Italian Opera Weekend

Friday, 25 & Saturday, 26 April 2014

deborahJoin us at Huka Lodge for an Italian extravaganza – a memorable weekend filled with stunning operatic performances accompanied by superb cuisine. Drawing together the talents of fabulous New Zealand opera diva Deborah Wai Kapohe and emerging artists from the New Zealand Opera School into a program of Italian musical recitals creates a truly magical event created especially for opera lovers by Huka Lodge. 

Jonathan Alver, your Master of Ceremonies for this fabulous Italian Opera Weekend, has over 25 years experience in theatrical, screen and event production and is also the current director of the New Zealand Opera School. 

BIANCA_ANDREW_SMDeborah Wai Kapohe was born in Southland, New Zealand, and her traditional operatic roles include Pamina in The Magic Flute, Mimi in La Boheme, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Sophie in Massenet’s Werther, Aldalgisa in Norma, Nannetta in Falstaff, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Leila in The Pearl Fishers, Marguerite in Faust and most recently the role of Carmen, in the opera bearing the same name. She has performed to audiences throughout New Zealand and Australia as well as in the UK, China and South Africa. It will be a pleasure and a privilege to have Deborah singing at such a small and intimate event at Huka Lodge, with her beautiful voice complemented by her vivacious and warm personality.

Three young performers will also star during this Italian Opera weekend, all talented New Zealand Opera School alumni, all poised at the start of their musical careers and about to travel overseas soon in order to pursue further study. 

Mezzo, Bianca Andrew, is a graduate of the New Zealand School of Music with a Bachelor of music (2010), followed by a Post-Graduate Diploma (2011). She has been the selected as the recipient of many scholarships and awards during the course of her studies to date, including the Dame Malvina Major Foundation High Achievers Award. 

Her operatic repertoire is growing and she has been involved in many productions staged throughout the country, including solo concert roles. Bianca has been accepted as a student by London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and will be taking her place there in September.

Edward_Laurenson_Hi_resBaritone, Edward Laurenson, is a graduate from the University of Auckland where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce , with Honours in 2011, He received an ATCL in singing in 2009 and came to a career in opera through musical theatre. Edward was a previous Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist and made his operatic debut in the Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus. 

In 2012 Edward was awarded Vocal National Young Performer of the Year at PACANZ as well as the Lieder prize at the New Zealand Aria competition. Edward will travel to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for further study in September.

Oliver_Sewell_Hi_resTenor, Oliver Sewell, completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance Voice) at the University of Canterbury in 2011 and he is the current Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist. Oliver has also been selected as the recipient of other scholarships and awards including a Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Award. 

Oliver has sung in performances throughout New Zealand and in 2013 he was chosen for the lead role of Corrado in Verdi’s Il Corsaro (New Zealand School of Music). He travels to the USA this year to audition for the Manhattan School of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music.

Espresso_di_ManfrediAdd the talents of our guest chef for the event, the famed Stefano Manfredi from ‘Manfredi at Bells’ and ‘Osteria Balla Manfredi’ in NSW and you have an amazing combination of the best Italy has to share.

Stefano Manfredi is known fondly in Australia as the ‘godfather’ of modern Italian cuisine. He has made his mark as chef, restaurateur, an inspired coffee blender, successful cookbook and food writer and an ambassador of sustainability.

Born in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, he settled in Australia with his family in 1961. In 1983, he opened The Restaurant in a laneway in Ultimo – later to be renamed The Restaurant Manfredi. In 1996 he moved his operations to the Rocks with the much-applauded Bel Mondo (1996 – 2002). Restaurant Manfredi remains the only Italian restaurant to have attained the coveted 3-hat rating from The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.

Stefano has won numerous accolades in both Australia and overseas, most notably he was presented the Italian International Culinary Institute for Foreigners inaugural trophy in 2002 by then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. 

In 2007, Stefano took the helm at Bells at Killcare and its restaurant Manfredi at Bells. Here the planting of extensive kitchen gardens inspired a more pastoral rendition of his cuisine which in turn saw the restaurant honoured with the Good Living Sustainability Award at the The 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Awards.

In 2011 another signature restaurant was opened Osteria Balla Manfredi at The Star, heralding a much-anticipated return to the Sydney scene, offering modern Milanese cuisine in an Italian trattoria-style setting. 

Stefano has been the author of five books and will have copies of his latest release Stefano Manfredi’s Italian Food with him for guests to purchase, and he will also personally sign these.

Continental Cars is delighted to partner with Huka Lodge for the Italian Opera Weekend and they look forward to showcasing the worlds best Italian-made vehicles.

FerrariThe Ferrari FF “The Ferrari Four” is the most exclusive and highest performance V12 - 4 seater GT in the world. It is the first car in the history of Ferrari to be equipped with the next generation all wheel drive system. The FF has the best luggage compartment capacity in its class, with superior levels of on board comfort. It may be a car that has elegance,beauty and art in its soul, but there’s much much more to the FF than its sophisticated allure. 

A surcharge of NZ$200.00 per room + GST (15%) applies to the tariff to benefit the work of the New Zealand Opera School. The weekend will be presented at our most favourable autumn-winter rate.

The New Zealand Opera School receives generous support from the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, and was founded by Donald Trott. 

In 1983 Donald Trott wrote the following description of its objectives: “To provide a period of intensive vocal, language, movement and acting training with tutors of international reputation in order to give our emerging opera singers the very best tuition possible and to provide a taste of the disciplines required to succeed in the fast-growing, competitive and demanding world of opera performance”  

To view the programme for the Italian Opera Weekend at Huka Lodge please click here.