'Opera in a Nutshell' is a whistle-stop tour of the art form, its many different facets and the many musical styles it embodies — there are excerpts of Puccini's Tosca and Turandot, Lehar's The Merry Widow, Bizet's Carmen, Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury and many more.
To celebrate #OperaPassion, we asked the performers which opera they would take a first-timer to and why, and now we're asking YOU! Tweet us @Opera_North or leave us a comment on Facebook to let us know your suggestions, and we'll include them below!
"I think Hansel and Gretel has to be a good one as it's a well known story to all. The music is glorious and recognisable. I think it can reach a huge audience due to it being a fairy tale and will entertain everyone of all ages. Another one would have to be Tosca. Three fabulous characters and a wealth of music which makes makes my heart beat a little faster every time I hear a small snippet! It's certainly would hit you between the eyes if it's your first ever opera!"
— Elin Pritchard, soprano, Opera in a Nutshell
"Above all, see a good production — anywhere, of anything. It's like anything else — I'd rather see Palace beat Bournemouth 4-3 than a tepid United-Chelsea 0-0 draw. So assuming good productions, go and see The Marriage of Figaro, because it'll break your heart and then mend it again. Or if you want something sung in English, see The Turn of the Screw, because it'll get you in ways you're not expecting. Or (again) if you want something in English and short, see Riders to the Sea, which, when it's done right, is terribly, horribly beautiful."
— Milo Harries, baritone, Opera in a Nutshell
"La bohème, because it's so short (just a couple of hours), fast paced, and has a fantastic love story at its centre that is easy to relate to."
— John Savournin, narrator/writer, Opera in a Nutshell
La Boheme. Not too taxing, plenty of tunes, gets over the power of the form.— Tim Almond (@timalmond) October 19, 2017
I would ask the person what TV/drama they like then make a decision based on that.— Magenta… Down, down (@MagsTheObscure) October 19, 2017
But Macbeth, Wozzeck, La Cerentola, Dido and Aeneas. Those are all good starts.
Barber of Seville - good accessible fun, great tunes, happy ending.— Philip Whitley (@phitleywhilp) October 19, 2017
Took daughter to see ROH Electra as her first one. Not obvious choice but she was blown sideways. Mind you it was A Nelsons conducting!— John Hunter (@Ardmair) October 19, 2017
If you're English speaking, anything by Britten - makes a difference to understand the words. Lost my opera virginity to Turn Of The Screw.— Marty Ross (@MartyRossWriter) October 20, 2017