Royal Friends Newsletter August 2013

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In this newsletter issue:


We are celebrating 60 years of Royal New Zealand Ballet this month as their national tour of ‘Swan Lake’ sweeps round the country.

2 sold out shows at the CBS Arena this past weekend once again demonstrated the massive popularity of our national ballet company and we wish Amanda Skoog, Ethan Stiefel and the whole RNZB team a successful 2nd half of their 2013 season and look forward to having them back on the new ITR stage in 2014.

Also visiting Christchurch this month are two future new clients of the ITR – NZ Opera perform “Don Giovanni” from 21st August and the NZ International Film Festival is now open and screening – AND finally to top it off, our long time friends Christchurch Arts Festival opens it’s festival doors on 22nd August for a month long programme of fabulously varied events.

It’s a month to get out and see some live entertainment in Christchurch, there is something there to suit everyone of any age!

As a reminder if you haven’t got your tickets to Rocky Horror Show author Richard O’Brien’s one off fundraising “The Tran In Black” concert for the ITR on 1st November, don’t wait any longer as… “it’s astounding, time is fleeting, madness takes control..” and those tickets are selling fast!! We’ll have a pretty outstanding promotion to announce next month for Richard’s show too, so watch this space… See you at a whole host of this spectacular events in the weeks and months ahead and see you back at the ITR mid 2014..!


The NZ International Film Festival are only $30,000 away from their total $280,000 fundraising target to kit out the ITR with state-of-the-art Digital Cinema Projection facilities during the rebuild project. Further public donations are now being sought through a relaunched “Boosted” campaign which starts today! The Boosted campaign will seek $12,000 from public donations – you can donate directly. This year’s Film Festival is also celebrating Royal NZ Ballet’s 60th birthday as well as bringing Opera to our screens in advance of NZ Opera’s season of ‘Don Giovanni’ this month.

Two fabulous ‘performances’ form part of the NZIFF programme:

“Giselle” – World Premiere

RNZB Giselle

Director: Toa Fraser
Producer: Matthew Metcalfe
With: Gillian Murphy (Giselle), Qi Huan (Albrecht), Abigail Boyle (Myrtha)
The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s superb, universally acclaimed production of Giselle has now been made into a superb film working intensively with the company to ensure that this film version is a performance in its own right.
Giselle is a quintessential artefact of 19th-century European Romanticism, in which eroticism and death each claims its own act. The filmmakers could hardly have had a more cleanly enunciated production to work with. Ethan Stiefel and Johan Kobborg’s staging and choreography pare back the traditional elaborations to restore psychological directness to the relationships.
These are perfectly expressed by a peerless set of dancers, principally Gillian Murphy as Giselle and Qi Huan as Albrecht. We see Murphy in New York and her partner Huan in Shanghai – wistful, itinerant dancers separated not by death but by distance. When we break from the stage to see them rehearsing the pivotal second act, the effect is electric, as if they are reunited at last, in secret, unobserved. Stunning.
Show times – Hoyts Northlands, Wednesday 7 August, 1.30 pm | Hoyts Northlands, Saturday 10 August, 5.45 pm. Book at Hoyts

“Becoming Traviata” (France 2012)

Becoming Traviata

Philippe Béziat’s documentary follows rehearsals for a 2011 production of Verdi’s La Traviata at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France. Renowned soprano Natalie Dessay stars as the doomed Violetta alongside Charles Castronovo (tenor), Ludovic Tézier (baritone) and orchestra conductor Louis Langrée.
The focus of this film is the highly engaged director Jean-François Sivadier as he coaches and pushes the cast towards the physically and emotionally draining performance they must soon make in front of an audience. Fans of La Traviata will relish watching Sivadier’s stripped-back version come to life, while for newcomers it’s a great way to get to know what may be the most performed opera in history.
The film celebrates the sweat and prep that goes into such prestigious performances, showing us the rich collaborative interplay between the director and the star, who for most of the film is dressed for the gym and accompanied only by duet partners and rehearsal piano.
Show times – Hoyts Northlands, Thursday 8 August, 1.45 pm and 6.15 pm | Hoyts Northlands, Saturday 10 August, 11.00 am. Book at Hoyts



Christchurch Arts FestivalKick up your heels, move to music, be astonished by circus and cabaret performers and enjoy quality theatre.  The Festival this year is spread over five weekends. Larger-scale shows are held at the Aurora Centre, Memorial Avenue. Theatre and some music will feature at the Rudolf Steiner School, Opawa. The main music programme and Ideas Festival will be held at the Fletcher Building Festival Club in Market Square at The Arts Centre (facing on to Worcester Boulevard). Come and celebrate the best of Christchurch, the best of New Zealand and the best international shows on the festival touring circuit.
The next festival in 2015 will be back at the ITR…
See the Festival Programme

RICHARD O’BRIEN – The Tran In Black

Richard O'BrienIf you missed the newsletter last month, there are still tickets left for Rocky Horror author Richard O’Brien’s special one off fundraising and hair-raising concert on Friday 1st November at Christchurch’s Aurora Centre. Read more…

Richard has generously given up his time to perform ONE ONLY concert to raise funds for the ITR… It will be a special night with lots of Rocky favourites and even more frivolity. Get dressed for excess.. and be part of a unique Halloween flavoured night of music, chat, laughs and a bit of dressing up with all funds raised going to the rebuild of your favourite stage in Christchurch – the Isaac Theatre Royal..!

Book Tickets Now

Get out, get about and get into it all.

Bye for now



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