The 2019 New Zealand Opera Season Is Open!

Reuben Raj
The Magic Flute - The Music

New Zealand Opera is pleased to announce the company’s programme for 2019 that will feature a new production with an all-Kiwi cast, a co-production of a comic favourite and partnerships with Auckland Arts Festival and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

The 2019 season will feature mainstage seasons of Rossini's comic gem The Barber of Seville and Britten's chilling The Turn of the Screw produced by New Zealand Opera, an international re-imagining of Mozart's The Magic Flute by Komishe Opera Berlin at Auckland Arts Festival and Mozart's Don Giovanni as the APO's The Trusts Community Foundation Opera in Concert.

"It is my very great privilege to present our 2019 programme," says New Zealand Opera General Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess.

Thomas de Mallet Burgess by Grant Taylor

Thomas de Mallet Burgess by Grant Taylor

I am most grateful to my predecessor Stuart Maunder for his work in preparing this season, especially as it includes the opportunity for me to direct one of the greatest operas of the post-war period, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.

"We have a stellar all-Kiwi cast for Screw, and I'm excited to be working with New Zealand conductor Holly Mathieson, who makes her debut with the company after building an exciting career in Europe. We'll also be looking for some very talented children to play Flora and Miles, so watch this space for audition details."

New Zealand opera fans will be excited to welcome back brilliant director Lindy Hume with The Barber of Seville, which is by all accounts a riotously funny production.

"Our cast features new and returning international artists combining with local performers for what promises to be an hilarious night out," de Mallet Burgess said."

This year's Auckland Arts Festival opera offering brings international opera to us with The Magic Flute, and we're pleased to support the festival as they give New Zealanders the opportunity to see this hit international production as it travels the festival circuit.

In July the APO's Opera in Concert performance of Don Giovanni features the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus and sees 2018 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist Natasha Wilson return from San Fransciso to sing Zerlina.

“Some unique and life affirming experiences await," says de Mallet Burgess.

The Barber of Seville

 The Barber of Seville

One of the craziest operatic comedies ever written. Rossini’s razor-sharp musical wit delivers in riotous technicolour.

Dashing Count Almaviva is in love with the feisty young Rosina. But her guardian, Dr Bartolo, is determined to marry her himself. Cue Figaro – also known as The Barber of Seville – with a series of hare-brained schemes, one of which just might work.

ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland - 6-15 June
The Opera House, Wellington, 29 June - 6 July
Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch, 1 - 7 August

Tickets go on sale as part of New Zealand Opera subscriber packages today at, or on general sale on 26 November at Ticketmaster.

Count Almaviva John Tessier
Rosina Sandra Piques Eddy
Figaro Morgan Pearse
Dr Bartolo Andrew Collis
Don Basilio Ashraf Sewailam
Berta Morag Atchison
Fiorello/Officer James Harrison (Akl) / Joel Amosa (Wgtn/Chc)
Featuring the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus

Conductor Wyn Davies
Director Lindy Hume
Set and Costume Designer Tracy Grant Lord
Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall
Assistant Director Jacqueline Coats

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
A New Zealand Opera co-production with Opera Queensland and Seattle Opera

The Turn of the Screw

Turn of the Screw 2

A chilling ghost story, saturated with menace. Benjamin Britten’s haunting operatic version of Henry James’s famous novella The Turn of the Screw.

A young governess arrives at a remote country house to care for two children with only written instructions from their guardian, who advises not to disturb him. Before long a tapestry is woven of obsession, sexual awakening and the destruction of childhood. A narrative just ambivalent enough for us to project upon it our own fears.

The Opera House, Wellington - 3-5 October
ASB Waterfront Theatre, Auckland - 18-23 October

Tickets go on sale as part of New Zealand subscriber packages today at, or on general sale on 26 November at Ticketmaster.

Governess Anna Leese
Prologue/Peter Quint Jared Holt
Miss Jessel Madeleine Pierard
Mrs Grose Patricia Wright

Conductor Holly Mathieson
Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess
Set and Costume Designer Tracy Grant Lord
Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall

Orchestra Wellington, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten.
Libretto by Myfanwy Piper, after a story by Henry James.
Published by Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd.
A New Zealand Opera production

Auckland Arts Festival presents
The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute

The Magic Flute Gallery dances

Gloriously inventive animation and stunning live performance meet the music of Mozart in Komische Oper Berlin’s fantastically fun interpretation of the enchanted world of The Magic Flute.

Mozart’s master comedy opera is richly reimagined in a boundary-busting production by internationally-acclaimed opera company Komische Oper Berlin and co-directed by Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade from British theatre group 1927.

With its captivating and innovative staging where film animation interacts with live singers, this production has thrilled audiences around the world. Now New Zealanders have the chance to see this most popular of operas, featuring a large international cast and crew with a 75-strong glorious-sounding Berlin chorus and soloists travelling to Aotearoa and accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, exclusively at Auckland Arts Festival 2019.

Performed in German with English surtitles
Supported by The University of Auckland, New Zealand Opera and Goethe Institut
By arrangement with Arts Projects Australia

Read more and book tickets now at

The Trusts Community Foundation Opera in Concert
Don Giovanni

Presented by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in association with New Zealand Opera.


7.30pm, Friday 19 July
Auckland Town Hall

Hedonistic desire, passion, guilt – there’s hell to pay for opera’s legendary lover

Don Giovanni lives for one thing – women! He seduces compulsively and unrepentantly, while his long-suffering servant Leporello keeps count. Making a post assignation getaway from one noble woman, he kills her father. But the father was a highly respected citizen: passing a statue erected in his memory, Don Giovanni invites it to dinner. Slowly, very slowly, the statue nods its head…

Funny, dark, earthy, witty, shocking, this all-embracing score has some of Mozart’s most sublime music, some of his most catchy tunes, and – when the legions of Hell catch Don Giovanni in the end – music which, after 200 years is still terrifying.

Norwegian baritone Audun Iversen makes his debut with the APO in the title role alongside Grammy award-winning bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu as Leporello and fellow New Zealander and emerging artist Natasha Wilson as Zerlina.

Conductor Giordano Bellincampi
Don Giovanni Audun Iversen
Leporello Jonathan Lemalu
Donna Elvira Heidi Stober
Donna Anna Ekaterina Siurina
Don Ottavio Adam Frandsen
Zerlina Natasha Wilson
Masetto Morgan Pearse

The Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus

Read more and book tickets now at 


Written By: Reuben Raj Reuben is a film and digital photographer who is driven by music in his head. Often seen lurking behind a camera inside the pit of a concert or wandering the streets of China with a blond, Reuben harbours intimate feelings for vinyl records and his Hasselblad SW/C from 1965. He is also the founder of Radio 13.

What people are saying

  • Graham Hooper - 2 years ago

    Having seen an Opera on Waiheke Island i would Be interested in Photographing this. Johnathon Leamanu Would be interesting to See/Hear after Samoan Soprano Marlena Devoe sang here last Saturday.