Janáček’s Sinfonietta and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle

Leeds Town Hall hosted Opera North’s latest production on Saturday 30 November, promoted by Leeds International Concert Season.  ‘A delightful concert and opera’ is the verdict of Charles Eager. The Orchestra of Opera North, conducted by Sian Edwards; the role of Duke Bluebeard sung by Christopher Purves; that of Judith by Karen Cargill. Janáček, Sinfonietta (1926) It was a […]

Puccini’s La Bohème at Leeds Grand Theatre

This is a winter’s tale which is full of warmth.  Charles Eager attended the first in a run of Leeds performances. Thanks to Opera North, Puccini is fast becoming one of my favourite composers. Within the past two years we have had superb versions of Madama Butterfly, Tosca and Gianni Schicchi, and now this gorgeous revival of Phyllida Lloyd’s 2014 […]

Giulio Cesare at Leeds Grand Theatre – 5, 11, 15 and 17 October

Charles Eager declares this revival of Opera North’s 2012 Tim Albery production is simply divine. Handel’s operas are beautiful; but they also have a reputation for being a bit long and turgid. Although a fan of the composer’s non-theatrical works, this was my first chance to see one of his operas on stage. I was […]

The Orchestra of Opera North with Marc-Andre Hamelin

On Thursday 19 September, Huddersfield Town Hall played host to two debuts in one triumphant concert. This was the first concert of Kirklees Concert Season 2019/20. It was also the UK début for the wonderful conductor Ruth Reinhardt—more on her later—and simultaneously the Opera North début for Marc-André Hamelin, one of the finest pianists around. […]

Martinu’s The Greek Passion at Leeds Grand Theatre 14 September 2019 

Opera, singspiel, propaganda? This production may be too overtly politicised for some. Despite a heavy-handed and preachy political message, there was much that was good about this performance. As always in Opera North productions, the musicianship (from orchestra, soloists, and chorus) was superb – indeed, beyond reproach for all but the most exacting musical critics.    Martinu‘s compositional genius is another highlight of the evening: he is a clever […]