Butterfly (NZO);The Flying Dutchman, Marriage of Figaro (costumes), The Magic Flute (costumes), The Turn of the Screw, Così fan tutte (Victorian Opera); Elling, National Interest, Clybourne Park, A Behanding In Spokane, Boston Marriage, Realism (costumes) Blackbird, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Clean House, Things We Do For Love, The Daylight Atheist and Honour (Melbourne Theatre Company); A Streetcar Named Desire, Other Desert Cities, Rising Water, The Year Of Magical Thinking (Black Swan State Theatre Company); Porn.Cake, Black Medea (Malthouse), Troupers (Sydney Theatre Company); Mother Courage and her Children (Queensland Theatre Company); Marriage of Figaro (costumes), The Magic Flute (costumes), The Turn of the Screw, Così fan tutte (Victorian Opera); Personal Best (costumes) (Australian Ballet), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Bell Shakespeare Company); Ruby Moon, Inside 01 (Playbox).

Christina Smith

Matt Scott

Background: Born in Canberra. Has worked as lighting designer for all of Australia’s leading performing arts companies including Queensland Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir and Bell Shakespeare. Has twice received the Helpmann award for lighting. Opera and theatre credits: Madame Butterfly (NZO); La Traviata (NZO, State Opera of South Australia & Opera Queensland); The Flying Dutchman, The Riders, Nixon In China, The Rake’s Progress, Baroque Triple Bill, The Turn of the Screw, Xerxes, Orphée et Eurydice (Victorian Opera); Aida (Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour); Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, La Sonnambula (Opera Australia); Anything Goes (Opera Australia/Gordon Frost Organisation); La bohème (Opera Australia, West Australia Opera, Opera Queensland); La Cenerentola, Così fan tutte (Opera Queensland); The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, Madame Butterfly (OzOpera); Eat, Pray, Laugh- Barry Humphries Farewell Tour (Dainty Group); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (TML Enterprises); Jumpy (Melbourne Theatre Company & Sydney Theatre Company); The Mountaintop, Elling, His Girl Friday, Red, The Seed, Tribes, The Importance of Being Earnest, Clybourne Park, A Behanding in Spokane (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Red Shoes, Where The Heart Is (Expressions Dance Company); Elegance (Queensland Ballet); Henry IV, Much Ado About Nothing (Bell Shakespeare); A Streetcar Named Desire, Rising Water, The Year of Magical Thinking (Black Swan State Theatre Company).

Matt Scott