A New Home

Opera Factory Trust are delighted to advise that the search is over! We have found a new office and home base to rent near our founding location of Newmarket.  You’ll now find us in the upstairs studio office at St Marks Church Parish Centre, 95 Remuera Road just a stones throw from Broadway.  We are thrilled to have an administrative base which will be a great asset to the delivery of our mission and programme. The centre also has a other spaces available for us to rent for our rehearsals, coaching, workshops & some concerts. Our music resources and costumes are stored down the road in a rented basement cage in Nuffield St and we also rent rehearsal and storage space for our residual props and staging elements, at NZ Opera’s Technical Centre in Onehunga.

Our March Opera by Twilight recital at the Mount Eden Village Centre was very well supported, then 12 students enjoyed our ‘Shakespeare and Song’ April school holiday youth workshops at the Dolphin Theatre.  Our big project at the beginning of the year was the Chamber Opera Composition Contest (Jan/Feb) and Winning Workshops weekend in April both kindly supported by Creative New Zealand. The results of our Composition Contest led to a full weekend of exploratory workshops at NZ Opera in Onehunga, working with the composers and selected singers, guided by the panel and composers. The weekend concluded with a demonstration concert of excerpts from the winning entry and four other new works, presented by fifteen singers and pianists and attended by a large and illustrious audience. Most recently we have just held two full days of Senior Open Auditions and received great interest from almost 50 current or new senior and advanced singers, keen to perform and participate in our activities.

Special thanks to our members, donors and funders who continue to contribute and support our mission and future. Also, a warm welcome to many new audiences, colleagues and participants who have recently joined us.  We look forward to seeing you and welcoming you to an event soon.

Kind regards
The Opera Factory Team

Opera Factory’s contact details remain the same:
Phone 09 921 7801 or 021 529 127  and email admin@operafactory.com 

News and Opportunities – February 2016


Hello everyone and Happy New Year!  
We hope you enjoyed a relaxing holiday and wish you much health and happiness for 2016.
2015 was a challenging year but we were particularly thrilled that our October Song Recital was sold out in advance (at Dolphin Theatre) and our December show ‘A Christmas Carol – was a great success with a sold out season at the Raye Freedman Theatre in Epsom. We received many compliments about the new venues and events– thank you to everyone who came along.
2016 is a new adventure for us but we are looking forward to presenting events in the wider community and strengthening our relationships with new and old colleagues.  We have just finished the judging of our Chamber Opera Composition Contest and we are delighted to announce the winner and finalists below.  The next event is our summer soirée Opera by Twilight followed by auditions and workshops for singers.
We’d like to give special thanks to our Amici (Friends) members, Angeli donors and funders who help make all this happen and we extend a warm welcome to many new audience members, supporters, performers and participants who have signed up recently –  keep in touch and come and see us soon!

Kind regards, the Opera Factory Team.

A reminder of our contact details:
Email:  admin@operafactory.com
Phone:  09 921 7801  Mobile:  021 529127
Postal: PO Box 26 566, Epsom, Auckland 1344

You can read all about our latest events and activities below or click here for a pdf printable version.  

Entries closed on 18 January and we received nine fascinating scores which were assessed and explored over three intense days of judging at the Dolphin Theatre in late January. It was a thrilling process to work alongside our panel of experts: Philip Norman of Christchurch (Composer/Musicologist/Author), Rosemary Barnes (Opera expert/pianist/Vocal Coach) and Stuart Maunder (NZ Opera GM/Opera Director) and Sally Sloman, with assistance by Gracie Francis (Pianist).

We are delighted to announce the winning entry was by Professor John Drummond of Dunedin with ‘The Illustrious Stranger’.  The score was considered to be a complete and engaging chamber opera, based on real events which took place in the women’s backstage dressing room of the Theatre Royal in Christchurch, on the evening of Saturday 25 April 1869, when Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was on a Royal Visit to Christchurch.  Other entries selected for further exploration include: Claire Scholes (‘Live Drag’), Graham Parsons (‘The Help Desk’), Ben Hoadley (‘Miss Brill’) and Richard Francis (‘The Remarkable Rocket’). Opera Factory thanks and congratulates all contestants for entering.

Our next stage of this project is WINNING WORKSHOPS where we explore the chosen works with the panel, pianists and selected singers alongside the composers. This event will be held on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th April, at NZ Opera’s Technical Centre in Onehunga, 10.30 – 4.30pm daily. The workshop days are open to observers ($10 per entry) and there will also be a demonstration at the end of the weekend on Sunday evening at 5.30pm ($20 incl refreshments).
Please contact Opera Factory to register your interest in attending or for more information.  Ph 09 921 7801 Mb 021 529 127 Email: admin@operafactory.com.

Sincere thanks to Creative New Zealand for funding this project 

Email or phone us for further info or to register 09 921 7801 or 021 529 127  admin@operafactory.com

School Student Programme  

SATURDAY 5 MARCH, 1.30 – 5pm
Open Performance & Audition Workshop
Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Gillies Ave, Epsom (8 –12yrs) and (13 – 18yrs)
A fun welcome to Opera Factory – singing tips, movement, and a chance to sing a song for us!  Please email us to register your interest: admin@operafactory.com

26-29 APRIL
Opera Rocks – School Holiday Session
$200 per participant (ages 8 – 18yrs)
Come and unwrap the mysteries of opera and explore the music, popular tunes, choruses, stage movement and the great opera stories. There will be split age groups to give older students more extension where appropriate. Participants do not necessarily need to have previous singing experience.  To enrol, register your interest by emailing us at admin@operafactory.com and we will send you a booking form.

Development Programme
18yrs +

Thursday 10 March, 3.30pm – 9pm
Auditions by appointment for new and existing singers interested in taking part in opportunities at Opera Factory this year
These auditions are for singers of all stages from 18years upwards and particularly for those of a tertiary level and above, hobbyists welcome too! Even if you have been heard lately, please audition. This will allow us to consider you for performing opportunities, concerts, events and productions
NB All who wish to take part in training or performing opportunities should audition, regardless of whether you feel you are ready for a performance or role. Please email us or phone us to book a time  admin@operafactory.com  Ph 09 921 7801 or text on 021 529 127

Sunday 20 March, 1-6pm
This is a great opportunity for all 18yrs + singers to brush up their stagecraft, acting and repertoire. Please email us to register your interest admin@operafactory.com

Note: All workshops require a minimum of 8 participants to proceed.


Pianists & trainee repetiteurs (Tertiary+) Are you keen to develop your skills with friendly work experience to increase your knowledge of vocal and opera repertoire?  Email us to be put on the list for consideration admin@operafactory.com

Volunteers at Opera Factory?
Let us know if you are keen to get involved on a project by project basis – we often need volunteers for events, marketing, costume, staging and props, trailers.

Receiving our email bulletins:Do remember to update us if you change your email and make sure you add our email to your safe list.

Thank you to Michael Smith (our photographer) who has been taking archive photos of our events for many years www.michaelsmith.co.nz


An informal and hilarious get-together of ‘the Opera Factory originals’ from circa 1994 was organised by Clarissa Dunn and held at Mexico in Ponsonby on January 3rd.  Attendees included Harriet Moir (all the way from Dunedin), Andrew Buchanan (visiting from the UK), Andrew Conley, Victoria Rainbow, Rebekkah Benner, Patricia Hurrell – and Pene Buchanan, Carole Furhmann, Rosie Barnes and Sally.

Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 April
This weekend will be an exploration of the new works from our chamber opera composition contest where the chosen works will be workshopped with the panel, the composers, pianists and selected singers.
Observers We are opening the workshop days to observers ($10 per entry) and there will also be a demonstration at the end of the weekend on Sunday evening at 5.30pm ($20 incl refreshments).
This event will be held at NZ Opera’s Technical Centre in Onehunga
Please contact Opera Factory to register your interest in attending or for more information.  Ph 09 921 7801 Mb 021 529 127 Email: admin@operafactory.com.

We recently passed 500 likes on our FACEBOOK PAGE so thanks to you all for your support.  We are reaching new people with our regular posts which is a great way for us to spread the word about our events and activities.  Our Facebook page is also where we post news more regularly, so there’s always something new to see from singer’s news to latest events and last minute opportunities at Opera Factory.  You can check it out at  https://facebook.com/operafactorynz/

IFAC Australian Singing contest – Entries close 11 March. Heats in Auckland 3 April. Visit their website
Lexus Song Quest 2016 (NZ) – entries close 31 March. Finals 23 July.  Visit their website for further information.
North Shore Performing Arts
Junior Vocal 16-19 April (entries close 1 Mar)
Senior Vocal 3-6 June (entries close 14 May)
South Auckland Comps (close 11 Apr)
South Akl Junior Vocal 9-10 July
South Akl Senior Vocal 23-24 July
Opera Factory’s Opera Idol Contest (School Students 8-18yrs)
Rounds 6-8 September – Finals 9 September

OPERA BY TWILIGHT is the perfect way to spend an early summer evening with friends or as a relaxing note for the end of another week.  This summer soiree features popular songs and arias presented by talented classical singers from around Auckland, accompanied by David Kelly.
Light refreshments are included in the ticket price and will be served from 5pm, with the hour long concert starting at 5.30. Held in the Mt Eden Village Church with lovely vaulted ceilings, the central location has easy access and parking nearby.Tickets:  Adults $28, Students/Children $10 (general admission seating)
Limited door sales may be available
Book at www.iticket.co.nz  Ph 09 361 1000 (booking fee applies)  

AMICI & ANGELI members
Our Friends & Angels are very important to us and have contributed hugely to our survival for over 20 years. Please consider renewing your support or becoming a new member of one of our donor groups.  Your benefits include preferential bookings, ticket discounts and personal booking service. Contact us on admin@operafactory.com (ph 09 921 7801) or click here for a donation form.   

AMICI (Friends)
$50 + pa

Amici are our Friends members and contribute towards the operations of our mission and programmes. Amici members receive the benefit of priority notices, discounted tickets and personal booking services.  You can join at any time during the year. Your $50 is receipted as ‘$15 membership and $35 donation’ so a portion is eligible for tax benefits.

ANGELI (Angels)
$200 + per annum

Our ANGELI donors are greatly appreciated and help us afford specific training projects, professional pianists, vocal coaches, tutors and artistic personnel.  ANGELI donors may elect to donate towards specific areas of our programme, people or events and Angeli receive all benefits of Amici membership but with additional invitations and acknowledgement.

Opera Factory rarely charges for the wide variety of performance and training, opportunities, experiences and services we have provided to hundreds of singers over the past 20 years.   For our singers and crews on limited or student income, we offer a reduced ‘Performers Amici membership’ (ticket discounts not applicable, but priority notices and personal booking services still apply).

$5000 pa

Join our exclusive table of 12 special benefactors whose contributions help us rent venues and places for presenting our events and creating our projects.  These funds help to ease our frugal operational budgets. Please consider spreading the word to those who may be interested in supporting Opera Factory in this way. Excellent benefits apply and can include event/project naming rights, acknowledgement in printed material, complimentary tickets, special invitations and more.

We invite consideration for sponsorship of events and project costs. If you or your business can help please call us to discuss further.   Ph 09 921 7801

Restaurant or cafes, dinner parties, clubs, conferences, family celebrations and corporate or community events. Contact us for enquiries or estimates. Depending on our schedule we can provide soloists, duos, groups or the Opera Factory Ensemble for your special event


December 2015, Raye Freedman Theatre
(Michael Smith Photography)

(subject to change)

Saturday 5 March
Opera Rocks – performance workshop
Sunday 6 March
Opera by Twilight, 5pm (Mt Eden)
Thursday 10 March
Senior Singers Auditions
Sunday 20 March
Performance workshop (senior programme)
16 -17 April
Winning Workshops for new chamber operas
17 April, 5.30pm
Demonstration of new opera excerpts
26-29 April
School Holiday programme Term 1

Opera Factory reserves the right to make any alterations or additions to this or other calendars and events that may be necessary

Sally and Emma at the ‘remote’ office in Mt Eden – snapped by passer-by William Dart!

The Opera Factory Trust sincerely thanks our generous 

Principal Annual Donors & Project Funders

We especially thank our own wonderful Opera Factory donors  L’AFFITTO – ANGELI – AMICI