Semele – Reviews

Semele – Reviews

We are delighted by the fantastic reception to our production of Handel’s Semele, staged at Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral 29 October – 6 November 2020.  Read the reviews below. (Photo credit, Garry Brandon).

NZ Herald – William Dart

“New Zealand Opera’s dazzling production, delivered with an ecclesiastical setting that is resonantly a propos”

“not to be missed”

Read the full review here

NZ Arts Review – John Daly-Peoples

“It was a brave production especially choosing to have it in Holy Trinity which doesn’t have the best of acoustics or good sightline. However, the production team and directors, Thomas de Mallet Burgess and Jacqueline Coats pulled off a triumph creating a stunning interpretation of one of the great Handel operas”.

“At close to three hours this is a testing work for orchestra and singers, but they all rose to the challenges and succeeded with a spectacular performance which was entertaining and enchanting. The New Zealand  Baroque Opera Orchestra under Peter  Walls gave an energetic performance giving Handel’s music with its many Messiah-like tunes a very sympathetic reading”.

Read the full review here

Ambient Light – Sarah Kidd

“As the director, De Mallet Burgess continues to deliver outstanding productions that breathe new life into NZ Opera. Semele is one wedding invitation that you will want to RSVP to with haste!”

“With both the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus and Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir in support and the debut of the newly formed New Zealand Opera Baroque Orchestra providing Handel’s lush baroque masterpiece, Semele is one wedding invitation not to miss”.

Read the full review here

Radio 13 – Clare Martin

“This is theatre and music of the highest level of enjoyment with its delightful performance, gorgeous staging and lush design. And how often do you get invited to the wedding of the year?”

Read the full review here

13th Floor – Liz Gunn

“The whole production of Semele left me with a sense of hope that, in a year of such complete disruption, our proud and resilient New Zealand Opera Company could defiantly plan, and rehearse, and perfect, and execute, this vibrant offering to all of us who want to support our crucial and much-needed creatives and artists, and to have our souls fed by their artistic offerings”.

“Last night I could think of no more visually, musically or ethereally beautiful way to move towards the end of this viscerally confusing 2020 calendar year, than by joining the throngs of Aucklanders who headed to Parnell’s Holy Trinity Cathedral for the opening night of New Zealand Opera’s production of Semele”.

Read the full review here

Theatreview – Michael Hooper

“NZ Opera have defied the economic odds to heroically mount this rediscovered oratorio as a compelling, colourful entertainment with the highest standards of invention, performance, and musical accomplishment”.

Read the full review here

Five lines – Elizabeth Kerr

“Locating this secular story within the Cathedral architecture was just one of the surprising, courageous and inspired decisions that enabled Directors Thomas de Mallet Burgess and Jacqueline Coats to turn a work intended for presentation “in the manner of an oratorio” into a sumptuous operatic and visual feast. Their Semele, with stunning design by Tracy Grant Lord and clever lighting by Jo Kilgour, was a marvel of dramatic tension, extravagant debauchery, gauche contemporary comedy and tender pathos”.

Read the full review here