Opera North and Northern Ballet to Return to Leeds Grand

Leeds Grand Theatre is exceptional as the only venue outside of London to house both an opera and ballet company.

Opera North returns to the Grand in January until February, and Northern Ballet with Swan Lake on 4 to 13 March 2021, the latter reimagined by David Nixon OBE (The Nutcracker, Little Mermaid), with Tchaikovsky’s score played live by Northern Ballet Sinfonia.

Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North, says: “We are looking forward immensely to once again creating and sharing great music and opera with our audiences at Leeds Grand Theatre, our home venue of more than 40 years.

We are working closely with our colleagues at the Grand to ensure that we are able to give our audiences a safe and warm welcome back to live events – with all the anticipation, thrill and joy that live performance delivers – and plan to return to the theatre in January 2021; we will be announcing productions for this new season as soon as we can.”

Mark Skipper, Chief Executive of Northern Ballet, adds: “After an absence of almost a year, we are delighted to be returning to Leeds Grand Theatre with Swan Lake. The Grand Theatre is hugely important to us as one of our home venues where, in normal times, we enjoy performing to our loyal Yorkshire audience twice a year. We are also saddened that COVID-19 has led to the postponement of Merlin this winter; other than during the refurbishment in 2005, this will be the first time in more than 25 years that we have not held our festive season in Leeds. However, we are looking forward to performing Swan Lake in March, a beautiful ,traditional title presented with a twist.

We are incredibly grateful for the support our audiences have given us over the last few difficult months and are looking ahead with great anticipation to getting back onto the Leeds Grand Theatre stage once more.”

This is happy news for so many of Leedstheatre-goers, coming after the announcement of the re-opening of City Varieties Music Hall. Opera North will present Whistle Stop Opera: Cinderella (directed by John Savournin), on Sunday 29 November.

Chris Blythe, CEO of Leeds Heritage Theatres, comments: “This year has, and continues, to be extremely difficult for our three venues – it is well documented that the arts and culture sector is suffering nationwide – but having Opera North and Northern Ballet, two regional companies recognised for their innovative and risk-taking approach to their individual art forms, commit to return in early 2021 gives us so much hope for the future and something for Leeds’ audiences to look forward to. Arts and culture are needed now more than ever to help boost people’s mental health and build community through shared experience, as we all try to find some escapism from our day-to-day and ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19.”

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