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Silver Linings Concert, Bougainville Theatre, Whangarei



March of the Toreadors with dancers Lillie Grandison and Sydney Heremaia



 Sarah Whittles as Carmen sings "Habanera"

Due to Covid 19, Opera North was unable to present its annual Opera in the Garden in 2020, but did manage to perform at Classics in the Cove (see News page).

In 2021, with the possibility of Covid levels changing at any moment, it was decided to hold this special celebratory concert in the Bougainville Theatre in Whangarei. The concert was based on the "Showcase" format and  over the weekend of 17th & 18th April 2021, two packed-out concerts celebrated 25 years of Opera North with 6 Narrators providing a commentary.

The first half opened with the majestic O Fortuna chorus, followed by the Matador's Chorus featuring dancers Lillie Grandison and Sydney Heremaia. Polovstian Dances, Habanera (with Sarah Whittles as Carmen) and finally March of the Toreadors, which completed the first half and the chorus numbers. Trio versions of O Mio Babbino and Soave Sia il Vento were performed,  a male quartet sang Nella Fantasia, whilst solos came from Emma Couper (Una Voce Poco Fa) and Rishi Iyer (Una Furtiva Lagrima).



Paul Dickens-Jacobs, Ian Pritchard, Chris Townsend and Rishi Iyer perform "Nella Fantasia"

The second half of the programme featured a wide range of music from a performance of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (Queen), to 'Baba Yetu' (Christopher Tin). Opera North's very own versatile 'The Jersey Boys' performed to great appreciation. We have a wide age-range of singers and 'When I Grow Up' from Matilda was performed by the young members of the Whangarei Youth Choir and Waipu Windchimes. A Musical from 'Something Rotten' was performed to great applause by Cam Dow and Paul Dickens-Jacobs. We sang a medley from 'Secret Garden', lovely arrangements of 'Summertime' and 'O Love' and the beautiful 'Hine e Hine". 'No Business Like Show Business' rounded off the concert.


Six members of Opera North provided a commentary on the life of Opera North over the past 25 years, in particular remembering our co-founder the late Joan Kennaway.   Musical Direction came from Emma Couper (the principal conductor and well-known local songbird) and Roger McLean, the latter playing the majority of the piano music accompaniment with great skill.  Mirabello Uphof  also contributed her considerable skills as a piano accompanist and multi-talented Lisbe Jooste acted as conductor for several numbers.  Another multi-talented member of Opera North, Sarah Whittles, designed the choreography, Chris Neill was the very able Stage Manager,  Tim Bell was in charge of the stunning lighting effects, ably assisted by Stage Director Lachie McLean. 



All the photos used on this page are by kind courtesy of Tracey Morris Photography who can be contacted on her website:


http://www.traceymorrisphotography.nz/ and also on Facebook.



Showcase Gallery