The Wizard of Oz – RNZB’s sell-out season

All 23 performances of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Ryman Healthcare Season of The Wizard of Oz have sold out across the nine centre New Zealand tour, which began in Wellington on 4 May.

A record number of just over 35,000 New Zealanders will have seen the stunning new two-act ballet by the end of the tour, which closes in Napier on 12 June.

Francesco Ventriglia, the choreographer and Artistic Director of the national ballet company is thrilled with the response to his adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s much-loved story.

“I would just like to say thank you to the New Zealand public for the amazing response you’ve had to my first creation for the RNZB. And to our incredible artists and collaborators who have made this dream come true.”

“This production is very close to my heart and I feel so happy that the world premiere took place here in Wellington – my new home.  Fate really did bring this production to New Zealand.”

Originally created in Florence in 2013 as a one-act ballet, the night before its opening, part of the ceiling of the Italian theatre collapsed and the ballet was never performed.   Years later, and on the other side of the world, Francesco Ventriglia expanded and recreated his original production for the RNZB.

It’s not only audiences who have been raving about the show, dance critics have been too:

Ann Hunt, The Dominion Post: “An ambitious and vibrantly imaginative two-act ballet with great appeal for all ages … definitely has the ‘wow’ factor.”

Deborah Jones, dance critic for The Australian:  “It is a delightful piece of fantasy … It’s gorgeous to look at too … The choreography is vivid, flows swiftly and is well-tailored to each character.”

Penny Neilson, Otago Daily Times: This wondrous production … was outstanding, from the stunning costuming and large-scale set, to exquisite dancing.”

The RNZB’s partnership with Ryman Healthcare has seen a whole month of themed activities at Ryman Villages around New Zealand and Australia with hundreds of residents and staff attending performances.

The RNZB’s magical journey to Oz continues to the three remaining centres of the company’s biggest tour of the year:  Auckland 2 – 5 June, Palmerston North 9 June, and Napier 11 & 12 June.

Dancers Lucy Green as Dorothy and Jacob Chown as the Lion credit Stephen A'Court The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Wizard of Oz, by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.