Now Reading
What’s coming up at Opera North

What’s coming up at Opera North

Opera North is a national opera company based in Leeds and is a leading UK arts organisation.

Their award-winning work tours to theatre stages and concert halls throughout the North and beyond, including London and major international festivals, curatin an eclectic artistic programme of gigs, concerts, spoken word and film.

Their work is bold, innovative, and ambitious, and often shared in new ways.

Rigoletto:       Now – 1st April 2022

His difference is his curse

In a world controlled by the privileged and powerful, Rigoletto is loathed and mocked for his difference. The only thing he lives for is his beautiful daughter Gilda, whom he hides away from a corrupt society. But when she is discovered by the predatory Duke, Rigoletto sets out on a path of vengeance from which there is no return.

Verdi’s dramatic masterpiece contains some of his most passionate music including the instantly recognisable melody of the Duke’s song ‘La donna è mobile’. Leading UK theatre artist, Femi Elufowojujr directs this new production that maps identity and inequality onto a contemporary canvas to powerful effect.

“a bold, innovative and purposeful re-imagining” ★★★★★ — The Telegraph

“This new take on Rigoletto really works… chillingly excellent…” ★★★★ — The Guardian

“a landmark production… spectacular…” ★★★★★ — Bachtrack

More information and tickets here.

Rigoletto (Photo: Opera North)

Alcina:             5th February – 24th March 2022

Don’t fall under her spell

Welcome to Alcina’s island paradise. All men who set foot there fall under her spell, but soon discover it’s all an illusion: Alcina is an enchantress whose island is nothing but a barren wasteland, its animals, rocks, and trees are in fact her spellbound discarded lovers. When handsome knight Ruggiero appears, Alcina experiences true love for the first time. But when Ruggiero’s fiancée arrives on a mission to rescue him, Alcina’s magic is tested to breaking point…

Handel’s bewitching tale of deception, seduction, love and loss is bursting with heart-melting music, such as Ruggiero’s regretful farewell to the beauty of Alcina’s island. But to whom is he saying goodbye, and who will pay the ultimate sacrifice?

More information and tickets here.

Alcina(Photo: Opera North)

Brundibár:      7th February

The Opera North Youth Company is proud to present Brundibár as part of the Brundibár Arts Festival 2022.

An opera written for children by Jewish composer Hans Krása in 1938, with lyrics by Adolf Hoffmeister, it tells the story of two children whose plan to help their sick mother pits them against an evil organ-grinder.

Brundibár  received its premiere in German-occupied Prague and was performed in secret by children at a Jewish Orphanage. In August 1942, Hans Krása was deported to Terezín concentration camp, followed by many of the adults and children with whom he had worked. In July 1943, the score of Brundibár was smuggled into camp.

Krása re-orchestrated it and the premiere of the Terezín version took place in the hall of the Magdeburg barracks. Realising the propagandistic potential of this enormously popular artistic endeavour, the Nazis arranged a special new staging of Brundibár for a propaganda film, and the same production was performed for the inspection of Terezín by the International Red Cross in September 1944.

This would be the last of the fifty-five performances in the Terezín ghetto. Two weeks later, transportation of artists to Auschwitz and other destinations East began, silencing the most popular theatrical production in Terezín.

More information and tickets here.

Carmen:          12th February – 2nd April 2022

She will always be free

This scorching new production of one of the most popular operas ever written will take you deep down into a world where desire and hot-blooded passion reign supreme… Carmen is a strong woman doing what she can to survive in a poor frontier town, manipulating and seducing the men who try to control her. But when one man’s obsession turns to wild jealousy, the consequences are shocking.

Bizet’s flamenco-infused music overflows with emotion and unforgettable melodies including the ‘Habanera’ and Toreador Song. Penned 150 years ago, the themes of femininity, desire, violence and toxic masculinity resonate now more than ever. Edward Dick returns to direct following his five-star Tosca that thrilled audiences in 2018.

“Chrystal E. Williams gives a magnetic performance”★★★★ — The Guardian

“… compelling… sheer entertainment value”★★★★ — The Times

“The chorus is on thrilling form – ditto the orchestra”★★★★ — The Stage

More information and tickets here.

Carmen (Photo: Opera North)

Jasdeep Singh Degun:           16th February 2022

Virtuoso Leeds-based sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun returns to the Kirklees Concert Season to perform classical music from the North of India.

The award-winning musician and composer premiered his concerto for sitar and orchestra with the Orchestra of Opera North at Huddersfield just before the first lockdown in 2020. For this performance he returns to the traditional small ensemble, trading improvised lines of great speed and beauty with the tabla (hand drums), and the droning strings of the tanpura.

More information and tickets here.

Jasdeep Singh Degun(Photo: Opera North)

From Couch to Chorus:         Weekly 2nd – 24th March 2022

From Couch to Chorus is back! Join over four weeks of March to brighten up the winter nights and learn to sing wherever you are…

Over 2,000 people from all over the world joined for the last edition and they can’t wait to welcome back singers old and new! The course is open to all from complete beginners to experienced choir-goers.

Get a taste of what it feels like to be in the electrifying chorus of Carmen with Bizet’s ‘La cloche a sonné’ (Chorus of Cigarette Girls), and one of the most famous pieces of music in opera – ‘Toreador Song.’ Then drift away to warmer climes and explore Handel’s celebration of island perfection with ”Chorus of Enchanted Islanders‘ from Alcina (although all is not as it seems), before the beautiful ‘Come Away’ from The Emerald Isle – likely the last score undertaken by Arthur Sullivan (Gilbert & Sullivan).

More information and tickets here.

From Couch To Chorus (Photo: Opera North)

The Wind:       24th – 26th February 2022

See Also

The Wind + live score by Erland Cooper featuring the Chorus of Opera North

In this newly commissioned soundtrack, Scottish composer and artist Erland Cooper employs the live voice – the powerful sound of the 18 women of the Chorus of Opera North – enhanced by his own recordings and real-time processing of their performance.

The Wind is silent cinema at its most shockingly, primally potent. A radiant Lillian Gish plays Letty, a young woman cast out from her sheltered Virginia home into the dust bowl of the Texan prairie, where an act of savagery – and the unrelenting northerly wind – push her mind beyond its limits.

Erland’s score breathes new life into the empty plains, sandstorms and intensely charged terrain of this forgotten masterpiece. Born and raised on Orkney, his sensitivity to the relationship between landscape and psychology has been a constant in a career that’s taken in everything from folk and prog to field recordings and contemporary classical music.

More information and tickets here.

Winter Journey:         Friday 11th March 2022

Roderick Williams makes a long-overdue return to the Howard Assembly Room to perform Jeremy Sams’ wonderfully communicative English translation of Winterreise.

Winterreise  (Winter Journey) is a song cycle for voice and piano by Franz Schubert. Completed in 1827, it’s a set of 24 songs for voice and piano composed almost entirely using minor keys. The lyrics are poems by Wilhelm Müller and tell the story of a lonely traveller who ventures out into the snow on a journey to rid himself of his lost love.

“Winterreise sung in English will be a new experience for many of the audience”, says Middleton. “I was bowled over playing it for Roddy at our last concert: the English text made Schubert’s music so much more immediate, and the audience was transfixed”. More information and tickets here.

Winter Journey (Photo: Opera North)

Little Ones:     Weekly 11th March – 1st April 2022

Bring your Little ONes to explore the wonderful world of opera, in sessions designed especially for your babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Expect a whole range of multi-sensory magic; music, singing, dancing, craft, storytelling and more, all taking place in our brand new, accessible education studio at the newly redeveloped Howard Opera Centre.

More information and tickets here.

Huun-Huur-Tu:           Friday 1st April 2022

The legendary Tuvan throat-singers Huun-Huur-Tu return to the Howard Assembly Room!

Huun-Huur-Tu almost single-handedly introduced the outside world to Tuvan over-tone techniques invented by nomadic hunter-herders on the Tuvan steppe and have collaborated with musicians as diverse as Frank Zappa, Nina Nastasia and Kronos Quartet.

Using traditional instruments, percussion and an array of vocal techniques, they create an almost unbelievable world of sound. While many of their themes are pastoral, this is no gentle folk music but fierce, heart-searing and incredibly direct. Unmissable.

“…astounding”– BBC

“Remarkable…”– The Guardian

“… a musical miracle!”– New York Times

 More information and tickets here.

Huun-Huur-Tu (Photo: Opera North)