Oh hi there // Bonnie Allan-Moetaua

There’s something about opera that makes it seem out of reach, like cognac. Maybe it’s because, in the movies at least, people dress up to go to it, and often fall asleep. NZ Opera’s new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is not that kind of opera, and Bonaventure Allan-Moetaua is not that kind of opera singer…

I’m a really shy guy but I’m also happy to wear a pair of heels and fish net stockings for a show.

My day usually begins with making a really strong stove-top coffee and cream before heading off to the gym to work off the cream…and often ends with my girlfriend taking my phone off me for playing Starwars Heroes. (Addictive stupid game).

Name your three favourite places in Auckland to eat, drink and play.
Now that the weather is colder, food needs to be spicy. Sri Panang on K’Rd is a great BYO cheap eats Malaysian. Back when the weather was warmer, picnic and beers in Cornwall Park was a goer as it’s right on our door step. I’m waiting for the whether to improve so I can get back on some mountain biking trails in Woodhill Forest.
Tell us something we’d be surprised to know about you
I make a mean breakfast, much better than your average cafe!

How did you get into opera?
After completing my BMus degree at the University of Auckland, a friend who was working as an opera singer told me to audition for some people. Not quite knowing what I was auditioning for, it was then that I first heard of The Magic Flute and was offered to play the role of Tamino in a kids production – a two and half hour opera reduced to a 45 minute show.

Tell us a little bit about NZ Opera’s production of The Magic Flute, and the role you play.
It’s a fun show not only for opera lovers but for any old Joe Bloggs! There is drama, a lot of comedy, good vs evil, and awesome music. Also the singers are pretty great, too. The role I play is the villain, Monostatos. Basically I spend the whole time trying to possess the princess, in whatever way I can………


You are also the principal artist for Operatunity, what does that entail?
Operatunity is a touring company providing quality entertainment for those who prefer to go out to concerts during the day rather than at night. We run many national concert tours a year encompassing opera, 50s and 60s rock’n’roll, musical theatre and everything else in between. Each of the concerts feature professional artists highly accomplished in their own musical genre. I sing and manage several tours a year, which involve running the show, looking after the crew, driving the whole shebang up and down the country, and making sure everything is running smoothly.  In addition to this, the company runs a boutique international travel company escorting trips all over the world specialising in arts, culture and musical themes. I’m lucky enough to lead several of these trips each year also.

What do you say to people who are a little unsure of opera?
Opera is possibly more playful, funny, and sexy than they think…

What’s the best opera performance you’ve ever seen and why?
I would say that the most entertaining experience was watching Tales of Hoffmann in Madrid during an Operatunity trip. Apart from the surprising amount of nudity through the performance, the singing was incredible.

If everyone in the world had a theme song that played when they walked into a room, what would yours be and why?
Uptown funk by Mark Bronson feat Bruno Mars – I’m a fan of funk/soul. I’m all about having fun and you can’t help dancing when this song comes on.

See Bonaventure Allan-Moetaua in NZ Opera’s The Magic Flute, at the ASB Theatre from 16 June.
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