THE LION KING’S iconic character Rafiki soars to new heights, taking to the top of Auckland’s Sky Tower, in a new video released to celebrate the show opening in Aotearoa. Shot from 220 metres in the air, this daring and breath-taking footage shows Rafiki letting out her iconic call, against the spectacular backdrop of the Auckland Harbour, CBD and outer Hauraki Gulf Islands.
The unparalleled theatre experience of THE LION KING has opened at Spark Arena for a strictly limited season. Audiences are encouraged to act swiftly to secure their seats, with more than 110,000 tickets already sold.

Auckland Unlimited Head of Major and Business Events, Richard Clarke, said the iconic footage will enhance Auckland’s profile: “Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is a truly world-class destination and to have the city showcased with one of the most recognisable characters from an international quality production atop this special New Zealand landmark is really amazing. Our region is the place to be in the coming weeks and months, and we encourage visitors to join us and experience this international event that is currently not available anywhere else.” 

Producer for the International Tour, Michael Cassel commented: “The cast and crew of The Lion King are honoured by the warm welcome Auckland has shown them. We are excited to be here and performing in front of Kiwi audiences.”
On behalf of the local presenter, Spark Arena, Michael Coppel said: “There is an incredible energy in the city and around the arena for The Lion King and we are excited to welcome audiences to the show from around the country.”
Due to overwhelming demand, THE LION KING International Tour has added an additional matinee performance to its strictly limited Auckland season during school holidays. The production holds the record as the fastest-selling musical theatre show in New Zealand.

Tickets for all sessions, including the recently announced Wednesday 14th July matinee performance, are on sale now at Ticketmaster

THE LION KING is a worldwide phenomenon that redefines the expectations of theatre. 
Having played in over 100 cities in 20 countries, over 100 million people have experienced THE LION KING, making it the most successful musical in theatrical history. The acclaimed director, Julie Taymor, has created a spectacular show for Kiwi audiences who will be treated to extraordinary performances by a talented and diverse international company, comprising 16 nationalities. 

For further information about THE LION KING and to purchase tickets visit:

THE LION KING is proudly supported by its event partner - Auckland Unlimited, on behalf of Auckland Council. 

“There is simply nothing else like it” The New York Times
“A perfect marriage of entertainment and art” New York Daily News



Chris Henry                                                               
Managing Director, 818                                             
Mobile: +64 21 670 604                                                                                            

Kate Jones
Publicity Manager, 818 
Mobile: +64 21 038 1906 


After 23 landmark years on Broadway, THE LION KING continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 100 million people. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the only show in history to generate six productions worldwide running 15 or more years. Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical. THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”
The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as co-producer.
For more information worldwide, visit

Michael Cassel Group is a live entertainment company formed to produce the world’s greatest musical and theatrical productions, live entertainment experiences, marquee events and concert attractions.
Led by Michael Cassel, the entrepreneurial company has enjoyed a “meteoric rise” (Australian Financial Review) and been named a “visionary” and “a producer with global cred changing the face of the stage” by The Weekend Australian. Based in Sydney, Australia, the Michael Cassel Group has expanded its horizons to include creative development, international touring and Broadway productions.
Michael Cassel Group is the producer of the first international touring production of the world’s #1 musical, Disney’s THE LION KING, which has enjoyed triumphant seasons in Manila, Singapore, Daegu, Seoul, Busan, Taipei, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
Michael Cassel Group is the Executive Producer and General Manager of the Australian premiere production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The Tony Award®-winning production is now playing exclusively in Melbourne at the Princess Theatre.
Most recently, Michael Cassel Group premiered the landmark, multi-award-winning musical Hamilton at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.
Previous productions include the Australian and international tour of Les Misérables, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, the Australian premiere of Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots, the 10th Anniversary Tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and the Australian and Asian tour of Singin’ in the Rain.
Concerts and events include The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, the opening celebration of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and tours including Celeste Barber, Lea Salonga, Tina Arena, Rita Wilson and Darren Criss.
Broadway and West End co-producer credits include DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt, Pretty Woman: The Musical and The Cher Show.
In addition to the group’s theatrical interests, the company exclusively represents former Australian Prime Minister, The Hon. Julia Gillard AC, former Olympian and global sporting administrator, Lord Sebastian Coe CH, KBE, broadcaster and journalist Liz Hayes and media personality, Sami Lukis.
Spark Arena is New Zealand’s foremost multi-use indoor entertainment venue. Since opening in 2007 this superb performance space has attracted the biggest names in the world of sports & entertainment. With an audience capacity of over 12,000 people for a diverse range of events, including major international concerts, family spectaculars , large-scale community events, expos , conferences and New Zealand’s premier corporate banquet and awards evenings. Along with large-scale concerts and events, Spark Arena's strength lies in its ability be configured into intimate theatre modes. With a convenient central location, Spark Arena is within walking distance from the Auckland City Centre and the major public transport hubs: Britomart railway station & bus terminal and the downtown ferry terminal. More than just a building for hire, Spark Arena's in-house management team has a long track record in international events management. Spark is proud to be the Local Presenter for the 2021 season of The Lion King - bringing the best of world-class entertainment to New Zealand.