Beauty and the Beast at Baycourt: Tauranga Colleges combine


There’s a crowd on the lawn outside Baycourt as I meander down to give my submission to the Tauranga City Council Long Term Plan. There’s also beautiful singing coming from one of the lower levels of Baycourt. I can’t resist so put my head in the door.   It’s the combined Tauranga Boys’ and Girls’  Colleges production of  the Disney version of the classic Beauty and the Beast warming up.   This is their Green Room.

Lead performers!

Submission given and one of Little Long’s excellent savoury muffin inside me I come back and talk with Philippa Ferguson Girl’s College Deputy Principal and the Production Manager.

Flat out but still able to send me an email! Philippa Ferguson of Tauranga Girls’ College

In June 2017 the rights to the production were obtained. August and September: auditions and the start of personal vocal work. Over summer personal vocal work and then every Sunday and Wednesday evenings for rehearsals (and more personal vocal work).   Plus of course ongoing academic and other commitments.

What do they get out of all of this? Teamwork, camaraderie, they’re pushed beyond what they think they may be capable of and self management. So we’re talking all the skills for University, employment and life in general.

The amazing costumes are courtesy of Weta Workshop – they are stunning.

I’m sitting writing this in the Green Room, the noise and excitement are wonderful and the enjoyment is palpable. Anyone who thinks contemporary youth aren’t up to it should see them and hear them.

Costumed conversation

Off to the stage!

The production of this classic and contemporary, not so out of the ordinary, fairy tale will have its gala opening at Baycourt Theatre in Downtown Tauranga tonight 9th May and will run with performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and a Matinee on Saturday.

A fabulous effort and from what I’ve seen and heard and “unmissable” perforamance.

Community support!         The Fresh Market, greengrocer at Gate Pa provided the fruit for the platters

And my submission to the Tauranga City Council? We take for granted the accessibility of our democracy and local government.   Again, a privilege to be able to submit and a privilege to be heard without fear of repercussion, violence and death.   Next time you are given the opportunity to participate in the process – take it – it’s something denied to so many.

And here’s the schools’ press release:

Tauranga Girls’ and Boys’ Colleges are proud to present Disney’s classic production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’, being performed at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre by an outstanding cast of students from both colleges from May 9th to 12th. This year’s show is directed by Toni Henderson, and well supported by a talented and experienced team that includes choreographer Laura Mansell and Musical Directors Stephanie Geor and Murray Mason. The set has been designed by Ben Hambling and the construction team have enjoyed the challenges as they created the set and numerous props including the magic of the castle. Our talented cast is headed by Shenazar Sta Lucia as Belle, George Hiku as the Beast and Fletcher Oxford as Gaston. The band, mainly made up of students, has been working tirelessly since October mastering the pieces that will ensure this production is one to remember. One particularly exciting aspect is that the costumes that will feature are originally designed by Weta Workshops. Not necessarily easy to wear, but they will certainly contribute to the ambience of this show. The process of rehearsals has been enormously rewarding for the students and their dedication has ensured the show is unparalleled in quality! The classic tale is appealing to an audience young and old; book your tickets at to secure your seat before they sell out!

Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.




Join us every second Wednesday of the month,

6.00pm to 8.30pm

     at the

   Black Sheep Bar & Grill

Cnr SH2 and Plummers Point Road, Whakamarama

Read your own poems or poems by your favourite poet.   Enjoy the power of the spoken word!

Phone:   07 571 8722   021 145 5810

The first meeting of alchemy was held in April in the Conference Room at the Black Sheep in Whakamarama.  Published poems were read; original poems shared and discussion flowed.   Whakamarama locals Jo and Piers Wiggett and Rosemary Balu shared their words.   ARTbop Contributions Editor author, reviewer and raconteur, Marcus Hobson read.  Dhaivat Mehta, one of Tauranga’s established slam and spoken word poets facilitated the evening and shared some of his words.   Come along this month:  the second Wednesday of the month: May 9th 6.30pm to 8.30pm and share and enjoy.   It’s also the Black Sheep’s popular curry night: enjoy your dinner and then share your thoughts and words.

alchemy is part of a network of poetry groups Dhaivat Mehta is establishing throughout the Bay of Plenty under the umbrella:  incantation.

A younger Dhaivat Mehta with the Incubator’s Music Manager and poet John Baxter at QVis Tauranga


(The Rialto provides a written synopsis of the opera and there are sub-titles in English.)

 Donizetti, L’Elisir D’Amore the Rialto season commencing this Saturday May 5th and running until Monday 14th May. Am I going: yes!

L’Elisir D’Amore by Donizetti is his comic gem staged by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Domingo Hindoyan. It stars Pretty Yende as the spirited Adina, with Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, the simple peasant who falls in love with her. Davide Luciano makes his Met debut as the role of Adina’s arrogant fiancé, Belcore and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo sings the role of the magic potion peddling Doctor Dulcamara. Domingo Hindoyan makes his company debut conducting.

Other gems to look forward to at the Rialto Tauranga:

May 17 – 27 Puccini, La Boheme

June 07 – 13 Rossini, Seramide

June 23 – 27 Mozart, Cosi Fan Tutte

July 26 – 01 August Verdi Luisa Miller

August 09 – 15 Massenet, Cendrillon

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE Metropolitan Opera in New Zealand:

The Met: Live in HD series which is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor The Neubauer Family Foundation. The Digital support of The Met Live in HD is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The HD broadcasts are supported by Toll Brothers America’s Luxury Home Builders.

The Met Opera HD Live: a doorway to another world…

(Flowers by LIFESTYLE FLOWERS, Whakamarama (Barbara Peck)  Talented grower and florist Barbara Peck creates works of floral art at her purpose built studio in Whakamarama.  The daughter of a florist and a grower, Barbarba has years of experience across all aspects of floral work and creativity.  You can contact Barbara at              or Phone:   027 614 9963)


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And don’t forget the next Affordable Art & Artisan Fair will be on the last Sunday of May 2018.  The Fairs are held within the Black Sheep Bar & Grill complex.  If the weather’s bad we become an indoor market.  You’ll find us in the Atrium, and around the restaurant and cafe seating:  looks so good!  So no need to worry about the rain or the wind.  There is heaps of parking, clean toilets and wonderful food and coffee.  There’s live music.    If you would like to join us as an exhibitor/retailer of your original creativity you can contact us at

We are sign posted along SH2 with signage to the turnoff of SH2 and Plummer’s Point Road. 

In case you miss it, here’s the way in!



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