In the 20 years since the inception of New Zealand Opera, the company has presented over 460 opera performances that include mainscale opera, touring productions, festival productions, concerts and other events to audiences of more than 730,000. Alongside this the Company has pioneered extensive participation programmes for school children, young people and adults that have resulted in over 100,000 people engaging with opera in educational and meaningful ways. Furthermore, New Zealand Opera has a thriving Artist Development Programme in association with the Dame Malvina Major Foundation.
Under the artistic and organisational leadership of General Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess, the Company is re-imagining what opera might be within a New Zealand context (celebrating our cultural diversity including Māori and Pasifika arts; finding fiscally appropriate ways of commissioning new work; finding touring models that support the country’s regions) to build bridges between our art form and new audiences.
Now is an exciting time for opera in New Zealand. New Zealand Opera continue to produce productions of size and quality and support many New Zealand singers working at the highest levels on a global stage. The company is also experimenting with immersive and site-specific productions that seek to develop their audience. The company will see exciting new works that tell our stories presented in the near future, and as a national company, they are beginning to extend their reach into new areas around the country. All of this to build on the rich heritage of opera in Aotearoa.