Opera in the Park to hit right notes

SALLY KIDSON
Last updated 12:00 16/02/2013
opera in the park
SOLID SUPPORT: Opera in the Park technical director Antony Hodgson is boosted by, from left, art department designer Adi Tait, food wrangler Andy Williams, Nelson City Council festivals marketing co-ordinator Cam Woods, crew member Steve Kelly, production manager Huup Waagen, and crew members Taupuhi McLetchie and Jessie Strachan.

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Those who venture to Opera in the Park tonight should prepare for a sensory feast - and "expect a few surprises after dark", technical director Antony Hodgson says.

Tonight's star-studded concert will be Mr Hodgson's last, after a decade working on Nelson Opera in the Park. He plans to make his life simpler, and for the past four years has lived at Onekaka with his partner.

Planning for the festival starts in winter, and the festival crew and workers have been working flat out at Trafalgar Park over the past few days.

The forecast for tonight is for fine weather and light winds, and concertgoers are reminded to bring warm clothes for when the sun sets.

Mr Hodgson advised those heading to the concert to arrive early and enjoy the pre-show entertainment.

He said the event had developed into a "signficant national concert", and the park was looking fantastic.

Headlining this year's Opera in the Park are rising international soprano Madeleine Pierard and her mezzo-soprano sister Anna Pierard, and New Zealand musicians Don McGlashan and Julia Deans, all supported by conductor Marc Taddei and Orchestra Wellington.

Wellington tenor Tom Atkins, who sang with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings Symphony, and Nelson jazz singer Trudi Wilson are also part of the lineup.

The pre-show entertainment starts from 5.30pm with the Ladykillers - singers Tina Cross, Suzanne Lynch and Jackie Clarke.

As in previous years, there will be a spectacular fireworks display at the end of the show.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Gates open at 5pm, with pre-show entertainment starting at 5.30pm. The main show starts at 7.30pm. People must be seated by 7.15pm. There are separate areas for those on low chairs and picnic rugs, and those on higher chairs. You can bring your own picnic and wine. There will be food stalls and a bar. It is a zero waste event, so all rubbish must be taken away. Bring warm clothes. Plan for a three-hour show with intermission. Disabled access is available at both gates. Disabled parking is available for those with a mobility parking permit, via Hathaway Tce. Adults $15, children (5-15) $5, under-5s free.

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- The Nelson Mail

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