News and events

Memorial award for assistant director of Wellington Opera’s La Traviata

Nino at rehearsals for La Traviata

Nino Raphael has been awarded the Peter Lees-Jeffries Award to support his role as Assistant Director for Wellington Opera’s season of La Traviata by Verdi.

The award honours the memory of Christchurch theatrical designer and teacher Peter Lees-Jeffries and is granted by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation to support the professional development of young New Zealand designers and directors.

As Assistant Director, Nino has been working alongside and mentored by acclaimed opera director and New Zealand Arts Laureate Sara Brodie for the production which runs until 16 July in the newly restored St James Theatre.

He’s also unexpectedly been called to the stage to act in the role of Alfredo Germont due to Oliver Sewell’s COVID iso, while DMMF Studio Artist with NZ Opera Emmanuel Fonoti Fuimaono sings the part from one of the lower boxes!

Nino says he is incredibly grateful for the support the Dame Malvina Major Foundation has given himself and Wellington Opera through the Peter Lees-Jeffries Award.

“The opportunity to work as assistant director on this production alongside experienced creatives has been an endless joy. Every day has brought new challenges and learning experience in developing my creative work and craft. I feel incredibly privileged for this opportunity and the support given to make it all possible.”


Awards offer financial boost for young South Island performers


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