Opera North Blog

Six fine wines for six Little Greats operas...


Opera North has teamed up with recently opened bar and kitchen Ham & Friends – just around the corner from Leeds Grand Theatre – to pair the perfect vino with each of our Little Greats operas!

Here's what we've come up with and why...

Rosso di Caparsa

A tale of jealousy, vengeance and infidelity that deserves a big, bold Italian red wine. Something strong and robust like Canio! The full-bodied Rosso di Caparsa from Tuscany has tannin and structure with intense flavours of black fruits and woody spices. Much like Nedda, this is a wine worth fighting over!
L’enfant et les sortilèges
Mystère de Rosée

A story of juvenile mischief, mystery, joy and despair. There’s no better match than the Mystère de Rosée, a fantastical natural Gamay from passionate vigneron Michel Guignier. This is a playful pink wine with flavours of strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb. The perfect post-performance tipple!

Cavalleria rusticana 
Donna Marianna Sanseverino 

Passion is at the heart of every opera, none more so than Cavalleria rusticana. Love-rivalry, affairs, jealousy and vengeance make this a very dark, oppressive and brooding performance. The wine paired with it is equally striking. Intensely aromatic with aromas of black fruits and savoury spices. Cavalleria was performed in The Godfather Part 3, and the wine is from Calabria, the heartland of the Italian mafia. £6 a glass? An offer you can’t refuse...

Osud (Destiny)
Vinos Ambiz Alba 

Complex and heart-breaking with passion and cruelty, Osud is a tale of love trying to overcome obstacles and falling short. The setting is bohemian and the story-arc wistful and nostalgic. The wine we have selected is certainly bohemian and is a labour of love for the winemaker Fabio Bartolomei. His philosophy is to enjoy every sip and every moment because life is short, after all! A lesson learned painfully by Zivny and Mila in Osud.

Trial by Jury
Marsuret Maria Rosato

Angelina from Trial by Jury could surely only be reasonably paired with a glass of pink fizz?! Classy, sultry, glamorous and beautiful, how she is spurned by Edwin is anyone’s guess! We’re sure you won’t need convincing in a court of law that the Marsuret Maria Rosato is equally classy and glamorous, with flavours of strawberries, cranberry and pomegranate.

Trouble in Tahiti
Illahe Gruner Veltliner 

The 1950s American Dream. Sam and Dinah seem to have it all but they yearn for their lost happiness. The Gruner Veltliner is linear and fruity on the surface, but delve deeper and you’ll find all sorts of spicy complexity and stony minerality. Much like Sam and Dinah, all is not as it seems with this wine and each time you return for another sip, you’ll find more flavours developing. The plot thickens!

Simply drop in pre- or post-show to try the wines we have paired with the operas that are performed on that date, at a special rate of just £6 a glass. And if you're feeling peckish, Ham & Friends have created bold, Italian small-plates that complement the wine – and the opera – for £12 (wine included). 

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