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Recent Productions involving Opera North




 Members of Opera North joined the Whangarei Choral Society for this highly appreciated concert production.



Several members of Opera North were involved in this very successful production put on by The Whangarei Theatre Company.  Caitlin Morris played the role of Dorothy in two  matinee performances.



A large number of Opera North members either starred or took part in this very successful show produced by Centre Events Ltd and directed by Lachie McLean.

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/PeterDaviesPhotography/

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Classics in the Cove

16th April 2017

A classic afternoon with Kawiti Waetford together with members of the Opera North chorus conducted by Joan Kennaway, soloists from Opera North and also featuring Ridge Ponini and Alex Lee.  Two downpours of rain did not dent the enthusiasm of the audience for this outdoor concert held in the natural ampitheatre of the garden of Dave and Debi Brown in Waipu Cove, Whangarei.

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Daffodil Variety Concert

2nd August 2017

The third show produced by Opera North to generate funds for Domain Lodge was a sell-out. Members of Opera North were joined by Brioso Corde, the M&M's, Whangarei Youth Choir, The Coastal Singers as well as Kawiti Waetford, Shaan Antunovich, Sophie Sparrow and Juan Kim. The diverse evening of entertainment provided the audience with a thoroughly enjoyable evening in support of a worthy cause.

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Trinity College of London Singing/ATCL

Exams 2016

Huge congratulations to both Jack Trubshaw for achieving 95% in his Grade 6 Singing Exam and to Phoebe Robertson for achieving 97% in her Advanced Certificate.  Congratulations also to Eleanor Ashby who passed her ATCL in Musical theatre and to
Emma Blood-Mouat who passed her Level 4 ATCL Diploma in Music with Distinction.


Northland Performing Arts Competitions

26th to 28th August 2016

Members of Opera North had a memorable weekend at the Whangarei Performing Arts Competitions, scooping the pool in many of the classes.

Northland Vocal Senior Championship

(Hosking Cup) was won by John McDonald who also won the Choral Society Cup, Judith Spring Cup, Viti Levu Cup, Wallace Cup, Naddeau Cup and the Judith Durham Memorial Trophy & Award.

Northland Vocal Senior Championship

(NCS Cup & Award) was won by Emma Blood-Mouat. Emma also won the Waods Challenge Cup, the Australasian Cup NZ, was placed second in the Naddeau Cup and was given the Daly Cup and W & M Rose Trophy for achieving the highest points across all sections of the Competitions.

Northland Intermediate Vocal Championship

(Fisher Trophy and Award Alex Cameron Cup) was won by Adriana Stolwerk, with Claudia Cooke gaining second place. Adriana and Harriette Baxter were joint winners of the James Rice Cup.


Kearney Cup and Amateur Theatre Trophy & Award.

Claudia Cooke won the Kearney Cup, Cooke Family Cup, McDonald Family Trophy, and Onerahi Amateur Theatre Trophy & Award.

The James Rice Scholarship

(to help with future singing tuition). Jack Trubshaw was a joint winner and also achieved two 2nds, one third and two VHC placings.


Junior Duet was won by Harriette Baxter and Claudia Cooke with Caitlin & Keisha Morris gaining a HC.

Greenwood Cup

For Junior Vocal Group was won by The Northern Belles with The B Sharps coming 3rd.

Winifred Woods Cup

For German Lieder 18 years and over was won by Dean Alsop, who was also placed 3rd in the Naddeau Cup.


A&D Coward Trophy

For Novice Solo 18 years and over was won by Peter Meyer. Senior Duet 2nd place went to Peter & Franco Meyer with Christina Lange and Dean Alsop gaining 3rd place.


Junior Section placings

Shana Gordon – one 2nd one 3rd one VHC/Caitlin Morris – two HC’s two 3rds/Keisha Morris – three 3rds one VHC/Laura Parry – one 2nd/Samuel Parry – one 2nd, one VHC/Llasa Sharp – one VHC/William Trubshaw – one 1st, two 2nds, two VHC’s/Dean Watson – one 1st, one 3rd one VHC.


Senior Section placings

Susan Alves – one VHC/Sue Gillard – two 3rds/Christina Lange – one 2nd one 3rd one VHC/Jonathan Santos – one 3rd.

North Haven Hospice Variety Concert

Wednesday 22nd June 2016

Opera North has for many years supported the work of Hospice and it seemed natural that a bi-annual Variety Show should benefit Hospice in the same way as the bi-annual concert for the Cancer Society. Opera North was joined by the wonderful Basin City Big Band, the ever exciting Fantasy Cheerleaders, the delightful Martin Family Quartet of string players and the new and exciting Whangarei Youth Choir led by Lisbe Jooste, who also sings with Opera North. Luke Bird (see the Where Are They Now page) contributed two items in his inimitable style. The concert raised approximately $4500.00.

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John Rutter – Magnificat

Sunday 15th May 2016

Members of Opera North joined the Whangarei Choral Society and Northland Sinfonia to perform this work, which featured Lisbe Jooste as soloist.


Concert for Phoebe Robertson

Sunday 8th May 2016

In 2015 Phoebe was selected for the NZ Secondary Students Choir which is travelling to Canada in July 2016. To assist Phoebe, members of Opera North raised over a $1000.00 in a fund-raising concert at the Falls Estate Whangarei.

20th Anniversary Opera in the Garden

Saturday 12th March 2016


Opera in the Garden, well recognised as one of the most enjoyable events on the Northland musical calendar, proved as popular as ever in its very special 20 th anniversary year. Rain threatened the proceedings right up to an hour before the concert, when the sun suddenly made a very welcome appearance.

Set in the beautiful garden surroundings of the Kennaway's Operacado Orchard, the concert always has a festive atmosphere (this year with special birthday bunting across the garden) with the audience encouraged to bring along a chair or blanket, refreshments for the interval and a keen ear to enjoy the singing and musical accompaniment.
The first concert in 1997 featured a group of 18 singers, a makeshift platform as a stage accessed via a plank and an old upright piano on the lawn in front of the stage. The 20 th concert featured 65 singers with ages ranging from 7 to 80, a professionally constructed covered stage, a podium for the conductor Joan Kennaway, a grand piano and a 21 st century sound system so that the singers can be heard by all.

For the past three years, our guest artists have been from the local area and this year we had the lovely diva of Waipu, Emma Couper who thrilled the audience with her diverse and technically difficult programme. The theme of the concert was “Reflecting…onwards” and items from the very first concert e.g. “Rataplan” and “ One Kiss” were included as well as items previously unheard e.g. “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat: and “Raining Men”.
At the interval a giant birthday cake was carried out to the lawn in front of the stage and Joan Kennaway used a sword to ceremoniously cut the first slice. The cake was then shared amongst the singers, helpers and the audience. At the end of this memorable concert, the audience paid an emotional tribute by giving a rousing standing ovation.