NZ Opera

New Zealand Opera blog

A student's experience of Noye's Fludde


17 year old student Emma Fussell is performing the role of Mrs Jaffett in our Auckland productions of Noye's Fludde (Noah's Flood). As a participant in our biggest community outreach project to date, Emma has taken the time to write about her experiences in the opera.

I love Opera. (This may seem like a give-in considering I’m writing for an opera company blog, but seeing as most teenagers are not interested, I think it’s an important fact to establish.)

When I auditioned for this opera, I was pretty nervous. I’ve been doing operas/operettas for about three years now, but this is by far the biggest scale production I’ve ever done. There were a lot of kids auditioning for the soloist parts, and I thought I might be a bit old, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard that I was playing one of Noah’s children.

I’m perfoming the role of “Mrs Jaffett” for both performances and I LOVE MY COSTUME! It’s quirky and fun, and not at all what one would expect from a Biblical opera.

The most interesting thing about this opera is that the bulk of the set is built on stage during the opera. I think it’s definitely something for audience-goers to look forward to…

The journey so far has been an incredible experience, and it’s been great sharing the stage with kids of all ages from all over Auckland. They’re all very talented and a lot of fun to be around. It’s also been great working with the adults – Wendy [Doyle, Mrs Noah] and Robert [Tucker, Noah] have made us all feel right at home. Julie [Nolan] is an amazing director – she gives very clear instructions and always has time for questions. Her AD’s [Assistant Directors] are always on hand if she’s busy, and they know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. John [Rosser, Conductor] has been a life-saver – I don’t think we could’ve learnt the music without his expert help.

I think this opera is really fitting for a community event celebrating Britten’s centenary. Benjamin Britten intended for the work to be performed by young people in local venues, and the way I see it, we are continuing the work that he started.

These performances of Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten are given by permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agents for Boosey and Hawkes Musical Publishers Ltd of London.

Noye's Fludde on stage at the Auckland Town Hall, Sunday 7 July, 2013.
Photo: Mark Rosser