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La traviata

Opera

20 September 2014 - 27 March 2015

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

La traviata

Synopsis

Giuseppe Verdi (1853)

New production

Violetta is a courtesan who is enjoying the Parisian high-life when, to her surprise, she falls in love.  But she cannot escape the consequences of her past life, and circumstances conspire to force her to sacrifice what may be her only chance of real love.

Asked some years after its premiere which of his operas he liked best, Verdi replied ‘Speaking as a professional, Rigoletto; as an amateur La traviata’.  He poured some of his most heartfelt music into this intimate story of family tensions and blighted love, and the result is one of opera’s most profoundly moving masterpieces.  

Director Alessandro Talevi and designer Madeleine Boyd (The Turn of the Screw, Don Giovanni) set Opera North’s first new production of La traviata for 15 years in Belle Époque Paris.  Two South Korean artists with burgeoning international careers, the soprano Hye-Youn Lee and the tenor Ji-Min Park, are Violetta and Alfredo; and the young Italian conductor Gianluca Marcianò makes his Opera North debut.

Free pre-show talks
Sat 27 September, Fri 3 & 17 October, Tue 28 October, Sat 1 November.
​Talks by Opera North Chorus member Sarah Estill. Begins 1 hour before the performance. Limited capacity, book early on 0844 848 2700.

Audio Described performance on Thursday 26 February at 7pm
Audio Described performance
Thursday 26 February, 7:00pm. Please call 0113 223 3700 to book.

Sung in Italian with English titles
Performance lasts 2 hours 45 minutes

Listen below to hear the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North with Hye Youn Lee as Violetta and Ji-Min Park as Alfredo perform Brindisi from La traviata

Follow Opera North on Tumblr for the latest news from behind the scenes.

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Next Performances
Wed 4th Mar
Fri 6th Mar
Wed 11th Mar
Fri 13th Mar
There are a total of 8 upcoming performances for this production
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The Marriage of Figaro

Opera

24 Jan - 28 March 2015

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Marriage of Figaro

Synopsis

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1786)

New production

It’s Figaro’s wedding day, and, to add to the usual worries, Figaro learns that his master, the Count, is out to bed his bride-to-be Susanna.  The Countess is heartbroken by her husband’s faithlessness – but she is the object of the adolescent desires of the page, Cherubino.  And Figaro is in trouble with the housekeeper, Marcellina, who has lent him money on the promise that, if he can’t repay her, he’ll have to marry her …

The Marriage of Figaro is aptly subtitled ‘The Follies of a Day’.  Mozart’s music bubbles along with comedic high spirits, but it plumbs the depths of emotion, too, expressing the joy and pain of love and the agony and ecstasy of desire, until all is resolved in a spirit of forgiveness.

With recent work for Opera North including a deliciously funny Ruddigore and a heart-rending Carousel, director Jo Davies is perfectly placed to hold the effervescent comedy and the serious heart of Mozart’s sublime masterpiece in ideal balance.     

Free Inside Opera 
Fri 30 January from 5.45-6.30pm, Howard Assembly Room
Members of the cast and creative team offer an exclusive insight into the production. Limited capacity, book early on 0844 848 2700.

Free pre-show talks 
Thurs 5, Weds 11, Tue 17, Sat 21 & Fri 27 February and Thurs 5, Sat 7, Tue 10, Sat 14, Thurs 26 & Sat 28 March from 6.00-6.30pm. Limited capacity, book early on 0844 848 2700.

Sung in English
Performance lasts approximately 3 hours 13 minutes

Please note: performance time includes one interval

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte
English version by Jeremy Sams
​Performed by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited

Next Performances
Thu 5th Mar
Sat 7th Mar
Tue 10th Mar
Sat 14th Mar
There are a total of 8 upcoming performances for this production
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La vida breve & Gianni Schicchi

Opera

18 Feb - 24 March 2015

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

La vida breve & Gianni Schicchi

Synopsis

Presented as a double bill

La vida breve

Manuel de Falla (1913)

From the composer of the orchestral showpiece Nights in the Gardens of Spain and the popular ballet The Three-Cornered Hat comes this irresistibly exuberant opera that sets violently passionate emotions amid the colourful sights and sounds of Granada.

La vida breve is an all or nothing tragedy of a woman who loves too much a worthless man who strings her along, knowing all the while that he is to marry another girl.   The atmosphere is heavy with Spanish fatalism, heightened by the influence of Andalusian folk song, lightened by Spanish dance rhythms, and the action is ferociously intense. 

Christopher Alden’s production was one of the highlights of Opera North’s groundbreaking, award-winning Eight Little Greats season in 2004, and was extravagantly praised by Germaine Greer on BBC2’s Newsnight Review:

‘It’s a staggering work and it was staggeringly presented and performed. If you see nothing else this year, and you give a damn, see La vida breve. Go to Salford, Nottingham, go wherever you can and see it.’

Sung in Spanish with English titles
Performance lasts approximately 1 hour 
Guidance: Contains some violence and sexual references 

Gianni Schicchi 

Giacomo Puccini (1918)

New production

After the dark, suicidal angst of La vida breve, Gianni Schicchi is the perfect companion piece – an irresistible satyr play set around the death-bed of a rich man. The scheming relatives who vie for a chunk of his fortune are all too recognisable and reveal the greed and avarice which lie just below the thin veneer of their family loyalties.

‘If you were ever in doubt that opera could be hilarious then [...] Gianni Schicchi will convince you’
The Daily Telegraph

Inspired by an episode in Dante’s Inferno, Gianni Schicchi is Puccini’s only outright comedy. Christopher Alden’s new production nods slyly in the direction of the timeless themes which Puccini exploits to brilliantly farcical effect – after all, those scheming relatives may bear an uncanny resemblance to our own family members!

With its vivid characterisation and the spontaneity of its musical invention, Gianni Schicchi is a comic masterpiece in miniature. Featuring one of Puccini’s best-loved arias, ‘O mio babbino caro’, it is here brought alive by a top drawer cast – starring Christopher Purves, ‘one of the great operatic artists of the present’ (The Spectator), in the title role.

Sung in Italian with English titles
Performance lasts approximately 1 hour

Double bill lasts approximately 2 hours 30 mins


Creative Team

Conductor | Jac van Steen
Conductor | Martin Pickard (24 Mar)
​Director | Christopher Alden


Free pre-show talks 

Fri 20, Wed 25 & Sat 28 February and Tue 3, Thu 12 & Tue 24 March from 6.00-6.30pm. Limited capacity, book early on 0844 848 2700.

Next Performances
Tue 3rd Mar
Thu 12th Mar
Tue 24th Mar
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Renata Pokupić and Roger Vignoles

Classical

5 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Renata Pokupić and Roger Vignoles

Synopsis

A diverse programme from two of the world’s leading artists in song. Croatian mezzo-soprano Renata Pokupić is in high demand from international orchestras and opera houses. This concert is a rare opportunity to hear her in a more intimate setting. She is accompanied by distinguished pianist Roger Vignoles.

“Pokupić is a serious, gifted practitioner of this endangered art form…fluidly and charmingly performed.” Opera News Magazine

The duo delights in a programme that includes Mahler’s heart-breaking Rückert Leider, Finzi’s wonderful Shakespeare Songs: O Mistress Mine, Come Away Death and pieces by Wolf and Hahn.

"... with Roger Vignoles at the piano, extraordinary things can happen" The Times

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Thu 5th Mar
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The White Ribbon

Film

6 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

The White Ribbon

Synopsis

Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or award-winning film is a spellbinding tale of bigotry and brutality set in a north German village immediately before the outbreak of the First World War.

‘Haneke's films always feel, once the credits have rolled, unstoppable. This one surely is. The Guardian

Shot in austere monochrome, The White Ribbon is as tense as a thriller and as unsettling as a horror film. The film shines a light onto an unjust social system that is morally and physically disintegrating, though no one is prepared to confront it.

Dir Michael Haneke; Austria/Germany 2009; in German with English subtitles; 144 mins; Cert 15

The White Ribbon will be introduced by Elizabeth Ward co-founder of the German Film Learning Initiative. Elizabeth recently received her PhD at the University of Leeds in East German Holocaust Film.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Fri 6th Mar
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Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Jazz

11 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Synopsis

Ravi Coltrane has followed in his father’s footsteps to become one of the finest saxophonists of his generation.  In a career spanning two decades, the Grammy-nominated performer has been a bandleader and composer, worked alongside jazz luminaries and founded a record label.

‘Great music, played with freedom, passion and respect for the past — what more could you ask for?’  5* review in the Evening Standard

His new album Spirit Fiction has been hailed as mature and commanding. The record encompasses his huge artistic legacy and distinct vision, without losing his signature tone and nimbleness of thought. For this appearance at the Howard Assembly Room he plays with his collaborators David Virelles on keyboards, Dezron Douglas on bass and Jonathan Blake on drums.

Simply buy an equivalent number of tickets for two or more shows displaying the Save symbol and you will receive 20% off your tickets. Currently not available online. To book please call 0844 848 2727, Monday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Wed 11th Mar
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Arve Henriksen

Jazz

12 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Arve Henriksen

Synopsis

Places of Worship tour

Norwegian jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen’s exploration of the instrument’s possibilities shows no limits. In this special UK performance, he brings the improvising spirit of his album Places of Worship to life, alongside long-term collaborator Jan Bang and visual artist Anastasia Isachsen. 

‘Nobody plays a trumpet quite like the plaintively expressive Norwegian Arve Henriksen’ The Guardian

His improvising style is rooted both in the glorious geography of his native natural habitats and his hybrid, cosmopolitan environments of the 21st century. On Places of Worship he inhabits the space between these two worlds in a series of pieces taking inspiration from religious buildings and ruins.

Simply buy an equivalent number of tickets for two or more shows displaying the Save symbol and you will receive 20% off your tickets. Currently not available online. To book please call 0844 848 2727, Monday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Thu 12th Mar
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Natalie Clein

Classical

20 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Natalie Clein

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And Mahan Esfahani

Natalie Clein is described by The Times as a ‘mesmerising’ cellist who ‘plays everything with passion’. Known for her soulful and profound approach to music making, she returns with a programme dominated by J.S Bach, in honour of his 330th birthday. The evening features two of Bach’s Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord including G Major BWV1027 and G Minor BWV 1029, as well as pieces by two of Bach's sons, Vivaldi, Ligeti and Kurtág.

‘…breathtakingly beautiful’ BBC Radio 3

Clein is accompanied by Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani whose ‘passionate engagement with the music’ (The Telegraph) is fast making him a reputation as a leading exponent of his instrument.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Fri 20th Mar
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Fennesz and Lillevan

Music

21 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Fennesz and Lillevan

Synopsis

A UK premiere from one of the great electronic musicians. 

Sparing with his solo releases, electronic guitarist Christian Fennesz has constantly extended his avenues of expression through collaborations with other artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Mike Patton, and by creating music for film.

'It feels like a ride, like the music transports you bodily from one place to the next' Pitchfork

In this rare UK performance, Fennesz joins forces with visual artist Lillevan. This special project, performed for the first time in the UK, takes inspiration from Bohemian composer Gustav Mahler, who music is transformed by Fennesz’s characteristic clouds of distortion, drones and infinitely slowly evolving melody.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Sat 21st Mar
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Lemminkäinen's Quest

Family

28 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Lemminkäinen's Quest

Cropped_lemminkainen_s_quest_main Synopsis

Opus presents…

Lemminkäinen's Quest: When the Hunter becomes the Hunted

An end of project performance, based on Jonathan Dove’s Swanhunter.

Against his mother’s wishes, Lemminkäinen travels to the icy north in search of a bride. There, impossible tasks await him: he must hunt the Devil’s elk, ride the Devil’s horse, and shoot a swan on Death’s river. But unseen dangers lie in wait for him along the way...

Inspired by Opera North’s upcoming production of Swanhunter, the Opus group presents this retelling of a traditional tale from the Finnish folk epic The Kalevala.  This performance uses music, movement, poetry and visual art to tell the story of love, bravery, adventure and magic in a unique and exciting way.

Suitable for ages 7+ | Lasts approximately 40 minutes (no interval)

To book your tickets call the Box Office on 0844 848 2727.

Next Performances
Sat 28th Mar
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The Cardinall's Musick

Classical

1 April 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

The Cardinall's Musick

Synopsis

A jewel in the crown of Early Music consorts, The Cardinall’s Musick is one of the most expressive and entertaining ensembles in the world. This imaginative vocal group recreates the sounds of the past in a way that makes them live in the present. Under Andrew Carwood’s direction The Cardinall’s Musick has won the Gramophone Award for Early Music no fewer than four times.

‘Clear tones; perfect intonation; an ideal balance between individual colour and an ensemble blend’ The Times

This special Easter concert is dominated by Thomas Tallis’ darkly glorious Mass for Four Voices and concludes with a new commission by young composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad, the first DARE Cultural Fellow in the Opera Related Arts in association with Opera North and the University of Leeds.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Wed 1st Apr
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Swanhunter

Opera

2 Apr - 3 May 2015

Nationwide

Touring 10 theatres

Swanhunter

Synopsis

An Opera North / The Wrong Crowd co-production | Composed by Jonathan Dove using a libretto written by Alasdair Middleton

Against his mother’s wishes, Lemminkäinen travels to the icy north in search of a bride. There, impossible tasks await him: he must hunt the Devil’s elk, ride the Devil’s horse, and shoot a swan. But unseen danger lies in wait for him on Death’s river...

Based on a tale from the Finnish folk epic The Kalevala, Swanhunter is a magical chamber opera written by the composer and librettist of Opera North’s hugely successful The Adventures of Pinocchio. Scored for six singers accompanied by six instrumentalists, Swanhunter is a celebration of the power of song, designed specifically for a family audience – for adults just as much as for children.

Opera North gave the world premiere of Swanhunter in the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds in 2009. For this brand new production, Opera North collaborates for the first time with the acclaimed theatre company The Wrong Crowd to create an inventive fusion of opera, puppetry and live action.

Suitable for ages 7+ | Lasts approximately 1 hour 10mins (no interval) | Sung in English


Discover more at the Howard Assembly Room, Leeds:

Interactive pre-show talk
Sat 18 April, 12.15pm and 5.15pm
(Free to ticket holders)

Meet the puppets and discover the secrets, myths and magic behind the beautiful creation of this exciting tale with members of the cast and creative team. Tickets must be booked in advance.
Book pre-show talk Sat 18 April 12.15 - 1.00pm
Book pre-show talk Sat 18 April 5.15 - 6.00pm

Swanhunter Performance for Schools
Mon 20 April, 11am
Dedicated performance solely for an audience of school parties. Find out more or book directly with Andy Kitching, group sales officer at Leeds Grand Theatre: andy.kitching@leedsgrandtheatre.com | 0844 8482705

Supportive online resources will be available soon.

Pre/post show talks may be available at other venues, please check the venue's website or with their Box Office when making your booking.

Next Performances
Thu 2nd Apr
Sat 4th Apr
Mon 6th Apr
Tue 7th Apr
There are a total of 25 upcoming performances for this production
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