Monday, April 7, 2014

Introducing Jonathan Alver

Following Brian Wyness’ untimely death, I took on the role of Executive Chairman of the NZ Opera School and invited long-time associate and friend Jonathan Alver to replace me as Director. Jonathan accepted this role and experienced his first School fully in that role for the 20th Anniversary year and directed a wonderful 20th anniversary celebration entitled Opera on the River. New Zealand Opera School alumni, including Simon O’Neill (’94/’95 and ’96), gave an 800-strong audience a great night of opera arias and lighter works.

Jonathan Alver – Director 
Jonathan Alver has more than twenty five years of experience writing, directing and producing operatic, theatrical and screen work in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Europe and the United States.

After graduating in vocal studies (baritone) at the Royal Northern College of Music, Jonathan turned his attention to directing, with early UK productions including: Tosca, Boris Godunov, Madama Butterfly and Showboat at the London Palladium. In the late 90’s Jonathan became General Director of Opera New Zealand (subsequently NBR NZ Opera), directing Faust, Il Trovatore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Gianni Schicchi, The Spanish Hour, Macbeth, La Boheme, Falstaff and Aida. Lucia and Macbeth were subsequently sold to Los Angeles Opera and Minnesota Opera respectively, with Jonathan invited to the US to direct those productions. 

In 2002, Jonathan moved away from opera to form the theatrical production company Volcanic Island. Productions included: a New Zealand tours of Mum’s The Word and Then Comes Love, a UK tour of Being Victor Borge, and Jailhouse Rock - The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre in London’s West End.

In early 2007, after 20 years in opera and stage production, Jonathan returned to New Zealand to concentrate on screen production. He became a director on Shortland Street and Go Girls, with over 120 hours of screen time under his belt.  

From 2012, Jonathan has returned his focus to the stage, becoming the Artistic Director of the National Youth Theatre Company with productions of Joseph, Pinocchio and Grease, and becoming Director of the NZ Opera School. Other recent projects include: director for Annabel Langbein Live at the Frankfurt Bookfair, joint creative director of the Wynyard Christmas Quarter, and producing and directing three productions for the 2013 Auckland Arts Festival. He also has a number of film treatments and screenplays in development.

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