Once upon a time, a soprano, a mezzo & a baritone decided to build an opera company…
This 'fairytale' beginning from 2019 has a happy ending, and Canterbury now has a new opera company: Toi Toi Opera.
Its first production, ‘Suor Angelica & Elegies’, is already well into production and opens in February.
Led by director Sara Brodie, Toi Toi Opera is staging Puccini’s one-act opera amid the horrors of a makeshift hospital in World War One.
‘Suor Angelica’ stars Sarah-Jane Rennie as Sister Angelica and Leisa Falconer as The Princess, and will be complemented by ‘Elegies’. These are staged scenes, using letters sent home by New Zealand soldiers at the front, as a window into the lives of the women left behind.
It’s an ambitious fully-staged production with orchestra conducted by Mark Hodgkinson.
The production is on at the Great Hall at the Arts Centre in Ōtautahi, Christchurch from 19-21 February. All the details are on Toi Toi Opera's website.
Clarissa Dunn spoke with Toi Toi's artistic director Margot Button and production director Sara Brodie.