NBR New Zealand Opera becomes 'truly national'
The NBR New Zealand Opera has merged with the Christchurch-based Southern Opera to create a "truly national opera company", chairman Sir David Gascoigne has announced.
Southern Opera will be brought under the NBR New Zealand Opera umbrella, meaning the company will have bases in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
It will also perform primarily in these centres.
Arts, culture and heritage minister Chris Finlayson says because of this move, "the South Island is well served by an international standard opera company, with its national reach".
"This merger ensures the NBR New Zealand Opera's place alongside the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Royal New Zealand Ballet as a genuine national performing arts institution."
NBR New Zealand Opera general director Aidan Lang says discussions started with Christopher Doig and the Southern Opera Trust in 2010.
"We could see from the outset that we shared many principles," he says.
"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."
Next year's Christchurch opera season will include "the mounting of a fully staged production in the restored Theatre Royal".
The next NBR New Zealand Opera series starts in Auckland on September 22 with a restaging of Daniel Slater's ground-breaking production of Smetana's The Bartered Bride.