Drama, comedy, passion and tragedy; New Zealand Opera’s 2017 season has it all. We begin 2017 with our summer season of The Mikado – a glorious romp through some of Gilbert & Sullivan’s most celebrated tunes.
The Mikado showcases a strong Kiwi cast including the brilliant Helen Medlyn as Katisha and Amelia Berry as Yum-Yum. Australian-based tenor Jonathan Abernethy makes his role debut with the company, with the comedic lynchpin Ko-Ko played by the hilarious Byron Coll, best known as All Blacks super-fan Tim in a series of Mastercard commercials.
Our second work for 2017 is Bizet’s masterpiece Carmen, arguably the most famous opera of all time. Carmen features the star power of Georgian mezzo-soprano Nino Surguladze in the title role, with American Tenor Tom Randle as Don José, New Zealand Baritone James Clayton as Escamillo and Australian soprano Emma Pearson as Micaëla. The cast is rounded out by extraordinary Kiwi talent based here and around the globe.
The curtain comes down on our 2017 season with Janáček’s heartbreaking Kátya Kabanová. Here, our heroine – played by stunning New Zealand soprano Anna Leese – is caught in a loveless marriage where she is dominated by an overbearing mother-in-law. The stellar cast also features Margaret Medlyn as Kabanicha, Conal Coad as Dikój and Australian-born tenor Angus Wood as Boris .
I’m delighted that we’re able to continue our commitment to bring more opera to more New Zealanders than ever before. Both The Mikado and Carmen will perform to audiences in all three of our performance cities, with Kátya Kabanová on stage in both Auckland and Wellington. Our collaborations with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Auckland Arts Festival mean there are more opportunities than ever before to indulge your love of opera.