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International Akaroa Music Festival - Café Operana

Ticket Information

  • General Admission: $41.23 each ($37.00 + $4.23 fees)
  • Students: $12.30 each ($12.00 + $0.30 fees)
  • Senior: $38.15 each ($34.00 + $4.15 fees)
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale


  • Fri 13 Jan 2023, 7:00pm–9:00pm


All Ages

Café Operana

Join Café Operana on a fantastical imaginary journey, where we stop to sample musical delicacies from various destinations including Puccini’s Florence... and trace Astor Piazolla’s steps from Buenos Aires to Paris and New York then back again. Travel glamour- class with us through the changing seasons and explore a rich menu of life’s ups and downs.

Folky peasant food is served up alongside a royal operatic banquet and garnished with a dash of jazz and a twist of tango.

Sophia Bidwell has one foot in the opera camp and the other planted firmly in folk music. She brings to Café Operana her experience as a repetiteur with Canterbury Opera as well as many years working in folk and cover bands. Originally a classical pianist she has been a convert to the accordion for many years.

Lois Johnston graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and forged a career singing early and contemporary music. Almost 10 years later she “discovered” opera, prompting her to gain a postgraduate diploma in Operatic Performance from Birmingham Conservatoire. From there she trod the boards of opera houses around Europe before settling in New Zealand where she is now a citizen. Café Operana fulfils the musical maverick in her.

Principal harp with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Helen Webby loves to take her gold harp out of the back of the orchestra and sparkle in the limelight. Her dancing fingers and big smile create a magical journey from Bach and Baroque to Paris and La Belle Epoque and the latest in contemporary music. Her CD “Pluck” (MANU) was nominated for Best Classical CD in the 2013 NZ Music Awards. Helen is a favourite with Arts on Tour audiences around New Zealand, and her recent solo tour features in a new documentary Central to the Soul by filmmaker Bill Morris, selected for the 14th International Doc Edge Festival this year.

Come and join us for the 16th International Akaroa Music Festival in wonderful Akaroa. For the 2023 edition, we have created an exciting programme, featuring NZ’s most accomplished musicians as well as fabulous international guest artists.

Cellist Ramon Jaffe and pianist Michael Endres will be back this year, amazing clarinettist David Griffiths is joining us for the first time, and cellists Josephine Vains, Svetlana Bogosavljevic and Edith Salzmann can't wait for another edition of the Cellissimo series on Wednesday the 18 January.

We'll bring stellar young talented from NZ and Australia along, our young musicians will start the lunchtime concerts on Saturday the 14th. The evening concerts feature well known works such as Tchaikovsky's piano trio and 'Souvenir de Florence' sextet, Beethoven's trio for clarinet, piano and cello, Bach by Candlelight is back and much more.

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