Christchurch choir boy takes on the opera

Cathedral choir director Nicholas Forbes has a lifetime dedication to choir. He tells Metropol writer Daniella Judge about his involvement in the upcoming New Zealand Opera show Le comte Ory.

Nicholas’ exuberant personality and excitement over Le comte Ory are infectious. It’s easy to imagine him happily leading a team of opera singers, which is just one part of his role in the NZ Opera show. Nicholas tells me of his time growing up in Christchurch as part of the Cathedral Choir where he says he was “bitten by the bug”.

Nicholas Forbes

His involvement with choir groups only grew and his talent blossomed as a singer, pianist, and organist. After a short stint imagining himself as a lawyer post high school, he took to Auckland to pursue his passion for music further.

Despite living there for some time, Nicholas says there are plenty of opportunities to be involved in high-quality choirs and opera in Canterbury, such as the Canterbury Opera, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and The Court Theatre. Nicholas is especially grateful to the teachers he had in Canterbury and beyond, who set him up to succeed in teaching as well. Working with different choir groups, the opportunity to work with the NZ Opera was a new challenge, gladly welcomed.

Nicholas describes Le comte Ory as a “Madcap rollicking romp of an opera with mistaken identity and laughs for all,” and he talks about how the opera’s original debut was seen as quite naughty. Le comte Ory is on now until 29 June at Christchurch’s Isaac Theatre Royal.

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