What is Opera?

Rosina (Sandra Piques Eddy) and Count Almaviva (John Tessier) in New Zealand Opera’s production of The Barber of Seville 2019. Opera is a type of theatre which combines drama, music, elements of dance or movement and, often, exciting costumes and set. However, in opera, the actors are trained singers who sing their lines instead of … Read more

Meet the team: Thomas De Mallet Burgess

In the rehearsal room for The Turn of The Screw. Credit Michael Bradley General Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess joined New Zealand Opera in mid-2018. While the role is his first in New Zealand, it’s just the latest in a decades-long career in opera. Thomas is currently in a ‘bubble’ in Orakei with his “Swiss … Read more


New Zealand Opera is deeply concerned about the proposal to move RNZ Concert from FM to AM and cut the wonderful context and arts coverage provided by the station’s announcers and producers. We have joined many others publicly and behind the scenes to voice our strong opposition to this plan. We have sent this letter … Read more

Witi Ihimaera reads his poem ‘Our Watch Now’

Our board member and national treasure Witi Ihimaera DCNZM QSM kindly agreed to read his poem ‘Our Watch Now’ on camera for us. Opera in New Zealand will begin to look different as we embark on a new strategic direction and implement our new purpose and values – this poem reminds us that the future is in the hands of all of us – it’s our watch now.

OUR PURPOSE – to enrich the cultural life of Aotearoa through an experience of opera that connects, engages and inspires reflection on our human condition. He whakarangatira i te oranga ahurea o Aotearoa mā te whakakite i te puoro whakaari e tūhono nei, e toro nei, e whakaawe nei i te huringa o ngā whakaaro ki te āhua o te ira tangata.

OUR AMBITION – to lead opera from Aotearoa in a way that reimagines the art form, embraces the cultural and social identities of our diverse communities, and ensures a vibrant and sustainable presence for opera in New Zealand. He ārahi i te puoro whakaari i Aotearoa kia kitea rerekētia ai tēnei tū toi, kia awhitia ai ngā tuakiri ā-ahurea, ā-pāpori hoki o ō tātou hapori kanorau, ā, kia ora ia, kia toitū ai hoki te puoro whakaari i Aotearoa.

Read the 2020 season brochure.