New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī presents a double bill of one-act masterpieces

Internationally acclaimed opera singers Dr Margaret Medlyn and Robert Tucker join Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand School of Music—Te Kōkī (NZSM) voice students for their performances of Puccini's Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi.

NZSM Artist Teacher Robert Tucker will perform the character of Gianni Schicchi, while NZSM Head of Voice Dr Margaret Medlyn, takes the stage as the Old Princess in Suor Angelica.

“Nothing teaches you like being on stage,” says Dr Medlyn. “Not only do you learn the craft of being on stage and combining singing and acting, and dealing with all the stage business, you also learn by observation, as I did as a young artist, what it takes  to project your role to be at the same level as your much more experienced colleagues.”

"The exciting part of working with young singers on stage is being able to guide them through struggling with things and making mistakes, just as I did 15 years ago," adds Robert.

Opera director Jon Hunter says the double bill of “one-act gems” is reimagined in the 1970s and set against a backdrop of the decade of decadence. Originally written to be performed together, Puccini’s all-female opera Suor Angelica is a heart-breaking meditation on family and faith, while extravagance, excess and opportunity make fertile soil for the greed-fuelled comedy Gianni Schicchi.

Jon says, “The thing I love about working with young artists is you can never have it too worked out in advance. They are our future storytellers and theatre-makers, and must be given the chance to develop their unique authorship. The opportunity we have here is to investigate a world close to them, and to identify and speak to the issues that are important to their world-view.”

Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi will be accompanied by the NZSM Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Young.

Where: Hannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Terrace
When: Friday 19 July, 7.30pm; Saturday 20 July, 7.30pm; Sunday 21 July, 2.30pm

Tickets: Hannah Playhouse website