Royal New Zealand Ballet presents the Meridian Season of Carmen

Friday 7 May 2010, 7:58AM
By Royal New Zealand Ballet
694 views , 1 comments

LEADING a double life is something Pieter Symonds is getting used to. By day she’s practicing to be the world’s most famous man-eater but by night she leaves her manipulating ways at the door as she returns home to her fiancé. 

The international guest star of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Meridian Season of Carmen, Symonds says tackling the role of the infamous seductress is fun.  

“She is completely different to me, but that is the joy of getting to be someone else on stage. I get to live out my wildest dreams and do things that would normally scare me to the bone!” 

Born and raised in Christchurch, Symonds danced with the RNZB for eight years before following her career overseas. Currently a lead dancer with the UK’s acclaimed Rambert Dance Company, she  says she was thrilled to be offered the opportunity to perform in her homeland again. 

After leaving Christchurch Girls High School, Pieter moved to Wellington where she was accepted into the New Zealand School of Dance. While still a student she had an opportunity to perform as an extra in the RNZB’s production of Swan Lake. Her talent and dedication was noted and, after graduating, Pieter was offered a permanent job with the company. 

She danced several lead roles with the RNZB including Esmeralda in Hunchback of Notre Dame, Lucy in Dracula and Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet. 

“I adored being with the company,” she says. “The work was amazing and I had some fantastic characters to play.  We used to have so much fun touring the country as well...fitting in time to go to wineries on days off, my golf clubs used to come on tour with me as well.” 

Symonds moved to London in 2004 to work for Rambert – a move that took her into the world of contemporary dance. She quickly became one of their star dancers. 

 “It was bizarre moving to a contemporary company, having to start completely from scratch; learning a new technique that is just as specific as classical ballet. “ 

Now engaged to Rambert’s rehearsal director, Symonds says work commitments in the UK have meant she is rehearsing for Carmen in a somewhat unconventional matter. 

“I was sent the DVD many months ago and have been busy studying it in my spare time. It is quite hysterical.  I spend my lunch time in the studio playing with imaginary friends!” 

A Northern Ballet Theatre (UK) production, Carmen is set against a backdrop of modern-day

Rio de Janeiro. Choreographed by Dutch-born Didy Veldman and set to George Bizet’s famous score, it is dramatic dance theatre at its best. 

The Meridian Season of Carmen opens in Wellington on Saturday 5 June. For tour details and dates, see below. 




For further information, interviews or images contact Robyn McLean, Communications Manager / or 04 381 9018 / 021 848 481 or

Julia Hughes, Marketing and Media Coordinator / / 027 699 1850 



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The Meridian Season of Carmen

Venue, Date and Pricing Information


Wellington – St James Theatre

Saturday 5 June 7.30pm

Sunday 6 June 6.30pm

Wednesday 9 June 7.30pm

Thursday 10 June 7.30pm

Friday 11 June 7.30pm

Saturday 12 June 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Pricing $88 - $36*

Featuring the Vector Wellington Orchestra

0800 842 538


Invercargill – Civic Theatre

Thursday 17 June 7.30pm

Friday 18 June 7.30pm

Saturday 19 June 7.30pm

Pricing $58 - $37

(03) 2111692


Christchurch – Isaac Theatre Royal

Wednesday 23 June 7.30pm

Thursday 24 June 7.30pm

Friday 25 June 7.30pm

Saturday 26 June 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Pricing $80 - $49

Featuring the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

0800 842 538


Palmerston North – Regent on Broadway

Tuesday 29 June 7.30pm

Wednesday 30 June 6.30pm

Pricing $68 - $37

(06) 3579740


Napier – Municipal Theatre

Saturday 3 July 7.30pm

Sunday 4 July 2.30pm

Pricing $68 - $47

(06) 835 2702


Auckland – Aotea Centre at THE EDGE®

Wednesday 7 July 7.30pm

Thursday 8 July 7.30pm

Friday 9 July 7.30pm

Saturday 10 July 2.30pm & 7.30pm

Pricing $88 - $36*

Featuring the Auckland Philharmonia

(09) 357 3354 / 0800 BUY TICKETS


Child prices for all venues: $35 (Premium) & $25 (A/B/C/D reserve)


Student tickets for all venues: $25 (B reserve – valid ID required)


*Limited amount of inner circle seats available at $120.00