New Zealand Opera singers will be showcased around the globe thanks to two initiatives being launched online this week, The Musical Solidarity Project – a virtual choir, created out of lockdown in Italy, and the addition of the company’s acclaimed production of Tosca to international streaming platform OperaVision.
Members of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus feature on The Musical Solidarity Project, a collaboration between 55 opera houses, theatres, cultural institutions and about 500 musicians from all over the world performing Verdi’s ‘Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves’ from Nabucco.
Maestro Frédéric Chaslin said “I am delighted to be part of this exciting and useful project at a time where all artists need to show solidarity… times come where we need to be one block… We are millions of single voices and for once, we need to shout together… let’s pray that music will be in the heart of human beings to help them move forward after this terrible crisis.”
After screening on TVNZ 1 over Queen’s Birthday weekend, New Zealand Opera’s star-studded 2015 production of Tosca will be available to the world on Opera Europa’s free streaming platform OperaVision, premiering at 7pm (GMT+2) on Friday (5am Saturday NZT). This is the company’s first opera to be screened internationally.
Love, lust and political intrigue fill the world of the passionate singer Tosca (Orla Boylan). When her lover, Cavaradossi (Simon O’Neill), is imprisoned by police chief Scarpia (Phillip Rhodes), Tosca takes matters into her own hands with dramatic consequences. Set in Italy in the 1950s, the visuals lend themselves to life shadowed by the mafia and post WWII politics.
“OperaVision is about making the best live or recent opera productions of opera available to a wider audience across the world. Run by Opera Europa, OperaVision focuses principally on shows from European opera houses but good opera, of course, has no borders,” Says OperaVision’s Luke O’Shaughnessy.
“It is real privilege for OperaVision to be sharing New Zealand Opera’s first-rate production of Tosca with opera lovers worldwide. And it is a timely reminder of NZO's pre-eminent position in the increasingly global business of opera.”
New Zealand Opera’s General Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess says that New Zealanders are rightly proud of the contribution our Kiwi singers make to opera on the world stage.
“There is a plethora of New Zealand singers with international careers, and until now the world has not been able to see them in the context of a New Zealand Opera production. This film of Tosca changes that, and we have plans to film more productions to share with music-lovers around the world, starting with our immersive site-specific production of Handel’s Semele in September.”
Tosca is also available to New Zealand-based viewers on TVNZ OnDemand until 31 August.
The Musical Solidarity Project
New Zealand Opera
Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland
Book at nzopera.com