Riding on the wave of a tremendous year for Great Britain, Opera North will continue to fly the flag in a year of musical performances and programming that celebrates the centenary of the birth of one of the greatest opera composers that ever lived, Benjamin Britten.
The young and talented 90-strong Opera North Children’s Chorus, ONCC, launch the Company’s Festival of Britten in November 2012, which culminates in a full season of Britten operas in September 2013. Along the way there will be chorus recitals, orchestral concerts, education workshops, and an installation in the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds based around the Sea Interludes.
The Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North, and the Opera North Children’s Chorus (aged 7-13) will start the ball rolling with a performance of Saint Nicolas in Dewsbury Town Hall in December 2012. The Opera North Children’s Chorus will also perform A Ceremony of Carols in the Howard Assembly Room, Leeds.
The Company will be performing four of Britten’s operas in 2013, the centenary of Britten’s birth. April 2013 will see a new production of the chamber opera Albert Herring, with Dame Josephine Barstow as Lady Billows, before a full season in the autumn of three mainstage opera productions that will tour, featuring a new production of Death in Venice and two revivals, one of the award winning Peter Grimes, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, and a revival of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Appearing in the Festival of Britten is a host of distinguished artists, including the singers Dame Josephine Barstow, Giselle Allen, Robert Hayward, Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts, Alan Oke and Peter Savidge; the conductors Richard Farnes and Jac van Steen; and the directors Martin Duncan, Phyllida Lloyd and Yoshi Oida.
Opera North’s Festival of Britten is part of Britten 100, a centenary celebration of Benjamin Britten (1913-1976), launched in September 2012 by the Britten-Pears Foundation. Britten 100 is an unprecedented collaboration of leading organisations from the worlds of performing arts, publishing, broadcasting, film, academia and heritage: the widest ever global celebration of a British composer. Find out more at the Britten 100 website.
Photo: Jeni Bern as Tytania in A Midsummer Night's Dream (2008). Photo credit: Tristram Kenton