A new opera programme is bringing some of New Zealand’s top voices to Queenstown’s Te Atamira next week.

Te Pae Kōkako — The Aotearoa New Zealand Opera Studio (TANZOS) was established by the University of Waikato last year, under the direction of Madeleine Pierard, pictured after performing Four Last Songs in London with the English National Ballet last year, an award-winning Kiwi soprano and the inaugural Dame Malvina Major chair in opera.

The world-class programme’s the first of its kind in the country — through partnerships with organisations such as NZ Opera, Opera Australia and The Royal Opera (UK), the studio prepares talented young singers to take the stage nationally and internationally, including an annual residency and audition at the Sydney Opera House.

Dame Malvina conceived the idea, noting, in her 81st year, she feels her ‘‘life has culminated in this programme right here in NZ, that I knew was possible 20-odd years ago’’.

‘‘We can train them here and we can bring the world to look at them here.’’

On her way: TANZOS graduate Rhiannon Cooper

Next Friday, for the first time, TANZOS is bringing some of its talent to Queenstown.

‘Songs of Hope’ comprises Pierard, TANZOS graduate Rhiannon Cooper, a soprano, and international guest pianist Caroline Dowdle.

The programme includes Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) and works by Wagner and Reger.

All proceeds from next Friday’s concert will go towards funding future students on the TANZOS programme, of whom just six are accepted each year.

‘Songs of Hope’ starts at 5pm next Friday — tickets cost $40 for general admission or $25 for concession, via teatamira.nz.

Donations to the programme of any size can be made via tansoz.org

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