The Telephone (Menotti, 2010)

Opera Factory is a training ground for singers and has been operating since its first inception since 1994.  It’s a way to meet like minded people, to share a love of music and of performing.  A way to develop interests into enthusiasms, and enthusiasms into life long hobbies or serious international careers.

Opera Factory allows performers to move at their own pace  – whether intending a professional career or general enjoyment of singing and performing.  Anyone can join the Opera Factory activities, and can find a supportive place at their own level.

Singers participate at Opera Factory from as early as 10 years old.  Many are encouraged by their own singing teachers, others come at first with a friend.  Classes and workshops are at all levels – from the most basic beginners to advanced musical, character and language work for those moving toward a professional opera career.

Opportunities at Opera Factory include concerts, public events, roles in staged productions, workshops, masterclasses and community events all providing advanced singers the chance to build stage skills, performance endurance, and repertoire.

As well as singers, Opera Factory provides opportunities and experience for pianists, musical and stage directors, costume, lighting and stage designers, theatre technicians, stage managers, and more.  On a smaller scale, every component of opera that happens in the grand opera houses of the world happens too at Opera Factory.

Opera Factory offers guidance, experience and opportunity to young practitioners in all these areas, as well as the opportunity for established singers to move into opera direction, or for theatre directors to try their hand with opera.  Already early members are returning as tutors and directors.  A number of others have been accepted for advanced training overseas, and some have commenced opera careers in New Zealand or overseas.

Charges to participants are kept at a very low level, with substantial philanthropi support.  Further financial assistance is available to appropriate applicants.

Opera Factory – for audiences

Training singers is only one side of Opera Factory’s mission. The other side is to bring the experience and passion of opera to wider audiences. This makes a double challenge in programming – to find works that offer suitable roles for developing singers, and at the same time to present a programme that is entertaining and enjoyable. The challenge has been met, and the Opera Factory repertoire includes a range of styles from comic to strongly dramatic, and composers from Mozart and Rossini to Puccini, Menotti and a very jazzy Shostakovich. Opera Factory and its audiences represent a equally wide range of ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, dispelling the common belief that opera is elitist.