Acis & Galatea

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Acis & GalateaHawke’s Bay’s renowned Festival Opera creates another platform for Project Prima Volta members with a contemporary take on Handel’s enchanting opera. Acis & Galatea is a mythical story of love, death and redemption between a shepherd, a sea nymph and a jealous giant. Written in 1717, it was the most performed of all Handel’s operas during his lifetime and remains one of his most successful and popular works to this day.

In this production being created exclusively for the festival, resident Artistic Director Jose Aparicio gives Handel’s classic tale a modern twist. Set during ball season in the 21st Century, teenage angst is artfully depicted with some of most beautiful musical lines Handel has composed.

Filled with soaring melodies and rich emotions, this love story is timeless, Acis & Galatea G.F HANDEL PROJECT PRIMA VOLTA PERFORMERS AOTEAROA / NEW ZEALAND OPERA and as the treatment illustrates, can be felt most intensely as a teenager. Performed by over 30 rising opera stars from Project Prima Volta and accompanied by a large ensemble drawn from the National Youth Orchestra, this will be a true showcase of youth talent.

– Monday 2nd  October, 6.30pm
– Tuesday 3 October, 7.30pm
Venue: The Blyth Performing Arts Centre
Duration: 90 minutes – Audience: 12+

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Festival Opera
National Youth Orchestra

Project Prima Volta Auditions

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When: 6th and 13th, May 2017
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Where: Taradale High School
50 Murphy Rd, Taradale
Napier, Hawkes Bay
Senior School: Years 11 to 13

Project Prima Volta

If you are year 11 – 13 come along and audition for the Hawke’s Bay-based music programme, PROJECT PRIMA VOLTA.  You’ll meet every Thursday night, and enjoy a variety of opportunities – you’ll perform as a soloist and as part of a group and you’ll receive tutoring in voice and stagecraft, all preparing you for sharing the stage with international artists in Festival Opera’s annual opera staged for the Tremains Art Deco Festival.

If you can make one of these dates, drop us a line and register your interest.  You can email  If transport is a problem, or you can’t make one of the audition dates, let us know – we want to make it easy for you to take part. You don’t have to know how to sing opera, you just have to WANT TO SING… in front of people!

‘It’s a life changing experience.

But don’t just take our word for it, here’s what PPV students say about the programme:

I’ve learned through doing PPV that I can be whatever I would like to be its helped me to become someone who can achieve what I never thought could be achieved. Taylor Wallbank

The feeling of teamwork and fun is always there, especially in PPV. Plus, the sound that we make blows me away. – Simon Henner

“I will be tired from school, but going to a PPV rehearsal has sent me home energised and happy again.” – Anna Kelland

“I think its important to have something out of school so you can meet new people who have at least one common interest and who can relate to you.” – Kathy Pearson

“The diversity not only vocally but culturally and personality wise makes PPV rehearsals exciting and pushes people to work harder.” – Sinead Palmer

Carmen – An Opera by G.Bizet

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When: 14th,16th, 18th February 2016 7:00pm
Where: Napier Municipal Theatre
119 Tennyson Street, Napier
Ticket Information: TicketTek

The world’s most popular opera is brought to life with a truly stellar line up of international opera stars. A passionate and powerful tale, Bizet’s celebrated ‘Carmen’ has it all.

N o other story, or character has held audiences as captivated as the fiery Carmen and Russian mezzo, Nadezhda Karyazina will certainly raise the bar if not the pulse, for Festival Opera audiences.  Australian tenor Matthew Reardon matches her fire with a powerful interpretation of Don Jose, Carmen’s lover.  Escamillo, the handsome bullfighter, also competing for Carmen’s affections, is sung by Moses Mackay, member of the international success story, Sol3 Mio.  We’re priviledged to include this generation’s most beloved soprano, Anna Leese, in our cast. Anna will reprise the role of the Micaela, having first performed for audiences at the Royal Opera House in London.

Carmen Opera

Dido & Aeneas

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When: Thursday 6 October 2016 7:30pm and
Friday 7 October 2016 7:30pm
Where: Iona College,
42 Lucknow Rd, Havelock North
Ticket Information: HB Arts Festival
Adult: $35.00
Concession: $20.00

Dido and Aeneas is a passionate and tragic story
of love, power, treachery and inescapable disaster.

T hirty outstanding students of the renowned Project Prima Volta will present this most famous of Purcell’s operas, with direction and staging by Lisa Jane Easter. Conducted by Jose Aparicio and accompanied by a string ensemble with harpsichord continuo. Based on Virgil’s epic poem, Dido and Aeneas tells the story of the widowed Queen of Carthage and the war hero Aeneas, two ill-fated lovers driven apart by a devious Sorceress. As events conspire against the lovers, Aeneas must leave Dido and follow his destiny. A lesson in history and in the challenges of a relationship grappling with the impossible obstacle of predestination.