Travelling production company Wanderlust Opera is coming to Hamilton with their latest offering, Don Pasquale, one night only at the Playhouse Theatre on Monday August 19.

In this sparkling Donizetti comedy a miserly bachelor (Stuart Coats) gets more than he bargained for when he enters into an arranged marriage with Norina (Georgia Jamieson Emms, who also wrote the English libretto).

This is the third travelling opera from Wanderlust Opera, who performed The Marriage of Figaro in the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.

The aim of Wanderlust Opera is to take small-scale professional opera outside the major cities, and make the art form accessible and affordable.

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"We're doing everything we can to break down the old stereotypes of opera being boring and elitist – when you come to one of our productions you will not sit there for three hours with no idea what's going on, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg," says Jamieson Emms.

Georgia Jamieson Emms plays Norina in the Wanderlust Opera production of Don Pasquale. Photo / Supplied
Georgia Jamieson Emms plays Norina in the Wanderlust Opera production of Don Pasquale. Photo / Supplied

"If you've never been to the opera before, this is a great way to dip your toe in the water."

The addition of local singers in Wanderlust's productions is an innovative way to include the community.

A motley crew of enthusiastic choral singers and vocal students from Waikato University will take to the stage as a "pop-up chorus."

The chorus will have just one rehearsal with director Jacqueline Coats prior to the first performance.

Their participation in the opera is a treat for audiences, who are delighted to see familiar faces on the stage.

Wanderlust's productions are acclaimed for their wit, whimsy, and broad appeal, with modern twists and pacey action.

Don Pasquale has been described as "endlessly amusing, equally charming and a delight to the ears of both opera stalwarts and those new to the art form" – Taryn Utiger, theatreview.org.

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This is a wonderful opportunity for Hamilton audiences to see a classic comic opera right on their doorstep.


A classic comic opera
• Don Pasquale by G Donizetti performed in English, running time 2 hours.
• Director: Jacqueline Coats. Musical direction: Bruce Greenfield
• Cast: Georgia Jamieson Emms, Stuart Coats, Craig Beardsworth, Barbara Paterson
• Monday August 19, 7.30pm, Playhouse Theatre, Gallagher Performing Arts Centre
• Tickets: $39/$35/$20 www.waikato.ac.nz/academy/
• Phone 0800 383 5200 or visit wanderlustopera.com