1948 - 2011
All at Opera Australia are saddened to learn of the death, at 63, of tenor Christopher Doig. Christopher was born and educated in Christchurch and graduated from Canterbury University with a Masters degree in English. After winning the 1972 Mobil Song Quest he became a principal tenor at the Vienna State Opera and spent the next 10 years singing in the major opera houses in Europe including Stuttgart, Hamburg, La Scala, Barcelona, Linz and Cologne, and the Salzburg and Vienna Festivals. Christopher was the director of the 1990 and 1992 New Zealand Festivals.
Nerone in the 1988 produciton of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea was Christopher’s first role with Opera Australia. He went on to sing principal roles for the Company in a wide range of repertoire including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, La clemenza di Tito, Rigoletto, Jenufa, Katya Kabanova, Adriana Lecouvreur, Salome, Lulu, Madama Butterfly, The Trojans, Carmen andPeter Grimes. He featured in the world premieres of Richard Meale’s Voss and Larry Sitsky’s The Golem.
He was awarded the New Zealand Commemorative Medal in 1992, the OBE for services to the Arts in 1992 and a Green Room Award in 1993 for Herod in Opera Australia’s production of Salome. He was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in June this year.
In 1995 he relinquished his full-time singing career to become the Chief Executive of New Zealand Cricket, a job in which he distinguished himself transforming NZC into a dynamic vibrant modern business and sporting organisation, until he resigned in March 2001.
In early 2007, he resigned his role as Chair of the Arts Council of New Zealand to lead ‘Project Opera’, aiming to ensure the survival of opera in the South Island.
Prime Minister John Key said the country had lost a remarkable New Zealander with the passing of Christopher Doig. “I am saddened to learn of the passing of Chris, who I was fortunate to get to know in recent years and to see just last week,” Mr Key said. “Chris was a remarkable New Zealander – he made a great contribution to our country in both culture and sport.”
Opera Australia Chief Executive, Adrian Collette said “Christopher Doig made an indelible impression on Australian audiences in the many great roles he performed for Opera Australia. All of us at Opera Australia are saddened to hear of his passing and wish to send sincere condolences to his family.”
Christopher Doig is survived by his wife and four children.
Walther von Stolzing,
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Titus, La clemenza di Tito