Double delight

Victoria’s Kelburn campus came alive to the sound of opera in August, when Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music (NZSM) staged a brilliant double bill at the Memorial Theatre.

NZSM Opera 2015: Dido and Aeneas from NZSM Events on Vimeo.

The enchanting production of Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell, and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges featured a number of New Zealand’s finest emerging young singers accompanied by the NZSM orchestra.

The production was directed by alumna and Fulbright scholar Frances Moore, who was assistant director of the last opera the NZSM put on in 2013, Verdi’s Il Corsaro.

“I loved working with the young singers,” Frances says, “and tried to make it really relevant to them.”

Frances has since established her own company—Unstuck Opera—that “uses more of a theatre model, with a smaller cast of four or five singers, a one-hour performance and more intimate settings, such as in the open or in art galleries. I want to broaden out what opera can be,” she says.