Announcing our 2019 opera (or should we say operas…)

Two operas will be performed by our students in 2019 – Puccini’s 'Suor Angelica' and 'Gianni Schicchi', two pocket-sized gems that will be presented as a double bill at the Hannah Playhouse from 19–21 July.

New Zealand School of Music (NZSM) voice students will be accompanied by the NZSM Orchestra for the performance, and making this year’s opera production event more special, professional opera singers Margaret Medlyn and Robert Tucker will also be joining the students on stage.

Robert Tucker, who is an NZSM Artist Teacher, will perform the character of Gianni Schicchi himself, and Margaret Medlyn, Head of Voice at NZSM, will take the stage as the ‘aunt princess‘ in Suor Angelica.

“Performing alongside the students is an opportunity to make the most of these fantastic ensemble pieces” Margaret says. “My hope is that it will be a rich learning experience for the students to be singing on a collegial level alongside Robert and I”.

The plots of both operas are motivated by things lost and unseen, she says. The operas were originally written to be performed together - Suor Angelica, a tragedy, is set in a convent, while Gianni Schicchi is a greed-fuelled comic opera that became an immediate hit after it was first performed.

Jon Hunter, the opera director, says he hopes to present a production relevant to the young singers-in-training he is working with. “The opportunity we have here is to investigate to a world close to them, to identify and speak to the issues that are important to them. There will be ample opportunity in future for them to wear the lavish gowns and descend the grand staircases of full-scale operatic productions.”

Sound intriguing? Look out for further details and tickets on sale later in the year.