Chair: Deirdre Milne

Secretary: Don Milne

Treasurer: Helen Gaeta



Darryl Milner

Stuart Thompson

David Thomson

John Miller Crawford (webmaster)

Committee members say what the Opera Forum means to them and why they are happy to serve on its Committee:

Deirdre and Don Milne

Opera, in our view, is the greatest and potentially the most moving of all art forms. As the presenters of the “Live at the Met” cinema series always say, there is no substitute for the live performance; but opera on the big screen comes very close. Productions can vary, as may the singing and acting; but the music endures.

Through Opera Forum we have had the chance to see and hear bold, stimulating productions of operas that may never see the stage here at the end of the world. The chance to debate the coming year's programme with other opera-lovers on the Committee is insightful and challenging, but also enjoyable – would that more members would come forward to share the experience.

Helen Gaeta

For me, opera is the ultimate of all the performing arts in that it combines, music, words and visual context to create an immersive experience. Belonging to Auckland Opera Forum provides an opportunity to experience opera productions from the world’s best leading opera houses and festivals with like-minded people. The eclectic programme exposes you to different interpretations of the same opera and can challenge your pre-conceived understanding of a work. One of the fun parts of being on the committee is choosing the programme.

Watching productions on the big screen reveals aspects of the drama that can easily be missed on the smaller screen. Most important for me is sharing the experience with other opera lovers. The lively discussions we share about the productions is stimulating, and expands and enriches my own perspective. The camaraderie generated by this sharing keeps me coming back every year.

Darryl Milner

Being passionate about opera, I welcome the chance to see and hear new and interesting productions of both well-loved and new operas. I enjoy seeing them on a big screen and chatting to fellow enthusiasts and hearing their opinions of singers, productions and the operas we screen. I enjoy being part of the team that views new DVDs and chooses the programme for each year's screenings. It's an interesting and sometimes challenging task to create a balanced and exciting programme for the year.

Stuart Thompson

As a lifelong opera lover, I joined the Auckland Opera Forum to see visually operas that I would not otherwise have the opportunity to see. Also to enrich and broaden my knowledge of the many facets of opera.

Being part of the committee has enhanced the way I appreciate and understand the different composers and their music. As a committee member I endeavour to push the boundaries and choose operas from outside the normal repertoire that will extend everyone's appreciation of the different periods of composition. I enjoy getting our members' feedback during the interval and at the end of the screening.

John Miller Crawford

For me, the Opera Forum offers a happy medium between the expense of attending live opera and the lesser involvement of watching opera videos on a home TV. For a very modest outlay, I get to see the finest performances from great opera houses around the world on a screen that brings the experience close to actually being in the theatre. And into the bargain (and it is a bargain!), I get the opportunity to share the experience with like-minded people - well, not always like-minded, but differences of opinion about performances just serve to enhance the pleasure.

David Thomson

Auckland Opera Forum, unknown to many, is a rare treat for those in the know. The Theatre at Epsom Girls Grammar has excellent acoustics and a fine screen, resulting in members having monthly access to some of the best operas in the world. The projectionist is excellent ensuring there are no breakdowns and the monthly events run smoothly. A small enthusiastic committee plans programmes a year in advance and tends to supper at half-time each month. If you are a fan of opera then join AOF. You will then have the opportunity of a monthly treat at a most reasonable price.