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Operatunity's 20th Anniversary Photos

We give happiness to seniors through music

Operatunity is a rare company in New Zealand and probably in the world. It is a very Kiwi company, formed in 2001 and in that time has grown to be New Zealand’s leading provider of daytime concert entertainment and national and international music travel.


It is a very busy business employing 18 full time staff and 35 contracted artists per year. But more than its great business model, Operatunity is a company with a lot of heart. It touches people and makes a huge difference to people’s lives.


It presents nearly 200 concerts annually to seniors throughout New Zealand in over 20 different regions from Whangarei to Invercargill. These concerts are filled with joy and are delivered with Operatunity’s unique brand of good music and humour. They are presented in community churches, regional halls and theatres, making them accessible to seniors. They think about things like parking, accessibility for the disabled, the frail and the sick. For an affordable ticket price they even feed their audience morning tea so it becomes a social as well as a musical event for their audiences.


Unlike any other arts company, the artists greet you at the door. They get to know you and make you feel welcomed and part of the extended family. Their concerts are of a high standard. They only employ professional New Zealand artists who are talented as well as ‘giving’ performers who genuinely want seniors to have a great time.  None of their amazing artists consider themselves in any way ‘divas.’ They are just normal people who love to sing and are lucky enough to earn their living through their passion.


Operatunity is not an opera company. Operatunity is a play on the words opera and tunes and presents all sorts of different concerts, each with its own special theme: everything from music theatre, 50s and 60s popular songs, Gatsby art deco, Irish, iconic kiwi shows, popular opera, crooners, Glenn miller, big band. Audiences regularly say that Operatunity concerts are "the highlight of their lives”.


On their travel side Operatunity has opened the world to over 10,000 seniors who may be less confident to travel on their own as they get older, especially to widows and widowers who are quoted as saying that Operatunity has changed their lives. “I never thought I would feel happy again” is one quote from Bill who went to Norfolk Island with Operatunity after the death of his wife. They take nearly a thousand seniors away on bespoke music festival trips all over the world each year, where they provide music and fun, as well as take seniors to incredible events and locations.


Like all companies with a lot of heart, Operatunity has started many community initiatives over the years, supporting the arts communities, senior citizens, and NZ families. 

These range from fundraising projects for earthquake relief for Christchurch and Kaikoura, giving free concerts for seniors there, fundraising for a sustained water supply for a Fiji High School which had no running water, raising over $35,000 and fundraising events for many charities including Alzheimer’s and the Hearing House. They also have partnered, for many years, with Sistema, a South Auckland charity geared to provide classical tuition to lower decile school students. Together they have raised nearly $20,000 and donated around a hundred violins and other instruments to allow children to learn and be part of an incredible socially empowering programme.


With the advent of COVID, Operatunity went quickly into action presenting nearly 50 free happiness half hours with over 300,000 views. These were aimed to reach people who were isolated in their own homes but were also screened in hospitals, rest homes and lifestyle villages touching hundreds of thousands of people. "We wanted people to know they were not alone, that we were there to reach them by video, even if we were unable to present a concert to them." Operatunity also started an outreach programme ringing over 10,000 people checking on them during lockdowns and making sure they were ok.


Other outreach programmes have included SOFA which stands for Seniors Offering Families Assistance, empowering seniors to make a difference to families struggling. We also started a fund where we helped seniors affected by the devastating floods, presenting free concerts for retirees, at rest homes, retirement villages and community halls in regions which were most severely hit by flooding.


In the 2020 New Year’s Honours List, Operatunity’s founder Susan Cameron was awarded an MNZM for her services to music and seniors.


In 2021 Operatunity celebrated its 20th anniversary. It touches the lives of over 65,000 seniors each year in New Zealand and continues to bring happiness through music.


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