This episode of Kaleidoscope profiles John Matheson (Ngāi Tahu) a New Zealand born conductor and répétiteur (accompanist and vocal coach) whose career has led him to Covent Garden and posts at European opera houses and festivals. Presenter Sandra Burt explores Matheson's prickly reputation and Kiwi opera star Dame Malvina Major doesn't sugarcoat Matheson's good and bad qualities. Matheson returned to Auckland with a desire to start a new opera venture, but left in 1988 to become music director of the Queensland Lyric Opera. His assessment of the New Zealand attitude to the arts and arts funding is withering.
All his professional career he has aimed as high as it is possible.– New Zealand opera singer Donald McIntyre