17 September 2012
A New Zealand national opera company is born
The Chairman of The NBR New Zealand Opera, Sir David Gascoigne, is delighted to announce that Southern Opera has agreed
to join the company. This move is intended to ensure the long term future and viability of opera of an international
standard in the South Island.
“The move to join forces means that the company will now be based in – and will perform primarily in – three centres:
Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. It also means that a truly national opera company has at last been created,” says
Sir David. “There will be offices in all three centres.”
The Board of The NBR New Zealand Opera will be strengthened by the addition of two South Island based Directors, Therese
Arseneau and Kate Burtt. Provision has been made for the appointment of a third Director.
The Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, has agreed to join the distinguished list of Patrons of the company. The Mayor
says, “Sustaining the arts in Christchurch in this post-earthquake period is a priority for the people of our city.
Opera is part of the soul of Christchurch and I look forward to being able to make a contribution.”
“When Christopher Doig and the Southern Opera Trust and Board opened discussions with us in 2010, we could see from the
outset that we shared many principles,” says Aidan Lang, General Director of The NBR New Zealand Opera. “In particular,
these included our pursuit of artistic excellence, our commitment to New Zealand artists as well as providing
opportunities and artistic growth for local singers and musicians.
“We very much look forward to working with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and to embracing the wealth of singing
talent in Canterbury by creating a Christchurch-based Opera Chorus under the direction of Sharolyn Kimmorley,” he says.
On Monday 15 October, the 2013 Christchurch opera season will be launched. This will include the mounting of a fully
staged production next year in the restored Theatre Royal, as well as the commencement of outreach and community work in
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