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Source: New Zealand Opera

Tēnā koutou,

New Zealand Opera would like to acknowledge the challenges in making change as we continue to grow and look to meet the needs and demands of our audiences and artists. 

We are committed to enhancing and evolving the art form by adding a diverse, inclusive lens and bringing the best global and local creative talent to our productions. In presenting an expanded range of productions, we are fulfilling our mandate from Creative New Zealand. We thank our loyal supporters and benefactors, whose contribution is vital to the arts in New Zealand.

We believe there is room to explore a range of possibilities for opera from fully produced classic, large-scale opera, such as our upcoming production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, which opens in Auckland on 8 June, to non-traditional work that excites and engages in a different way. Different approaches attract different audiences as we witnessed with our recent site-specific and immersive production of Handel’s Semele, which saw the largest take-up in the Company’s history of under 25-year-old tickets at $25. In addition, the commission of Ihitai ‘Avei’a – Star Navigator, which was composed by Tim Finn with Tahitian monologues by Célestine Hitiura Vaite, saw 47% new audience (that is people who had not been to an opera or NZ Opera production before) attend three sold-out performances earlier in 2021 alongside many of our traditional patrons. We continue to support our participation programme that works with schools to reach young audiences through our Opera in Schools tour, and collaborative projects such as RED! – an upcoming co-production with Orchestra Wellington.

We are grateful to our long-time loyal supporters and we are excited about plans for a fully produced large-scale opera scheduled for three cities in 2022.

The COVID pandemic and mandated lockdowns severely restricted NZ Opera’s programme, and it is our ability to innovate and develop the art form we love which saw us through the challenges presented. We have a number of exciting new commissions in development with established opera composers as well as welcoming new and different voices to the creating of opera.

As an organisation, we are passionate about the potential of opera as the most collaborative of all the performing arts, to open hearts and minds. We are also navigating through a transformative period internally and globally, and remain committed to honouring traditional opera while encouraging the art form to continue flourishing for 21st-century audiences and performers.

We look forward to welcoming new board members and thank the departing members for their contributions.

We appreciate your ongoing support for New Zealand Opera. Best wishes and take care from all of the team at New Zealand Opera.

Noho ora mai, nā New Zealand Opera.