NZ Opera

New Zealand Opera blog

Stars come out for opera of our time

29.07.13

New Zealand Opera’s production of Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni, comes to life in Christchurch in three weeks, heralding the rebirth of fully staged opera in the city.

Aidan Lang, General Director of New Zealand Opera, says the feedback from people in Christchurch is that they can’t wait to get back into the theatre for the thrilling musical and theatrical experience that opera is. “To that end, he says, we are pulling out all the stops to make this an opera audiences won’t forget. We’ve lined up a terrific cast, with Britain’s acclaimed Mark Stone in the title role and Australia’s star soprano Lisa Harper-Brown as Donna Anna. We’ve also brought back leading New Zealand singers Jonathan Lemalu (bass baritone) and Anna Leese (soprano), along with Scottish tenor Nicky Spence, who was such a hit in last year’s Hohepa.”

Cantabrians will also play a big part in the production he says. “From singers in the Christchurch-based Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus, to musicians in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the artistic community of Canterbury is well represented.”

Christchurch-born Director Sara Brodie has also brought the opera into the present. “I have set it in the Spain of today,” she says, “its current economic climate enhancing the questions of social convention and morality that are thrown up by the storyline. That story – of a thoroughly hedonistic womaniser who will stop at nothing in the pursuit of pleasure – is intriguing territory to be working with, and it’s shaping up to be a psychologically complex and thrilling production.”

Don Giovanni is New Zealand Opera’s first mainstage production in Christchurch since Southern Opera joined the company last year. The production is dedicated to Christopher Doig, who initiated the move to become part of the national company.

DON GIOVANNI
An opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Presented by New Zealand Opera in association with the Christchurch Arts Festival
Sung in Italian with English surtitles

CREATIVE TEAM
Conductor    WYN DAVIES
Director    SARA BRODIE
Set Designer    JOHN VERRYT
Costume Designer    ELIZABETH WHITING
Lighting Designer    JEREMY FERN

CAST
Don Giovanni    MARK STONE
Leporello    JONATHAN LEMALU
Donna Elvira    ANNA LEESE
Donna Anna    LISA HARPER-BROWN
Don Ottavio    NICKY SPENCE
Commendatore    RICHARD GREEN
Masetto    ROBERT TUCKER
Zerlina    AMELIA BERRY

Accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Featuring the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus

DON GIOVANNI
CBS Canterbury Arena, Christchurch
Wed 21, Thu 22 August – 7pm, Sat 24 August – 1pm

 

NZ OPERA MEDIA RELEASE
Media enquiries: Caroline Nelson, ParadisePR Ltd
caroline@carolinenelson.co.nz, 021 244 1299