Jacqueline Coats loves opera, loves the operatic voice but knows the voice alone will not define the singer.
For to translate the beauty of opera singers literally also need the "moves".
Last year as stagecraft director and choreographer at the New Zealand Opera School, Jacqueline directed the final concert in the Whanganui Royal Opera House. It is a concert that is still talked about as the show that literally oozed flair and was fabulous from start to finish.
This year, the 27th school at Whanganui Collegiate School, Jacqueline directs a daily class for all 21 students emphasising the importance of stagecraft and movement.
As she explained, students work tirelessly on their voices but they need to be reminded that their body and fluid movement on stage was also vital.
In their daily class after intense warm-up exercises Jacqueline encourages her students through silent acting games like charades, without the words, to "tell a story" with their bodies.
"Unfortunately, because their singing voices take precedence, the training in stagecraft is minimal," she says.
And she urges the students to find acting classes "somewhere" once they return home.
In her morning class some students were not at ease with storytelling through movement alone.
But with encouragement from Jacqueline their inhibitions lessen and by the end of class they were throwing themselves around with dramatic moves and expressive faces.
"Really I'm asking them to tap into their emotions which is not easy."
As well as the daily class for all students, Jacqueline works throughout the day with students in solo classes.
For as she said, on stage the singers in an opera must present a complete picture.
Covid-19 has meant that last year Jacqueline could not get to Leeds University in the north of Britain to complete her Pettman DARE Fellowship with Opera North.
She has always loved theatre and the stage and said no one was more surprised than her when she fell in love with opera and knew that's where she wanted to work.
"I love the big stories, the drama, the wonderful music … opera has everything … what's not to love."
Even though opera is presented to audiences in many different guises especially these days with fashionable opera groups and slick singers, Jacqueline believes only full staged opera shows the real glory.
"That story being told on stage with performers throwing themselves into it is absolutely wonderful."
The final concert, this coming Saturday night, has been in the planning for Jacqueline and musical director Michael Vinten for the past two months.
"Each successful student arrives at the school with an aria they have worked on and that is the basis of the concert.
"Michael and I link all the arias with a theme and create the concert. The students, after two weeks of exercise, vocal coaching and immersing themselves into telling stories through movement, are ready to show what they do."
Jacqueline said her work is fulfilling and there is absolutely nothing she'd rather do.
"Working with young people is what I do. I love watching their true human emotions develop and together with their voices, it shows they have chosen a wonderful profession … opera."