For their latest season Opera North is collaborating with Leeds Playhouse and Phoenix Dance Theatre to offer a rich mix of tragedy, adventure, comedy and ballet.
The season opens with The Magic Flute, for which James Brining, Artistic Director at Leeds Playhouse, will be directing opera for the first time. He is once again in partnership with Colin Richmond, Set and Costume Designer of Opera North.
A version of The Magic Flute has also been created for schools, providing young people from 7 years old with the chance to enjoy their first experience of opera. Shorter and sung in English, it will be performed at a dedicated schools’ matinee in Leeds and at each of the touring venues.
For those under 7, there is an interactive half hour – The Mini Magic Flute – a retelling of Mozart’s story.
The second in the season provides a very different entertainment: Katya Kabanova, Janáček’s tale of giving in to temptation and the ensuing guilt – a tense, and some would say erotic, yet beautiful, tale. Sian Edwards, as conductor, makes her Opera North debut. Tim Albery directs.
The collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre concludes the season and allows the audience to experience two art forms in one sitting. This is the first ever collaboration between Opera North and Phoenix, both Leeds companies. The Rite of Spring will be performed by Phoenix, choreogaphed by Jeanguy Saintus, for his UK debut, and in the same evening, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi is performed – Puccini’s only short, operatic comedy. Garry Walker will conduct both pieces.
Leeds Grand Theatre is the venue for The Magic Flute, opening on Saturday 19 January and sung in English. Be prepared for popular songs, rousing choruses, heart-melting beauty and vocal pyrotechnics. Supported by a generous gift from The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.
Katya Kabanova opens on 2 February and is also sung in English, with beautiful music underpinned by tension and eroticism.
The Rite of Spring and Gianni Schicchi double bill opens on 16 February, the premiere of the former way back in 1913 having caused riot and scandal. Sung in Italian with English titles. Christopher Alden directs.
Leeds Grand Theatre
Sat 19 Jan The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Sat 26 Jan The Magic Flute 4.00pm
Fri 1 Feb The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Sat 2 Feb Katya Kabanova 7.30pm
Sat 9 Feb Katya Kabanova 7.30pm
Fri 15 Feb The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Sat 16 Feb The Rite of Spring / Gianni Schicchi 7.30pm
Wed 20 Feb The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Thu 21 Feb Katya Kabanova 7.30pm
Fri 22 Feb The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Sat 23 Feb The Rite of Spring / Gianni Schicchi 7.30pm
Tue 26 Feb The Magic Flute 2.00pm Schools’ matinee*
Wed 27 Feb Katya Kabanova 7.30pm
Thu 28 Feb The Rite of Spring / Gianni Schicchi 7.30pm
Fri 1 Mar The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Sat 2 Mar The Rite of Spring / Gianni Schicchi 7.30pm
The Lowry, Salford Quays
Tue 5 Mar The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Wed 6 Mar The Magic Flute 2.00pm Schools’ matinee*
Thu 7 Mar Katya Kabanova 7.30pm
Fri 8 Mar The Rite of Spring / Gianni Schicchi 7.30pm
Sat 9 Mar The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Theatre Royal Newcastle
Tue 12 Mar The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Wed 13 Mar The Magic Flute 2.00pm Schools’ matinee*
Thu 14 Mar Katya Kabanova 7.30pm
Fri 15 Mar The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Sat 16 Mar The Rite of Spring / Gianni Schicchi 7.30pm
Theatre Royal Nottingham
Tue 19 Mar The Magic Flute 7.00pm
Wed 20 Mar The Magic Flute 2.00pm Schools’ matinee*
Thu 21 Mar Katya Kabanova 7.30pm
Fri 22 Mar The Rite of Spring / Gianni Schicchi 7.30pm
Sat 23 Mar The Magic Flute 7.00pm
*Schools’ matinee performances are not on general sale.
The Mini Magic Flute
All performances are preceded by a half hour creative workshop where children will make their own paper bird which will feature in the story. The workshop finishes 15 minutes before the show begins.
Sat 2 Feb Howard Assembly Room, Leeds 12.15pm/ 2.15pm
Sun 10 Feb Arnside Educational Institute, Carnforth 3.45pm
Sat 16 Feb The Witham, Barnard Castle 12.15pm
Mon 18 Feb Leeds Library 11.45am/ 2.30pm/4.00pm
Sat 23 Feb CAST, Doncaster 2.15pm
Sun 24 Feb York Centre for Early Music 12.15pm/ 2.15pm
Sat 2 Mar Theatre Royal Nottingham 1.45pm/ 4.00pm
Sun 10 Mar The Lowry, Salford Quays 12.30pm/ 2.15pm
Sat 16 Mar Seven Stories, Newcastle 10.50am/ 12.20pm
Sat 16 Mar Seven Stories, Newcastle (relaxed performance) 3.00pm
Sun 17 Mar Hexham Queen’s Hall Library 11.15am
Sun 17 Mar Amble Parish Hall 3.15pm
Feature photograph by Guy Farrow.