Looking to try something different in 2023? Perfect for escapism or a great night out with friends, opera could be just the thing to get your year off to a memorable start with some of the best tickets in the theatre just £20 for brand new bookers.

We know opera’s awesome, but if you still need convincing, here’s our top five reasons why we believe it’s for everyone …

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1. It's Drama with a capital 'D'

If you love music, theatre, drama, storytelling, art or even fashion, you’re in the right place! Opera brings all these art-forms together on one stage with amazing costumes, iconic tunes which you’ll recognise from films and adverts, dramatic storylines to take you on an emotional rollercoaster, and captivating characters you’ll be rooting for – or against – from their very first note.

Truffaldino, Harlequin, Scaramuccio, Brighella and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at GöteborgsOperan (2018) © Mats Bäcker

2. A feast for the eyes

You’re in for a visual treat with the variety of costumes – and wigs! – you’ll spot during a single performance.

The Costume department at Opera North is tasked with bringing the Costume Designer’s vision to life, while also ensuring that everything looks great on the wearer and will survive the rigours of a hectic performance schedule, including tour dates! Once the singers are in costume, the make-up team get to work before the action is played out on a specially designed and imaginatively lit set. Wherever you look, there’s always something to catch the eye.

Aoife Miskelly as Vixen and Lucia Cervoni as Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen (WNO, 2019) © Richard H Smith

3. The sound is something else

One of the most astonishing things about opera is the staggering power of the singers’ voices. Even more unbelievable is the fact they produce the volume they do without the help of a single microphone! Even when the auditorium is full and you’re sitting right at the back, we guarantee you’ll get the shivers as a soprano hits the high notes – and just wait until you hear the massed voices of the Chorus of Opera North!

It’s not just about the singing though. You also get to enjoy the sound of the Orchestra of Opera North playing live in the pit which is an incredible experience in itself. If you fall in love with their playing, the good news is that they deliver a world-class programme of concerts away from the opera stage each year.

4. It's easy to follow

Whether you’re watching an opera in Leeds or at one of our tour venues, the performance will have English surtitles displayed on digital screens on either side of the stage. These ensure that, even if the singers are performing in a different language, you’ll always know what’s going on. Even better, we show enough of what’s being sung to keep you abreast of the action, but not so much that you have to stay glued to the screen and miss what’s happening on stage.

To ensure as many people as possible can enjoy the opera, we also offer accessible options. These include audio-described performances with backstage touch tours beforehand. Audio introductions are created for every production with large print also available.

Ariadne auf Naxos, GöteborgsOperan (2018). Directed by Rodula Gaitanou © Mats Bäcker

5. It's cheaper than you think

A night at the opera is far more affordable than you might imagine. In fact, if you’ve never experienced opera before, you can take advantage of Try it ON and treat yourself to a pair of great seats for £20 each, complete with extra goodies on the night.

If you’re under 30 or a full-time student, you can bag yourself a ticket for £10 (or completely free of charge for Leeds opera-goers aged 16-20) – and tickets for everyone else start at just £15 in Leeds, depending on where you’d like to sit. Early booking definitely pays off though, as the cheaper options tend to get snapped up within days of going on sale!

Giselle Allen as Tosca and Robert Hayward as Scarpia (2018) © Richard H Smith

Tickets for our 2023-24 season are available now with the choice of Verdi’s riotous Falstaff, Puccini’s elegant La rondine and the world premiere of Sir David Pountney’s Masque of Might which recycles music by Henry Purcell.

They will be followed by Britten’s satirical Albert Herring, Tim Albery’s classic production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte and a double-bill of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana with a new production of Rachmaninov’s rarely performed Aleko.

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