2020 has certainly started well for Operatunity Ltd with Susan Cameron (Boland), Managing Director and Creative Director, honoured with a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music and seniors in the recent New Year’s Honours List.
Operatunity was created by combining Susan’s two major passions; music and caring for seniors. Susan has had a plethora of experience as a soloist soprano with many major music organisations in NZ including NZSO, Auckland Philharmonia, NZ Opera, Wellington Sinfonia, Christchurch Symphony as well as winning most major aria competitions in NZ, Susan is also a registered nurse with a post graduate diploma in Gerontology.
Susan, alongside husband John Cameron, co-founded Operatunity in 2001 and since then the company has grown to be one of the leading music organisations in NZ with over 65,000 attendees each year, a thriving travel business and the leading provider of employment for singers in NZ. Susan writes: “This is an amazing honour and it feels overwhelming to receive it.”
Operatunity also gives budding Kiwi artists the chance to show-case their talents to hundreds of supportive audiences. Artists both new and experienced share the limelight of the Operatunity stage, with famous names including Kiwi icon Suzanne Lynch, renown fiddler Marian Burns, the Ten Tenors’ Cameron Barclay, NZ Music Charts star Pat Urlich, concert pianist Stephen de Pledge and many more. Susan acclaims “We have an incredible team at Operatunity who enrich people’s lives every day and who all share in this award…”
As well as providing entertainment for seniors the length of the country, in 2005 Operatunity expanded to include fully guided travel based around music, providing the opportunity for many seniors to travel with world. In addition to expanding, the Susan is also responsible for numerous charitable initiatives and fundraising events including for The Hearing House, Alzheimers New Zealand, Kaikoura and Christchurch earthquake recoveries, and a project which resulted in a sustainable water supply for Yasawa High School in Fiji.
But Susan acknowledges that although she herself has been honoured, husband John too shares the merit; she praises “…the person who shares it [MNZM] the most is John, who is the unsung hero of Operatunity, always supportive of me, always someone to count on, the kindest man in the world who shares my passion for what we do to make life better for others… We share this award together.”