First established over a decade ago as Co-Opera. The Opera Guild is a major support group for our national opera company. Over the years, The Opera Guild has established itself as a leader among New Zealand cultural sector support groups by contributing a significant sum of money to New Zealand Opera.
A Committed Team
Today, eight committed volunteers work together combining a wide range of individual skills to facilitate major fundraising, foster support and interest in opera and financially assist the young singers of tomorrow.
Photo L/R: Liz Burton, Wendy Van Arkel, Jenny Loosley, Annie Beattie, Leigh Parton, Maree Reynolds, Chanelle Farmer (Chair), Scott Ashton.Contact us
In 1997, The Opera Guild proposed the idea of an opera auction. With the support of John Bayley and his team it was an enormous success: a colourful evening of operatic entertainment highlighted by an enticing auction of irresistible goods and travel, raising $268,000 and setting the standard for future fundraising. There have been five auctions in total, held biennially, all glittering successful events.
The Mosaic of the Arts saw The Opera Guild join with Advance Dance (for the Royal New Zealand Ballet) and the Auckland Philharmonia Guild for festive fundraising banquets. A superb 4-course dinner was prepared by Auckland’s top chefs accompanied by beautifully matched wines from our respective sponsors. The highlight was a mosaic of dance, music and song. The Mosaic was a wonderful way to show united support for performing arts in Auckland.
Looking forward, The Opera Guild recognised the need for a different style of fundraising. In 2004, with the very generous support of artist Terry Stringer, Diva/Avid, a beautiful bronze sculpture was commissioned. Opera lovers took the opportunity to purchase the sculpture to enjoy at work or at home. It spoke not only of their love of opera but their support for the opera company. The project raised over $70,000 at a vital time.
Following on from this success, The Opera Guild together with respected South Island artist Grahame Sydney have launched “Road to Lauder” a fabulous limited edition lithograph.
Close to the heart of The Opera Guild is Circle100. Circle100 was launched in 1996 by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at the home of Dot and Gary Paykel. It brings together a special group of opera supporters committed to financially assisting young opera singers. Over the past twelve years members have contributed more than $230,000 enabling scholarships to be awarded to fourteen talented singers seeking to pursue careers in opera. Special cocktail functions introducing the year’s young singers and the scholarship winner are attended not only by longtime opera supporters but also encourage participation from a younger audience.
Circle100 is often the very proud sponsor of previous scholarship winners in New Zealand Opera’s productions. A wonderful reminder of the part Circle100 plays in the future success of young opera singers.
“The Opera Guild plays a vital role in the community. I believe we are strengthening appreciation for opera and encouraging participation and financial support from a wide range of people,” says Chanelle Farmer, present chair. “We have a wonderful loyal support base and with new and innovative ideas we want to provide an opportunity for involvement from the next generation of opera lovers”.