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Englishmen Give Opera A Creative New Look

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Englishmen Give Opera A Creative New Look

Prior to his stewardship of The NBR New Zealand Opera, Aidan Lang was a highly respected and creative director on the international opera stage, with considerable experience accrued at companies such as Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, Opera Zuid and Buxton Festival.

After four years in New Zealand, Lang is turning his hand to directing again, with the Company's new production of Mozart's much loved opera, The Marriage of Figaro.

To ensure his New Zealand directing debut is an unforgettable experience for audiences, Lang has teamed up with equally creative designer, and fellow Englishman, Robin Rawstorne, to present what they believe to be a first for New Zealand, possibly even the world.

"Of course I can't go into specific details as that would spoil the surprise for opening night," says Lang.

"Suffice to say, a new production always offers some degree of artistic licence, so we're aiming to give audiences an entertaining and memorable night out with possibly [in reference to the extraordinary and technically complicated 15 scene changes which will give a slightly cinematic ever-shifting perspective on the action] some foyer chat along the lines of 'how did they do that and make it look so easy?'.

"The Marriage of Figaro was in fact the first professional opera production I ever saw. It was at Covent Garden with Kiri Te Kanawa as the Countess. I had just turned 13 and it got me hooked for life.

"While this production will be very different, it would be wonderful to think it could have the profound effect on people that that one had on me."

Lang adds: "Figaro is high farce, but it is also a very hard-edged piece and we'll be trying to reflect that in the production."

As The Times reported after Lang staged the complete Ring Cycle in Manaus in the Amazon, "In the end, and despite a hideously small budget, the thing went off in style." Expect a similar result with The Marriage of Figaro.

Bringing the principal roles to life are New Zealand bass Wade Kernot and Australian soprano Emma Pearson, singing Figaro and Susanna, with celebrated Italian soprano Nuccia Focile in the role of the Countess. Renowned opera and orchestral conductor Lionel Friend takes the baton.

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