22 Sep 2020

Former flatmates Paul Whelan and Sarah Castle reunite on stage as a feuding couple

From Upbeat, 2:30 pm on 22 September 2020

NZ Opera’s upcoming production of Handel’s baroque masterpiece Semele features a feast of New Zealand vocal talent. 

Mezzo Sarah Castle (singing the dual parts of Juno and Ino) lives in Manchester, and has a formidable career in the UK and Europe, frequently singing with the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, and at Bayreuth Festival in Germany.

Sarah Castle (2nd from Left) in 'Adriana Lecouvreur' at ROH

Sarah Castle (2nd from Left) in 'Adriana Lecouvreur' at ROH Photo: ROH Covent Garden

Bass Paul Whelan (also singing two roles: Somnus and Cadmus) shot to international fame early on in his career when he won the Lieder Prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 1993. These days Manhattan is his home, and he’s in demand in the US, UK and Europe.

Paul Whelan in Monteverdi's 'Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria' at Grange Festival

Paul Whelan in Monteverdi's 'Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria' at Grange Festival Photo: Paul Whelan

Despite being former flatmates, having sung together in the New Zealand Youth Choir and played together in the Wellington Youth Orchestra, this is the first time they’ve worked together in an opera.

Sarah and Paul talk with David Morriss about the work that’s brought them home to New Zealand and the difficulties facing so many performers today as opera companies face tough times.

This audio is not downloadable due to copyright restrictions.

NZ Opera's 'Semele'

NZ Opera's 'Semele' Photo: New Zealand Opera

As well as performing in Semele in October in Auckland, Sarah and Paul explore some of the feuding couples in opera in their joint recital ‘Trouble and Strife’ on Friday night in Wellington with pianist Bruce Greenfield. 

 

 

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