Lois and Grant

"The only thing better than singing is more singing." Ella Fitzgerald.

This quotation says it all for me. Singing is my passion, and sharing that passion through performance and teaching is what makes me tick.

" Lois is a wonderful teacher - always encouraging, excellent at trouble-shooting, and able to impart such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. Lois's teaching is enhanced by her own experience as a performer with UK opera companies, and she constantly shares new insights on technique and interpretation. Most importantly, I always enjoyed my lessons with Lois!" Hannah King, Sydney Conservatoire Masters Student. 

Lois in Scottish Opera production

On graduation from the RSAMD, I specialised in early and contemporary music, working with groups such as Ludus Baroque, The Age of Enlightenment, and Dunedin Consort. Almost a decade later an invitation to sing in a BBC Proms performance of "Parsifal" gave me an appetite for opera and I returned to study at Birmingham Conservatoire. I then trod the boards on the operatic stage around Europe, working with some of the world's most distinguished opera companies, directors and conductors, before moving permanently to New Zealand.

...."and Lois Johnston (soprano) whose delivery achieved fitting dominance in solo passages....where her final phrase rose triumphantly to soar above choir and instrumentalists."

Otago Daily Times

Lois and City Choir Dunedin

Café Operana take their listeners on a musical merry-go-round ride through Puccini's Florence to Macedonia and on to discover if "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris". With their glittering costumes and breath-taking musicianship, they re-create the heady atmosphere of a French Salon in the early 1900's. East meets West in an eclectic smorgasbord of haunting melodies and wild dances with a dash of gypsy flavour. Hop on board and hold on tight - the carousel won't wait.


  • Café Operana

Opera Here delivers live opera to wherever you are.....the pub, office, café, garden or any other venue you can dream of. Our motto is "opera for anyone, anywhere" and we deliver it up-close and very personal. We are especially passionate about bringing opera to schools and rural communities and make our performances free of charge or koha whenever possible, relying on the generosity of our audiences, supporters and sponsors. Join us for a light-hearted exploration of opera's  greatest hits. 

Big arias. Big characters. Big voices. 

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