Why you should immerse yourself in the Opera in Concert experience - Opera in Concert Consortium

Helen Gaeta is a founding member of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Opera in Concert Consortium. Read on to discover more about the Consortium, what they do and why you should take the time to immerse yourself in the Opera in Concert experience.

Why You Should Immerse Yourself In The Opera In Concert Experience Opera In Concert Consortium1050x1050

Helen has been a member of the Opera in Concert Consortium from its inception in 2016, and has since enjoyed many APO productions from Verdi’s Aida to Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. The consortium is comprised of a group of APO supporters who are passionate about opera and enthusiastically donate to APO’s annual Opera in Concert programming.

“Opera is such a treat! I’m a member of the consortium because I want the Opera in Concert programme to keep going. In fact, I wish it happened more than once a year. People think of opera as being shrill sopranos, foreign languages and only for the highbrow… but once people attend an opera they realise the stories are still relevant today. Shakespeare lived hundreds of years ago but we still go to see his plays because they tell great stories – opera is exactly the same and I would love for more people to experience it.”

“I’ve always been interested in classical music and have been a regular APO concert attendee since I returned to New Zealand in 2003. Auckland is really lucky to have an orchestra of this calibre – I rank them globally. The programming is fabulous overall – but I was particularly excited when the APO began presenting Opera in Concert.”

Opera in Concert is a performance of an opera in concert form – no set, no costumes, but maintaining interactions between characters to retain the dramatic effect. Operas performed in concert make opera more accessible simply because an opera can be an expensive undertaking when elaborate sets and costumes are involved.

“We don’t get many occasions to see operas in Auckland. International companies can’t tour here as it’s too expensive, and funding prevents multiple local productions each year. APO’s Opera in Concert offers an opportunity to hear operas in their entirety and be immersed in the story while having the opportunity to focus on the beauty of the music. It also presents an excellent chance to be introduced to new operas that are not performed as often – like Korngold’s Die tote Stadt which is being performed on 8 July this year. I hope this production switches people on to Korngold – he is an underappreciated composer and really special.”

“The arts sustain us – a lesson we learned well through Covid-19 lockdowns. Many people consider the arts a luxury but they define us and the character of our country. I choose to support the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and particularly the artistic venture of Opera in Concert, because beautiful art and music is essential to our collective well-being. My message to everyone is ‘just go’ – nourish your soul and make some experiential memories that will last forever.”

Without the support of consortium members like Helen, the APO’s Opera in Concert programme would not be possible. It is the largest artistic and most costly venture in the APO programme, being a collaborative artistic production encompassing multiple international artists (eight this year to be exact), a chorus of singers from NZ Opera and of course, a full orchestra.

We are so grateful to the consortium of donors who make it possible for audiences in Auckland to witness the splendour of opera semi-staged each year. If you are interested in more information about this year’s Opera in Concert performance you can find that here

If you are interested in joining the Opera in Concert Consortium please contact Director of Development Melanie Esplin at 

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