News & Features

2017/18 New Season Announcement


Opera North is thrilled to announce the upcoming 2017/18 season

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Autumn 2017 sees the return of a format first presented in 2004, for a new festival season of one act operas.

The Little Greats brings together six short operas, from the well-known to rarely performed jewels of the genre: Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, Janáček’s Fate (Osud), Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, and Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti.

A company of artists has been assembled for The Little Greats season, all taking on multiple roles, including Giselle Allen, Peter Auty, Katie Bray, Richard Burkhard, Wallis Giunta, John Graham-Hall, Quirijn de Lang, Rosalind Plowright, Phillip Rhodes, John Savournin, Joseph Shovelton, Jonathan Stoughton, Ann Taylor, and Fflur Wyn.

In our home city of Leeds, the six operas will be presented in changing rotation, creating new and unusual pairings and allowing audiences to create their own path through the season. Discover more about The Little Greats season. 

For Winter 2018, Opera North’s first ever production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera sees the Company’s former music director Richard Farnes return to conduct, in a production by Tim Albery with a cast including Rafael Rojas as Gustavo, Adrienn Miksch as Amelia, and Patricia Bardon as Madame Arvindson.

Winter 2018 also includes revivals of two of the most popular pieces in the repertoire. Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is presented in a classic production by Tim Albery with Anne Sophie Duprels in the title role, while Alessandro Talevi’s innovative take on Mozart’s darkest work, Don Giovanni returns with William Dazeley in the title role.

The year ends with the continuation of Opera North’s renowned series of dramatic concert stagings with Strauss’s viscerally shocking Salome, with a cast including Jennifer Holloway, Robert Hayward and Katerina Karneus. Salome will open at Leeds Town Hall before touring to Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, Warwick Arts Centre and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

September – November 2017

Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo

Conductor: Tobias Ringborg, Director: Charles Edwards
Cast includes: Peter Auty (Canio), Richard Burkhard (Tonio), Joseph Shovelton (Beppe) and Phillip Rhodes (Silvio) 

L'enfant et les sortilèges by Maurice Ravel

Conductor: Martin Andre, Director: Annabel Arden 
Cast includes: Wallis Giunta (The Child), Ann Taylor (His mother/Chinese cup/Squirrel), Fflur Wyn (Fire/Nightingale/Princess), Quirijn de Lang (Grandfather Clock/Tom Cat), John Savournin (Armchair/Tree), John Graham-Hall (Tea Pot/Tree Frog/Arithmetic) and Katie Bray (Louis XV Chair/Female Cat/Owl)

Cavalleria rusticana by Pietro Mascagni

Conductor: Tobias Ringborg, Director: Karolina Sofulak
Cast includes: Giselle Allen (Santuzza), Katie Bray (Lola), Jonathan Stoughton (Turiddù), Phillip Rhodes (Alfio) and Rosalind Plowright (Mamma Lucia)

Trial By Jury by W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan 

Conductor: Oliver Rundell, Director: John Savournin
All roles cast from the Chorus of Opera North. Cast includes: Jeremy Peaker (The Learned Judge), Amy Freston (The Plaintiff), Nicholas Watts (The Defendant) and Claire Pascoe (Counsel for the Plaintiff) 

Osud by Leoš Janáček

Conductor: Martin Andre, Director: Annabel Arden 
Cast includes: Giselle Allen (Míla Valková), John Graham-Hall (Živný), Rosalind Plowright (Míla’s Mother), Peter Auty (Dr. Suda), Richard Burkhard (Lhotský) and Ann Taylor (Miss Stuhlá) 

Trouble in Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein

Conductor: Tobias Ringborg, Director: Matthew Eberhardt
Cast includes: Quirijn de Lang (Sam) and Wallis Giunta (Dinah)

January – March 2018

Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini

Conductor: Martin Pickard, Director: Tim Albery
Cast includes: Anne Sophie Duprels (Cio-Cio San), Merūnas Vitulskis (Pinkerton), Peter Savidge (Sharpless), Ann Taylor (Suzuki), Joseph Shovelton (Goro) and Dean Robinson (Bonze)

Un ballo in maschera by Giuseppe Verdi 

Conductor: Richard Farnes, Director: Tim Albery 
Cast includes: Rafael Rojas (King Gustavo), Phillip Rhodes (Anckarstroem), Adrienn Miksch (Amelia), Patricia Bardon (Madame Arvindson) and Tereza Gevorgyan (Oscar) 

Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Conductor: Christoph Altstaedt, Director: Alessandro Talevi
Cast includes: William Dazeley (Don Giovanni), James Platt (Il Commendatore), Jennifer Davis (Donna Anna), Nicholas Watts (Don Ottavio), Elizabeth Atherton (Donna Elvira), Alastair Miles (Leporello), Ross McInroy (Masetto) and Kathryn Rudge (Zerlina) 

April – May 2018

Salome by Richard Strauss

Conductor: Sir Richard Armstrong
Cast includes: Jennifer Holloway (Salome), Katarina Karnéus (Herodias) and Robert Hayward (Jochanaan)

Booking dates*

Take advantage of our priority booking periods and get the best seats for the shows you don’t want to miss!

Full Season Packages: Tuesday 28 February
Create Your Own Package: Thursday 9 March
Associates of Opera North: Tuesday 21 March
Friends of Opera North: Thursday 23 March
Public booking: Monday 27 March 

Find out more about Season Tickets Packages
Find out how to become an Associate or Friend of Opera North 

*Booking dates may vary by venue 

Let us know what you think of our new season in the comments below, or tell us on Facebook or Twitter. Which productions are you most looking forward to seeing?


Madama Butterfly at Opera North, 2011. Credit: Robert Workman 
Don Giovanni at Opera North, 2012. Credit: Robert Workman

What you say

Comment from creasemouse


creasemouse said ago

Eight Little Greats was one of the best opera seasons I have attended so I’m particularly looking forward to the autumn season. What’s the performance schedule? Many thanks

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