Tansley's film version of opera 'Semele' coming soon to a big screen near you

Posted Tuesday 12 Oct 2021

Tansley's film version of opera 'Semele' coming soon to a big screen near you

Rebecca Tansley’s film of New Zealand Opera’s live production of Handel's Semele is opening in selected cinemas from 28 October, bringing the national company’s work to audiences across the country.

In particular the release enables the NZO production to be seen in the regions. 

And that's not the only good news for Tansley - her short film The Finding has been selected for Montecatini International Short Film Festival in Italy, one of Europe’s longest running short film festivals.

Back to Semele, the live production was described by critics as “stunning”. The opera was staged in Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral and starred Emma Pearson and Amitai Pati (pictured) alongside a cast of world-class operatic talent from Aotearoa. A sensual story, it follows the love triangle between Jupiter, King of the Gods, his wife Juno, and his lover, the mortal princess Semele.

Tansley filmed the live production, getting just one chance to get it right on the night! 

She says that even non-opera fans will enjoy the film.

“Typically when you go to see a live opera you are stuck in the theatre with a “wide shot” view. But here we can get up-close and personal with an incredible cast in what was a vibrant and emotionally-charged production. Non-opera audiences who have seen the film enjoy it as much as opera fans.”

The film was made in partnership with indie production house Greenstone TV and is being released through Rialto Distribution. Director of Photography is Simon Raby and it was edited by Thomas Gleeson.

Click here to find out when and where Semele will screen in your town