Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017

Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017

Over Queen’s Birthday weekend Frances Wilson was appointed

Officer of New Zealand, Order of Merit

Internationally recognised in the field of Bel Canto singing, Frances Wilson-Fitzgerald gives all her time to develop and coach talented young Kiwi singers – a work that has been acknowledged with her appointment as an ‘Officer of New Zealand, Order of Merit’ (ONZM) on Queens Birthday, 5 June 2017.

The director and cofounder of the Auckland Opera Studio, along with Dr John Peebles, Frances is one of the names behind many of New Zealand’s foremost young artists now on the international stage, including Marlena Devoe, Sole Mio (Sol3 MIO) brothers Pene, Amitai Pati, and renowned operatic tenor Simon O’Neill.

Frances trains and coaches promising young singers – including a large number of talented Maori and Pacific Island singers – and in addition provides performance opportunities in the way of operas and recitals, as a means to prepare them for a professional career on stage. The singers are paid for their work.

On her appointment as an ‘Officer of New Zealand, Order of Merit’, Frances said she wanted to thank the people who support the Trust. “Without their support, so many young talented singers would not be able to achieve great things not only in New Zealand, but on the global stage.”


May Soiree

May Soiree

Dear Opera Friends,

The second of our Winter Series concerts is only two weeks away (20th and 21st May).

Singing for us at this months concerts, Saturday 20th at the Vivian in Matakana and Sunday 21st at the Studio at 24 St Benedicts Street, Newton, Auckland, is the beautiful Eliza Boom and Katherine McIndoe. 

Come and hear these two young singers, both of who will be setting off overseas in a few months’ time. It will be a delightful evening.

Filipe Manu will be our guest artist for both of these evenings, this is your chance to hear him before he sings in our Opera later this year.

Don’t forget tickets are $50.00 and must be booked in advance either through the Vivian or Devin . We look forward to seeing you for a glass a wine, a sandwich and an evening of lovely music. 

The tickets for the Saturday show are available through the Vivian Gallery – 39 Omaha Valley Road, Matakana, RD5 Warkworth 0985, Phone: +64 9 422 9995 or Email: thevivian@thevivian.co.nz and the tickets for the Sunday show are available through Devin Phone: +64 9 523 1013 or Email: devin@jpasearch.co.nz


Marlena Sets Off To Italy

Marlena sets off to Italy

Marlena sets off to Italy

Marlena has been offered a place at the Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival 2017. The Mediterranean Opera Studio is a very prestigious teaching institute.

She will be studying and singing the role of Mimi in La Boheme and will be performing at the Festival in July.

Marlena will be working with the famous voice coach Jack LiVigni who is the head coach at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, he is also in charge of the Young Artist Program for the Royal Opera House. Working with him means that she is likely to be given a chance to sing Mimi elsewhere in Europe.

As you might imagine all this comes at a price. We have raised almost enough to help her with her fees so of course, any help would be appreciated.

The Auckland Opera Studio has underwritten her fees but we still need several thousand to complete her to Italy. By sending your donations to the Auckland Opera Studio we provide a receipt for tax purposes.

It is such a pleasure to see how well Marlena is singing and we must all be mindful of Frances Wilson’s experience and teaching skills, this wouldn’t be happening without her.

Marlena will be keeping us up to date with her time in Italy and we will publish this for everyone to enjoy.

If you would like to send donations to the Auckland Opera Studio for Marlena’s tuition, you can email Devin at devin@jpasearch.com for the Auckland Opera Studio account details. 

An Evening With Marlena Devoe

An Evening with Marlena Devoe

An Evening with Marlena Devoe

The Auckland Opera Studio is privileged to be able to offer you this unique opportunity to hear – up close and personal – the finest soprano voice New Zealand has on offer. 

On Sunday, 09th April, we have organised for Marlena to be with us in the Studio at 24 St Benedicts Street, Newton, Auckland to showcase for you her voice before she returns to Europe. it is a rare opportunity for us to bring you such a developed talent – one that has been nurtured and polished so well by Frances. it is likely we will have few opportunities to see Marlena in the foreseeable future so we wish this evening to bring you a close encounter with a young woman who is at the top of her game. she represents the best in New Zealand opera talent. 

Seats are limited so get in fast. Doors will open at 5:00pm for 5:30pm start, the door price is $50 and you will receive a complimentary glass of wine and a a few hors d’oeuvre.

This is one soiree you should not miss. To secure your tickets call 09 523 1013 or email devin@jpasearch.com or bring cash on the night.


We hope to see you all there. 

2017 Operanesia

2017 Operanesia

Operanesia – February 2017

With the weather forecast showing showers in the lead up to this years Operanesia picnic we were lucky enough to avoid the rain on the evening.

The team worked extremely hard to get the stage and grounds ready for the approximately 500 people that had pre-purchased their tickets to arrive at 4:30pm.

Our final count at the gate was over 550 people.

Once everyone had found their spots and set themselves up the show started.

All 550 + people sat on the lawn and enjoying their picnic, while watching and listening to our singers.

The music of the boys of Operanesia and the soprano of Marlena Devoe was excellent.

Marlena was outstanding and she has a busy schedule back in Europe in the middle of the year.

Overall, we all had a delightful evening picnicking in the lovely garden of Jones road, Omaha.


We are looking forward to seeing you all there again next year!

Operanesia – A Great Success!

Operanesia – A great success!

Operanesia – A great success!

The Operanesia evening was certainly an excellent success with a wonderful turn out and an evening of beautiful singing in a picturesque location. Although rainy, spirits were still high and the rain couldn’t deter from the delightful music produced by Operanesia. A truly splendid evening made even better by the wonderful turnout keen to experience the beautiful and powerful voices of these young men. A true inspiration. Here are a small selection of pictures from the evening. 


IMG_8059 IMG_8152 IMG_8163 IMG_8195 IMG_8269 IMG_8337 IMG_8376

September 2015 Newsletter

September 2015 Newsletter

25 September 2015

Dear Friends

We have brilliant news, a huge congratulations are due to Eliza Boom and Isabella Moore for their excellent achievements.  

Eliza Boom has won the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Dunedin Aria finals. She beat five other singers by performing the arias Si, mi chiamano Mimi, by composer Giacomo Puccini, and I Capuleti e i Montecchi, by composer Vincenzo Bellini.

Isabella Moore has won the 2015 Joan Sutherland Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award in Sydney.

Here are the dates for our delightful upcoming events:

  • Sunday 11 October 2015 at 5:00 pm for 5:30 pm

A concert with Eliza Boom, Benson Wilson, Milla Dickens and Lewis Francis

  • Tuesday 27 October 2015 at 6:00 pm for 6:30 pm

A Masterclass with Martin Snell

  • Sunday 29 November 2015 at 5:00 pm for 5:30 pm

A concert with Wade Kernot and Emma Pearson

We apologise for changing the date of the Masterclass with Martin Snell. The new date will be Tuesday 27 October at 6:00pm for 6:30pm (originally Sunday 1st November) and we would be delighted if you are able to attend. It will be a magnificent evening that I am sure you will all enjoy. If you have already purchased tickets for the event and are unable to attend on this date, please do not hesitate to contact Helen. We do hope this does not cause any inconvenience.

We hope to see you at one of our Soirees soon.

Newsletter July 15

Newsletter July 15

21 July 2015

Dear Friends

We are apologising for changing our usual recital evening from a Sunday afternoon to early Monday evening. We do hope this does not cause any inconvenience. We are giving you plenty of notice, so pop it in your diary now. Monday 07 September 2015 at 6:00pm.

Bianca Andrew is back in New Zealand for her European summer break. She has been in great demand for this period and did not have a Sunday left before she returns to London.

We did not want you all to miss out on this extremely talented and charming young artist. She is following in the footsteps of Tom Atkins who is just finishing his year as a full Scholarship Awardee on the Guildhall Opera Studies programme. Incidentally, Tom went on to win the prestigious Gold Medal award and become one of the “hottest’ young singers in London as a result.

Bianca is also an awardee of the Guildhall Opera Studies programme for 2016/17. She indeed is worthy of such an aware being intellectually and musically extraordinary with a lovely mezzo sound. We urge you not to miss this recital. Also moving on a couple of months, our own Martin Snell of Bayreuth fame. He will deliver a small master class on Sunday 01 November 2015 at the usual time 5.00pm for 5:30pm. He will paint an accurate picture of how the young singers life will be and how best to cope. He will also sing for us.

We do have a couple of other events which we are just working on now. We look forward to seeing you on:

Monday 07 September 2015 at 6:00pm

A concert with Bianca Andrew

Sunday 01 November 2015 at 5:00pm for 5:30pm

A concert with Martin Snell

Great news of Pene Pati

He was a finalist in both sections of the great Operalias competition in London. You may already know that this is Placido Domingo’s worldwide singing competition and that it is divided into two parts!  One is the Aria competition and the other is the Zarzuela (or Spanish song) competition. Pene is a finalist in BOTH of these!  Pene placed second in Aria competition and won the audience prize.

Isabelle Moore placed second in McDonald Aria competition last weekend and is a finalist in Bel Canto competition in a few weeks’ time.

April 2015 Newsletter

April 2015 Newsletter

15 April 2015

Dear Friends and subscribers

We seem to have got off to a slow start this year.  What with the Auckland Festival taking all your time and then the three long weekends of glorious weather and to top it off the ODI – International Cricket final where we were clever enough to be a finalist – the weekends just got away with us!

However, within the Studio walls the teaching and learning has been going on apace with energy and enthusiasm and much progress.

The first of our Soirees (10th May at 5 for 5.30) – comprises most of the prize winner of both Summer Opera Schools – The New Zealand Opera School at Wanganui and the N.Z. Singing School at Hastings.

We present:

  • Anna Mahen NZSS winner of the AOS prize
  • Madison Nanoi – overall top female
  • Filipe Manu – NZOS – top singer
  • Kalauni Pouvalu – Wanganui top singer NZOS
  • Jonathon Clyres – Baritone Price Winner NZSS
  • Joel Amosa – Hasting and who also had a great success in singing the Dulcamara role in Festival Opera’s production of L’Elisir d’amore by Donizetti.  He also won the big prize to travel to Australia for a month long study period at Opera Australia and
  • Milla Dickens who sang a very grateful and elegant Gianetta in the same opera and was very highly praised

So we are very proud to invite you to this concert or inspiring and successful students.

On May 24th at 5 for 5.30 we present – Boy’s Night Out

  • James Ioelu, Benson Wilson and Stephen Diaz

You will be thrilled to know that James has won one of the highly coveted places in San Francisco Opera’s famous Merola Programme.  Past recipients being Simon O’Neill and Pene Pati.

Incidentally one of the other place getters in this programme is Pene’s extraordinarily talented fiancée Amina Edris.

The, three days after this 3 month Programme finishes, James flies to London to begin a yearlong Young Artist place in the most prestigious programme – in England the Nation Opera Studio.  We are so proud of James!

Benson Wilson was 2nd place getter in last year’s Lexus Competition and Stephen Diaz the 2nd place getter in the previous Lexus Competition.

Lastly, on the 14th June at 6 p.m. we present a tiny chamber Opera L’Italiana in Londra by Cimarosa.

This will be performed at Highwic House and is an hour long comedy – presenting

  • Madison Nanoa
  • Milla Dickens
  • Joel Amosa
  • Filipe Manu
  • Directed by Raymond Hawthorne

All these events will be preceded by the usual drinks and refreshments. $65 per person.

The first two take place at AOS premises at 24 St Benedicts St.  The last one at Highwic House, 40 Gillies Avenue, Newmarket, Auckland 1023.

Lucia Di Lammermoor

Lucia di Lammermoor

Auckland Opera Studio and Auckland Chamber Orchestra present Lucia di Lammermoor at the Mercury Theatre on October 10th and 12th 2014. The director is Raymond Hawthorne and the designer is the famous Tracy Grant, with singers, Marlena Devoe, David Woodward, Phillip Rhodes, James Ioelu and Kalauni Pouvalu.

We are all looking forward to another marvellous opera performance.

Date: 7:30pm Friday 10 & Sunday 12 October 2014

Venue: Mercury Theatre, 9 Mercury Lane (Off K Rd) Auckland

Bookings: www.iticket.co.nz or phone 361 1000

Tickets: Adults $70 – $90, Concession $55 – $75, Student $25