opera is back

New Zealand Opera’s 2020 season will resume this September with a brand-new immersive production of Handel’s Semele, to be staged at Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral.

The sensual story explores a love triangle between Jupiter, King of the Gods (Sol3’ Mio’s Amitai Pati), his wife, the goddess Juno (Sarah Castle), and his lover, the mortal princess Semele (Celeste Lazarenko).

General Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess says that New Zealand will be leading the way with live opera performances.

“We have been working on a number of scenarios throughout New Zealand’s lockdown and with the introduction of Level 1, we’re delighted to be able to confirm that the rest of our 2020 season will go ahead as planned,” de Mallet Burgess said.

“Opera in much of the world is at a terrifying standstill due to the Covid-19 crisis, and we’re thrilled that we’ll be able to bring this new site-specific and immersive production of Handel’s life-affirming Baroque masterpiece to New Zealand audiences in September. We are currently fundraising to film this production so that we can share our New Zealand talent with the rest of the world.”

Audience members will be invited to dress up as guests at THE wedding of the year and be at the heart of the story of love, passion, revenge and quest for fame. With just five performances, Semele is an experience not to be missed.

The company will open its doors for a special open day during Semele rehearsals on Saturday 22 August, allowing the public to see the behind the scenes preparations for the production, including costumes, wigs and make-up and the chance to watch part of a rehearsal.

Following Semele, New Zealand Opera will stage The Human Voice in hotel rooms in Auckland, Taupo, Wellington, Christchurch in October and November, with rescheduled Christchurch dates for the critically acclaimed Eight Songs for a Mad King due to be announced soon. The three-city tour of The Marriage of Figaro that was originally scheduled for June and July this year has been moved to mid-2021.

10-19 September
Holy Trinity Cathedral

Find out more and book tickets

New Zealand Opera 2020 Calendar

New Zealand Opera Open Day
Saturday 22 August, 12.30pm
5/69 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell

Manukau Symphony Orchestra with Dame Malvina Major Studio Artists
22 August
BNZ Theatre, Vodafone Events Centre
Book at Eventfinda

10-19 September
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland
Book at nzopera.com

NZ Opera in Concert
22 & 25 September
St Andrews on the Terrace, Wellington
Book at nzopera.com

The Human Voice
6-8 October – Hotel DeBrett, Auckland
17-21 October – The George, Christchurch
28 October – 3 November – Ohtel, Wellington
5-6 November – Anchorage Resort, Taupo
Book at nzopera.com

Eight Songs for a Mad King 
Tūranga, Christchurch
Rescheduled dates coming soon