A brief selection of audience responses over the years
From ‘Figaro’ March 2010
"We just wanted to thank you for a truly memorable evening last night. We thoroughly enjoyed the performance and the setting was stunning-our very own Glyndebourne in Wellington"
"There were some sublime moments-especially during the second half-with the lovely rueful arias sang accompanied with tuis, fluttering moths, metronome crickets and a dusky sky"
"When you sat in the garden and sang one of the arias and the birds began to call in response to your singing I felt truly privileged..."
" What an amazing evening of magic and music! Diana and I woke up this morning, both still literally buzzing with the sensations of last night. What music! What voices! What acting! What fun with the libretto! What native direction And what a setting!!.."
From ‘The Journey to Rheims’ December 2010
'Congratulations to you and your amazing team for the wonderful evening with Rossini in your beautiful garden setting. We were thoroughly entertained and so enjoyed the fun and humour presented with such flair. You certainly have the magic for sharing beautiful music with so many".
" Thank you so much for your tremendous enterprise and entrpreneurial efforts. The Viaggio was all such fun that life has taken on that after-exams..flatness."
".. to thank you sincerely for one of the most uplifting evenings I have spent-for opening your magnificent , idyllic grounds and showcasing such talents.."
" I think events like this will challenge how some people will think about Opera."
Listener Jan 1 (2011) Opera in the Beech Forest Award
'In March, The Marriage of Figaro was staged in a bush-clad , natural amphitheatre with glorious sunset across the harbour. Rossini's Journey to Rheims repeated the success in December."
Dominion Post August 20, 2012 ( Maria Stuarda) ‘Extraordinary’ performance brings Donizetti’s world to life, by John Button
" the decision to move this latest production to the Basillica in Hill St was a sure judgement, and it aided in a production of extraordinary accomplishment. The singing, given the demands of the belcanto period amazingly sure-footed and technically accomplished.... allowing the characters to strike sparks to great dramatic effect. .. The whole production was one of a standard that allowed the world of Donizetti to come to life in an astounding degree."
"Last night's performance of Maria Stuarda was a triumph! Everyone put on a marvellous performance, and the ovation you got at the end was most richly deserved. Donizetti would have been delighted and proud."
Listener March 8 (2014) Economy by Brian Easton, Culture vulture
"( Wellington is blessed with "Opera at Days Bay") I am not sure why I go, although I take pleasure in seeing young New Zealanders develop."
Listener December 28 (2013)Across the finishing line, An incomplete Mozart opera proves a worthy challenge, by Lindis Taylor
" The story is still essentially silly... it's also a delight, for the music is after all mature Mozart, played by a brilliant ensemble of mainly New Zealand Symphony Orchestra players ( including natural horn) and sung by a handful of fine dramatic young singers. Vinten's achievement and its stage realisation have, in musicological terms all the marks of a remarkable feat."
Bellissimo Bellini 25/08/2016 I Capuleti e i Montecchi
"Tonite's performance was so toe-curlingly exquisite that tears kept leaking out of my eyes. The singing knocked my socks off. The acting was superb. The instrumental accompaniment was stunning. The harmonies were out of this world. The production was excellent. The acoustic was outstanding, For me , this was the opera of a lifetime. Bravissimo and thanks to you all."
"this was a TRIUMPH! Your best yet! You should feel justifiably proud of this and your stellar cast. Bianca Andrew gets better everytime we hear her sing. The simple production was excellent, it captured the atmosphere and emotion of the story from beginning to end.."
"That for me perhaps the best sung opera Rhona has staged...quite magnificent across the whole cast."
Theodora & Eugene Onegin
"We have enjoyed everything we have been to over the years, not just the opera themselves but also the opportunities we have had to hear and see many fine young singers."
"This last week we have had the great delights of Theodora and Eugene Onegin. The singing and dramatic standard have been superb, and the instrumentalists also excellent. Your reliability at staging opera annually is much to be applauded, not only for the performance opportunities you give ( young ) singers, but also the sheer pleasure you give your faithful audiences, who clearly feel as pleased as I do."
“It was magical sitting in the garden with the enormous backdrop of sky and those beautiful voices floating up to the heavens, I was blissed out..”
” We are keen opera-goers and I would have to say that it was one of the very best opera experiences we have had. Congratulations on finding such a talented young cast who blew real life in to the opera, the singing was fantastic..!
” Congratulations.. I have worked in England and the Minac was the highlight of our outside venues with Hampton Court and Leeds Castle, there are obvious scale differences but the intimacy of the garden/harbour setting put Days Bay right up there.”