Natural Beauty Inspires Sounds Opera Weekend   21 May 2012

When the heroine in Puccini’s Tosca sings the dramatic aria Vissi d’arte she’s describing her lifelong passion for love and music.

Luxury Marlborough Sounds resort Bay of Many Coves has put those elements together to create an Opera Lovers’ Weekend with the NBR New Zealand Opera from July 20 to 22.

Three of New Zealand’s favourite opera singers, accompanied by Kirsten Simpson, a Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Scholarship recipient, will entertain with delightful excerpts from the magic world of popular opera.

They are Jared Holt, the 2000 Mobil Song Quest winner, who has performed leading and supporting roles with a number of major overseas opera companies including the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Morag McDowell and Emma Roxburgh, both resident artists with The NBR New Zealand Opera. This year Morag will perform supporting and understudy roles in the operas Rigoletto and The Bartered Bride while Emma has featured as soprano soloist with the Auckland Philharmonia and recently performed the role of Settler in Hohepa for the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

“We see an incredible synergy between the richly evocative music of opera and a glorious venue rich in natural venue and we have brought them together at the Bay of Many Coves resort,” says Murray McCaw, co-owner of the resort.

“While opera is generally associated with magnificent theatres around the world our five star resort is providing a setting that is as impressive as any opera house. We want to demonstrate that opera is as accessible to an audience as any musical form. Our guests will be thrilled when the artists perform in the Kumatage guest lounge overlooking the bay.”

To ensure guests enter the spirit of the weekend the resort is providing the finest of Italian food. They’ll be welcomed with a Bellini cocktail on their arrival and the centrepiece will be a six course Opera Lovers Lunch prepared by Executive Chef Hannes Bareiter on the Saturday.

Between the pastas, salads and meat platters the soloists will entertain. So many arias from opera have been inspired by food and celebration that there is a rich heritage of music to choose from.

After breakfast on Sunday the trio will farewell the guests as they depart.

It is intended that the Opera Lovers Weekend will appeal not just to opera buffs but to those who would love to be introduced to opera in the beautiful setting of the Bay of Many Coves resort and to turn back the clock to a time when food and wine were an integral part of celebrating the latest Verdi or Puccini masterpiece.

The Opera Lovers Weekend is one of a number of exclusive events planned this year by the Bay of Many Coves resort. Other events include a Poetry Workshop with Professor Bill Manhire in early May, the Autumn Jazz and Champagne weekend in late April, a 60’s and 70’s revival weekend in June that features food and music from those two decades and photography weekend retreats with Simon Woolf.

Prices for the Opera Lovers Weekend start from $810 per person.

(New Zealand Opera)

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