Michael Williams & John Davies

The Juniper Passion

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The Juniper Passion is a contemporary opera based on the Battle of Montecassino during World War II, written from the perspective of a New Zealand Soldier, a Benedictine Monk and a German Officer. Composer Michael Williams and librettist/director John Davies have worked closely over the last five years to create this critically acclaimed work. It has been recorded and released by Atoll Records. The Juniper Passion is scheduled to have its premier performances in Italy, the first being in Cassino itself on 21st June 2013 followed by performances in Rome, Nemi and Frosinone. This is a co-operative venture between Associazone Colle Ionci, a philanthropic arts association based in Italy and Juniper Productions Limited, New Zealand.

To date our fundraising activities have generated 75% of the funding required to get the New Zealand singers, dancers and support crew to Italy. We now need to raise the remaining 25% from our supporters. Your donation is essential to put The Juniper Passion on the world stage. This will raise the international profile of contemporary New Zealand opera and empower our talented performers to develop their international careers.

Your donation will not only go towards the performers airfares and accommodation, it will give us the opportunity to provide costumes, lighting design and contribute to the necessary funding towards PR and Marketing Initiatives that will be shared with our partners Associazone Colle Ionci.

To find out more about the performers and other information that your donation will contribute towards click here for more information.

Our objective is to raise $30,000 in the next 60 days and we are committed to making this happen, we need your support to ensure this is a success.

Become part of history and donate now!


  • Wow over half way there!!!


    THanks so much for your gernerosity!!!!!!



    Wow we are almost half way to our goal. Thanks so much for your generosity!!!!

  • Letter from Beth Bowden


    Dear Ian and Agi,

    This is fantastic news.  Well done, and thank you so much for supporting this project.  I am a great fan, and pupil, of Lilia Carpinelli's; and the daughter-in-law of a soldier who fought in Italy (and like so many,  almost never talks about it). He's aging now, but we have made modest contributions on both bases. 

    Boosted, you're wlcome to cut-and paste this message to your Twitter/Fb sites: we need to see the opera done Out There Where It Ought To Be!

  • Showing of Choreography


    You are invited to a showing of the choreography for The Juniper Passion on Thursday 23rd May at UNITEC Dance Studio, building 7, Gate One UNITEC at 7pm.

    Hope to see you there. Thanks so much for all those who have so generously donated to our project!!

  • Important Announcement


    Due to the amazing generosity of Ian and Agi Graham who have contributed a substantial amount of money to the Juniper Passion we are now able to reduce our target amount from $30,000 to $7,000!!! We have also extended the deadline to the 14th June.


    Almost there....

  • Another Juniper Dancer


    The beautiful Rose Philpott.

    Please help to fund Rose in her adventure to Italy

    Another Juniper Dancer
  • The Juniper Cance Company


    This is the wonderful Te Arahi Easton, one of the dancers coming with us to Italy in June. Please give generously to assist our dancers and singers.

    The Juniper Cance Company
  • Two Concerts now in Rome


    We now have another concert scheduled in Rome as part of the  European Festival of Music at a prestigioius location in the heart of Rome.


  • Stephanie Acraman


    Stephanie Acraman began her performing life as a dancer, and trained in Ballet, Tap and Modern Jazz. Studies were undertaken at the Australian National University (Canberra School of Music), BMus, Grad Dip (HD) under the tutelage of renown Operatic voice teacher Anthea Moller. Stephanie has performed extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia in many capacities, including Opera, Classical Concert, Jazz and Music Theatre repertoire. Stephanie has also recorded for ABC, 2MBS Fm, Concert Fm (NZ) and Radio NZ. She has featured on a number of cd recordings and compilations, including the role of Mary in Michael Williams’ first opera,The Prodigal Child. Performances include appearances with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, Wellington City Orchestra, Sydney Festival Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Sydney University Graduate Singers, Canberra Community Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Llewelyn Choir (Llewelyn Hall Canberra), Goulburn Cathedral Choir, Napier Civic Choir (NZ). Most recent notable performances include an appearance at Angkor Wat Temples, (Cambodia), Tai Koo Shing, (Hong Kong), Hanoi Opera House (with the Vietnamese National Symphony Orchestra) Melbourne Town Hall, The Flying Proms (NZ), Sydney Opera House, Sydney Town Hall.

    Stephanie Acraman
  • Cast


    We will be posting regular profiles of our amazing cast and today we are featuring the beautiful Stephanie Acraman

  • Roman Ampitheatre Cassino


    The Roman Amphitheater on the foot of Monte Cassino will be the site of the premier performance of The Juniper Passion

    Roman Ampitheatre Cassino

Michael Williams & John Davies

Michael Williams is a well-known figure in New Zealand Composition. He has received commissions from most of the country’s major musical institutions including the NZSO, NBR New Zealand Opera and Chamber Music New Zealand and his music is regularly broadcast on Radio New Zealand Concert.

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