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NZ Opera presents “Le comte Ory”

June 27 - June 29

NZ Opera presents “Le comte Ory” from Thursday 27th June 2024 to Saturday 29th June 2024, 7.30 p.m. at the Isaac Theatre Royal, 145 Gloucester Street, Christchurch

Music by Rossini, libretto by Scribe and Delestre-Poirson
Risque comic opera, sung in French with English subtitles

With Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and The New Zealand Opera Chorus

Cast includes: Manase Latu, Emma Pearson, Moses Mackay, Wade Kernot, Andrea Creighton
Director: Simon Phillips
Conductor: Brad Cohen
Set & Costume Design: Tracy Grant Lord


New Zealand Opera’s sparkling production of Rossini’s comic masterpiece Le comte Ory (The Count Ory) to tour Aotearoa this winter

Originally a comedy set in medieval France, this brand new production of Le comte Ory, led by internationally acclaimed director Simon Phillips (North by Northwest, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Elixir of Love), has been given a present-day facelift. Set in Aotearoa New Zealand, there will be plenty of local humour and references in this contemporary staging. 

Le comte Ory follows the adventures of the charismatic and cheeky Count Ory, a perennial chancer and quite possibly the ‘World’s Worst Womaniser’. Seeing an opportunity to woo the lovely Countess Adèle while her brother and mates are out of town, Ory hides his true identity with a series of increasingly outrageous disguises and pursues a convoluted set of plots in an attempt to win her affection. What ensues is a whirlwind of hilarious misunderstandings and romantic entanglements, leading to a riotous finale, where Ory’s true identity is revealed, and true love prevails amidst the chaos.

One of the 19th century’s greatest and most influential composers, Gioachino Rossini (The Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola, The Italian Girl in Algiers) is still widely regarded as opera’s best comic writer. His catchy and technically demanding melodies and witty, engaging plots showcase the vocal talent and comedic skill of remarkable singers, and Le comte Ory is no exception.

Leading the outstanding local and international cast, award-winning New Zealand-Tongan lyric tenor Manase Latu (Hamlet, Don Giovanni, Idomeneo) makes his role debut as the scheming Count Ory, and his appearance is supported by The Ryman Healthcare Dame Malvina Major Foundation Mina Foley Award. One of Australisia’s most in-demand sopranos Emma Pearson (Così fan tutte, Semele, Lucia di Lammermoor) will dazzle as Countess Adèle, complete with coloratura vocal fireworks, joined by mezzo-soprano favourite Hanna Hipp (Così fan tutte, Ariadne auf Naxos, A Handmaid’s Tale) from the UK, in the quick-witted role of Isoler the page.

Making a welcome return to New Zealand operatic stages for the first time in thirteen years, Baritone Moses Mackay (L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Cavalleria rusticana), one third  of New Zealand’s highest selling classical trio Sol3 Mio, entertains as Count Ory’s pal-of-questionable-character Raimbaud. Recent winner of the prestigious 2023 Dame Malvina Major Award, Mackay has been enjoying a successful international career and has not performed with NZ Opera since he was an Emerging Artist with the company in 2012.

The talented cast also includes experienced New Zealand bass-baritone Wade Kernot (Macbeth, La Traviata, The Magic Flute), recently returned-home soprano Andrea Creighton (Mansfield Park, Der Rosenkavalier, Phantom of the Opera) and rising-star Tayla Alexander (Phantom of the Opera, Der Häusliche Krieg, Die Zauberflöte), performing with the New Zealand Opera Chorus in each centre.

Playing some of Rossini’s most exhilarating music, the full forces of Auckland Philharmonia, Orchestra Wellington, and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra will perform in each city, under the baton of esteemed conductor and NZ Opera General Director, Brad Cohen. Cohen’s knowledge of bel canto is extensive, with a 2007 NAXOS recording of Le comte Ory in his discography.

New Zealand’s leading scenographer Tracy Grant Lord ((m)Orpheus, Così fan tutte, The Unruly Tourists) joins Phillips in breathing vivid life into the new production, adding her inventive design and flair to the production’s contemporary set and costumes.  Award-winning Lighting Designer Matthew Marshall (Così fan tutte, The Unruly Tourists, Macbeth), known for his spectacular, innovative lighting on both sides of the Tasman, rounds out the experienced Antipodean creative team.

Hilarious, lively, and a little bit naughty, NZ Opera’s fresh take on Le comte Ory is an unmissable interpretation of one of Rossini’s funniest and most beautifully sung comedies.

Tickets are on sale now for strictly limited seasons in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.  Don’t miss out!

For more information visit http://www.nzopera.com/


June 27
June 29


NZ Opera


Isaac Theatre Royal
145 Gloucester Street
Christchurch , 8011 New Zealand
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