NZ Opera

New Zealand Opera blog

The thrill of opera returns to Christchurch

01.07.13

Opera, in all its thrilling glory, returns to Christchurch in August when New Zealand Opera presents Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni, a work that shows the art form at its very best.

“As with all great pieces, the possibilities for Don Giovanni are endless, which is why it will continue to be performed forever. If Mozart is Shakespeare, then Don Giovanni is his Hamlet – an eternal work which continues to ask questions of performers and audiences.”
– Mark Stone, Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni is one of the greatest and most popular of all operas. With a hedonistic womaniser at its heart who will stop at nothing to exercise his free will and make a conquest (librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte was a friend of Casanova), Don Giovanni remains a very contemporary piece, with its questioning of social convention and the moral code.

Don Giovanni is New Zealand Opera’s first main-stage production in Christchurch since Southern Opera joined the company last year. “Christopher Doig initiated Southern Opera’s move to become part of the national company,” Aidan Lang, General Director of NZ Opera says, “so with Don Giovanni we’re paying special tribute to Chris.”

And Cantabrians will play a big part in the production. “From singers in the Christchurch-based Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus, to musicians in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, to the production’s director, Christchurch-born Sara Brodie, we are embracing the wealth of artistic talent in Canterbury,” Lang says.

Working with a grand, visually imposing set, Director Sara Brodie will take a fresh and incisive approach to this enigmatic work.

“Sara also has a reputation for getting great theatrical results from her singers,” Lang says. “So with a cast that includes top New Zealand singing actors Jonathan Lemalu and Anna Leese, along with high-flying British baritone Mark Stone as Don Giovanni, what you see on stage will be thrilling, while Mozart’s dramatic music will sound as sublime as ever under the baton of our effervescent Director of Music, Wyn Davies.”

Don Giovanni is presented by New Zealand Opera in association with the Christchurch Arts Festival. It is sung in Italian with English surtitles.

DON GIOVANNI
An opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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.

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