Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tosca - NZ Opera

Tosca is the opera that conquered the world. This passionate story of lust, revenge and sacrifice is one of the most successful and beloved operas in the repertoire. Jealous and fiercely loyal, Tosca’s turbulent contradictions compel us. She loves passionately yet holds firm to her faith; she’s overwhelmingly generous while also ruthlessly violent. Tosca is the fire that burns throughout this monumental drama. She is the ultimate Diva.
We are thrilled that Orla Boylan will sing this captivating title role. And she is met by men worth fighting for – or against. As Cavaradossi, superstar Simon O’Neill unleashes the Italian hero within as his soaring voice takes flight in one of the best tenor roles ever composed. He meets his match in Phillip Rhodes’ fanatically evil Scarpia. Performing roles they were born to sing, Orla and these two New Zealanders bring the drama to this most dramatic of operas.
With Puccini’s powerful and visceral music illuminating the beauty and the ancient faith of the Eternal City, we defy you not to lose your heart to Tosca – and your soul to this extraordinary story. Featuring the famous arias ‘E lucevan le stelle’ and ‘Vissi d’arte’.
Accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Featuring the Freemasons NZ OPERA Chorus.
Sung in Italian with English subtitles.
Duration approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes (including 20 minute interval)
Auckland Dates
September 17—27
ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
  • Thursday 17
  • Saturday 19
  • Wednesday 23
  • Friday 25
  • Sunday 27
Click here for prices and bookings
NZO_Tosca_Image FA

Visit and like our FB page for a chance to win an A-Reserve double pass to the opening night of Tosca in Auckland on 17 September 2015, courtesy of NZ Opera.
And click here find out more about this wonderful Opera.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Embassy Film’s Series: “Perez” (2014), Friday 24th of July at 6 pm.

The Embassy Film’s Series : “Perez” (2014), Friday 24th of July at 6 pm., University of Auckland Arts 1 Building, Room 220. Free entry
(A note about parking for the Film at the University: the Owen Glenn Building has five storey of parking and a flat rate from 5pm; it is very handy to the University with its entrance on Grafton Rd (opposite Stanley).
This week a by Edoardo de Angelis starring Luca Zingaretti: Montalbano!!
"For the fans of Commissario Montalbano, actor Luca Zingaretti plays the role of Demetrio Perez, a famous criminal lawyer from Naples who years ago was considered one of the best in his field, but after having made too many enemies, he is now reduced to working as a public defender. His life begins to fall apart when his daughter Tea falls madly in love with Francesco Corvino, the son of a Camorra boss. Luca Buglione, the boss of a rival clan, decides to become a pentito. He makes a deal with Perez: if the lawyer will retrieve for him a batch of smuggled diamonds, he will testify against Francesco."

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Win A trip to Italy and other fantastic prizes with the Festival Italiano Raffle

In occasion of our Festival Italiano '15
the Dante Auckland is proud to announce the annual raffle. There are only 3000 tickets so be quick for your chance to win some fantastic prizes, including a trip to Italy!

First Prize

Win a trip to Rome or Milan (your choice) offered by the Dante Auckland in collaboration with Moa Travel

The prize includes 1 return economy class airfare to either Rome or Milan, plus 3 nights accommodation in your chosen city. 

Raffle draw on 27 September 2015, 3.30pm, at the Festival Italiano, in the presence of a Justice of the Peace. The lucky winner will need to arrange the travel dates, which will be between 1 April and 30 September 2016 depending on availability, with Moa Travel by October 2015. 

Second Prize

An exclusive private 4 hour Italian cooking experience for you and three friends offered by Pasta & Cuore

Spend a magic afternoon at Pasta & Cuore in Mt Eden under the guidance of Stefania Ugolini, a professional pasta maker from Bologna. Prize includes a cooking class and dinner for four, date and time to be arranged with Pasta & Cuore. 

409 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden Village

FB Page

Third Prize

 Aceto Balsamico di Modena Hamper offered by Aceto Downunder.

Aceto Balsamico di Modena is the most luxurious and delicious balsamic vinegar in the world, used by the top chefs and the discerning gourmands. To understand the value placed on this liquid, consider that historically the well-off women of Modena would bring balsamic vinegar as part of their dowry. 

Fourth Prize

A luxurious hamper of Italian products offered by Italian Foodies

Italian Foodies imports into New Zealand a luxurious selections of quality regional products, including artisanal pasta, unique sauces, preserves, oils and traditional sweet treats. Win this price and you will eat like a real Italian foodie!

Italian Foodies

+64 9 213 2270

Fifth Prize

A collection of 8 pieces of estetico quotidiano by iconic design house Seletti, RRP $299.00, offered by Seletti Concept Store

Since 1964, with Enthusiasm, passion, creativity and experimentation, the Seletti family has created a brand recognized all over the world, with a series of collections that blend classic design with modern objects. 

69 BEACH STREET                               
T. +64 3 442 4133


T. +64 9 524 7408

Tickets on sale at the Dante Alighieri Society of Auckland, $5 for one or $20 for a pack of 5. Remember that there are only 3000 tickets for sale, so be quick! 
The winning tickets will be draw on September 27th, 3:30pm, 
at the Festival Italiano


All money raised will go towards the Dante Auckland school for children to run our classes and holiday programmes. The school of the Dante Auckland doesn't receive any funding from Italy or New Zealand and relies entirely on its own finances, donations and the work of our volunteers. This raffle is our yearly fundraiser so thank you all for your support. 

(And don't forget to Like the Festival Italiano on FB to win even more prizes!)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Antipodeans - by Greg McGee

The Antipodeans -  by Greg McGee

The Antipodeans, set mainly in Venice and Friuli, has been a 30-year labour of love for author Greg McGee. The idea was first sparked when he lived in that region and became fascinated by tales of escaped Kiwi prisoners of war and their links to the Italian resistance. Greg was sure there was a story there, but took many years to work out how to tell it.
From Venice to the hinterland of the South Island of New Zealand, from the execution of a Gestapo commander in the last days of World War II to contemporary real estate shenanigans in Auckland, from political assassination in the darkest days of the Red Brigade to the vaulting cosmology of particle physics, the novel is vast in scope but indomitably human in its focus.

Four questions for Greg McGee

You lived in Italy for a period during your time as a professional rugby player. Which part of Italy was it and what are your key memories of that time?
I lived in Italy for about 18 months, from April/May 1976. I went to Perugia, did a short course in Italian at the Università per Stranieri, poi sono andato a Casale Sul Sile, un piccolo paese in vicino a Treviso, dove ho fatto giocatore/allenatore d'una squadra di rugby in Serie A. That experience was a seminal moment in my life, for many reasons: living so close to Venice (where I had friends from the team), but above all being involved in a common endeavour with the locals. I was politically naive at a time in Italy when everything was political - the June elections in 76 had produced ‘the historic compromise’ with Berlinguer, the  universities were often occupied, the Red Brigade was blowing up banks, the trains were full of soldiers and the skies full of vapour trails from Nato jets - very different!

With this novel you treat for the first time a new topic, one which is deeply anchored in the conscience of many new Zealanders, old and young. What inspired you to write a novel about NZ soldiers in Italy ?
The Antipodeans is not a war novel. There are three story strands, one from 1942 to 1951, one from 1976, but the main strand is contemporary, where a young woman tries to unravel family connections that go back three generations. It is true that the earliest inspiration came from taking my father back to the battlefields (Cassino, the Sangro, Faenza etc.) where he’d been in WWII, but I was also inspired by my time in Italy, and by what I saw as a mutual fascination between Italy and NZ for each other’s countries - which are about the same size and at the opposite ends of the earth (the antipodes of the title).
Since living in New Zealand, I have often heard people telling the stories of their grandfathers/great uncles who fought in Italy in WWII. Is your novel based on biographical material, perhaps something that happened to a family member or to someone you know or heard about?

After I’d made the tour with my father in 78, I took him back to my village and he began talking to the other men there about war experiences. One of the old men then showed me the bullet holes in his stalle from a Nazi Stormtrooper’s machine gun, which had been fired at an escaped NZ POW hiding in the hay-loft. He told me the Kiwi had escaped and had fought with the partigiani further north. This was the first I’d heard of an Italian resistance. From that moment I began researching everything I could find about the partisans and the big connections between them and Kiwi (and other) POWs who had escaped into the Veneto countryside after the Armistice of September 1943, and who became known as Il Battaglione di Lepre, because they were hunted from dawn to dusk.

What was the most difficult task during your 16-year research phase, and did you come across something that you didn’t expect and that prompted you to introduce new elements into your original plot or even give it a new direction?

The above probably answers this question too. The most difficult decision about the book was deciding who was to tell the different strands of a complex story. Once that decision was made, a structure suggested itself, and I was on my way, courtesy of the Katherine Mansfield Menton Trust, which allowed me to go back to the Veneto and Friuli and walk in the steps of my characters. The most surprising thing I found was the grand old farm-house beside the river Livenza, which had been PG 107/7, the prison from which my characters (and real POWs) had escaped. The upper windows were still bricked up. I could look at the fields they had worked and imagine them hiding all around there after the Armistice.  

                                                                                                          Interview by Stefania Perrotta

About the Author
In his early 20s, Greg McGee played rugby as a Junior All Black and became an All Black trialist. He graduated from the University of Otago with a law degree in 1972. He first came to literary attention when he wrote the iconic New Zealand play Foreskin’s Lament (1980), followed by Tooth and Claw (1983), Out in the Cold (1983), and Whitemen (1986), each drama set in the rugby world. Since then he has had a successful career writing mainly for television, but again broke into the literary consciousness as Alix Bosco, winning the 2010 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. In 2012, Greg published Love & Money, his first novel under his own name, and in 2013 he was awarded the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship.