New Zealand Opera's 2018 Season Bringing home the Brightest Kiwi stars

7 September 2017

New Zealand Opera’s 2018 season sees the return of an unprecedented number of New Zealand singers to their home shores, showcased in repertoire specifically chosen for them.

Stuart Maunder, General Director of New Zealand Opera, says in 2018 audiences can expect a season of young love at its most thrilling, maddening and heart-wrenching.

“There’s more variety of operas, more Kiwi singers returning and more of the best guest singers the world has to offer. And there’ll be tears, lots of tears!”

Maunder says they are determined to celebrate the countries talent.

“There are an incredible number of extraordinary Kiwi singers out there on the international operatic stage, and we as a company need to do more than admire their successes, we need to give them a voice - literally - here at home.

The season begins in Auckland with the Leonard Bernstein’s Candide in March, followed by Donizetti’s bel canto comedy, The Elixir of Love in June with the season concluding with Puccini’s great romance La bohème.

Subscription packages are available now from and season tickets go on sale on 31 October.

Candide, Auckland Town Hall, 23-25 March 

New Zealand Opera & Auckland Arts Festival present Candide.

Voltaire’s satirical tale of mindless optimism comes to life with Bernstein’s brilliant score. Sparkling with wit and humour, Candide is part opera, part musical and entirely irreverent, drawing on everything from European operetta to Latin American dance rhythms.

Auckland Town Hall will be refashioned into “The Best of All Possible Worlds” for this new production directed by New Zealand Opera’s General Director, Stuart Maunder and designed by Tony-Award winner Roger Kirk. New Zealand Opera’s Director of Music. Wyn Davies conducts.

The Elixir of Love, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, 31 May – 9 June

Donizetti’s bel canto comedy, The Elixir of Love is as charming as it is funny. Set in an Antipodean country town at the turn of the 20th century, Simon Phillip's production of The Elixir of Love beautifully captures this opera’s light-hearted humour.

Pene Pati – of Sol3 Mio fame – and Amina Edris, return to New Zealand from San Francisco Opera, bringing their natural charisma and warmth to the roles of Nemorino and Adina. As Dulcamara, Conal Coad showcases his outstanding comedic abilities and is joined by rising-star Morgan Pearse as Belcore. Wyn Davies returns to conduct this sentimental masterpiece.

La bohème, ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, 13-23 September

La bohème features the return of some of the most brilliant young New Zealand singers on the international stage, including UK-based Thomas Atkins, Marlena Devoe, Julien Van Mellaerts and James Ioelu, along with Amelia Berry and Australian Nicholas Lester. Tobias Ringborg, who was last in New Zealand for Tosca in 2015, returns to conduct another of Puccini’s great operas.

Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, La bohème will remind you what it means to be alive and in love.