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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 amphitheatre 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 Jack Trubshaw for achieving 95% in his Grade 6 Singing Exam and to Phoebe Robertson for achieving 97% in her Advanced Certificate and becoming a NZ 2016 Exhibition Award Winner.  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.

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Northland Performing Arts Competitions

22nd to 24th September 2017

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

Students of singing teachers who are also members of Opera North, also did extremely well, with Emma Couper's students gaining two 1sts, five 2nds, six 3rds and Lisbe Jooste's students gaining fourteen 1sts, fourteen 2nds and 6 trophys.

Northland Vocal Senior Championship

(Hosking Cup) was won by Phoebe Robertson who also won the Viti Levu Cup, The Nadeau Cup, the Wallace Cup, the Judith Spring Cup, the Frank Edgar Memorial Trophy and the Judith Ann Durham Memorial Trophy & Award.

Heather Blythe Cup

Highest mark under 16 years was won by Harriette Baxter.

The Woods Cup

Was won by Samuel Parry


Greenwood Cup

For Junior Vocal Group was won by The Tweeters with Lisbe Jooste’s Whangarei Youth choir coming 2nd.




Junior Section placings

Amy Wallace-one commended, one 2nd, Caitlin Morris-two HC’s, one 3rd, Jack Trubshaw-one 1st two 2nds two 3rds one VHC one HC, Keisha Morris-one 2nd one 3rd one VHC one HC, Laura Parry-one HC one commended, Samuel Parry-one 2nd one VHC one commended, Will Trubshaw-four 1sts one 3rd one VHC.


Senior Section placings

Christina Lange-one VHC one HC, Dean Alsop-two 2nds two 3rds one VHC.

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.