Jonathan Alver, director of the New Zealand Opera School, is a man with boundless energy.

He is also the director of the National Youth Theatre Company (NYTC) based in Auckland.

His enthusiastic, direct manner leaves you with no questions.

Read more: Annual NZ Opera School service a 'praise of music' at Wanganui Collegiate
Opera School's biggest fan is also its proudest

Advertisement

You know he's a man who gets things done.

And he is a man who means what he says.

Jonathan is at the 24th opera school at Collegiate 2018 surviving on less than a couple of weeks rest after writing and directing his musical Peter Pan with a cast of 280 children.

It's a task that would make many directors flop their heads in their hands and breathe out very slowly.

"I do have an army of incredible assistants though who are constantly shepherding the kids on and offstage during rehearsals.''

His passion for theatre and music is tireless.

"It is my life. It consumes my life and I wouldn't have it any other way."

He said it was incredible that just a four-day run at Auckland's Aotea Centre had pulled in an audience of 10,000 people.

The Freemasons Foundation, which now supports the New Zealand Opera School, also help s the NYTC.

"They are wonderful people. For us they pay for busloads of children from South Auckland to come into the city and enjoy the show. They know that the families of these kids can't afford to send them so they quietly get it organised."

Jonathan loves his time at the opera school and wouldn't miss it.

"It is intense. The students work very hard - well everyone works very hard - and it always pays off year after year.

"There really is no down time, no time to sit around. Every day is full and busy which is how it should be.''

Jonathan specialises in direction, production and management of events and theatre, and describes himself as a New Zealand story specialist - making stories that matter, in the global theatre, on screen and major events for industries.

Last year he worked with the Government in Trade and Industry as a NZ story consultant on a trade mission with politicians to China.

His experience ranges from state visits, opening ceremonies and royal galas to opera, major stage musicals (including in London's West End) and television drama direction.

The NYTC is his baby and he's very proud of what this young company has achieved.

Though it is Auckland based the children in the company come from all over the northern region, he said.

He agrees it's tough for those other children from the rest of New Zealand who would dearly love to strut their stuff as well.

"I can't change it. It's in Auckland so that's it.''

And he loves the wonderful young talent that pours into the NZ Opera School year after
year.

"New Zealander has a huge talent pool. I love living and working here.''