New live performances are announced today, with four performances of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, planned to be the first large scale production for over a year as the Company builds back towards a fuller programme of public events.

Keeping everyone safe will remain a priority with all performances following the latest guidance on social distancing for audiences, performers, crew and front-of-house staff, and limited audience capacities in line with Government COVID-19 regulations.

On Tour: Fidelio

Leeds Town Hall: Wed 9 and Sat 12 June
The Lowry, Salford Quays: Tue 15 June
Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham: Sat 19 June

Tickets on sale: Fri 16 April

Originally due to be performed in November 2020, a subsequent livestream of Fidelio filmed behind closed doors at Leeds Town Hall was a huge critical and audience success last year. The same cast now returns to bring this performance to live, socially-distanced audiences for the first time.

Conducted by Paul Daniel, the cast includes Rachel Nicholls as Leonore, Toby Spence as Florestan, Robert Hayward as Don Pizarro, Brindley Sherratt as Rocco, Fflur Wyn as Marzelline and Oliver Johnston as Jaquino.

Priority booking for Patrons and Friends of Opera North opens at all venues on Thursday 15 April. Become our Friend today from just £5 a month.

Oliver Johnston as Jaquino, Rachel Nicholls as Leonore, Brindley Sherratt as Rocco and Fflur Wyn as Marzelline in Fidelio, 2020 © Richard H Smith

ONDemand: Fidelio

Available on demand from Thu 8 April
Tickets: £15

Rent now

The filmed performance of Fidelio, originally streamed live on 12 December 2020, is returning to Opera North’s ONDemand platform, giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy this ‘electrifying’ (The Guardian) performance from the comfort of their own home.

Tickets are priced at £15 with people able to rent the production for seven days to watch at their leisure.

Rachel Nicholls as Leonore in Fidelio, 2020 © Richard H Smith

The Lowry: A Night at the Opera

Wed 16 June
Tickets on sale: Fri 16 April

Perfect for those who have never tried opera before as well as aficionados of the art-form, A Night at the Opera gala concert, conducted by Paul Daniel, will see the Orchestra of Opera North joined by guest soloists including Elin Pritchard (soprano) and Benson Wilson (baritone).

Over the course of an evening at The Lowry, they will perform a programme that features many of opera’s best-loved arias and duets, including favourites from the works of Mozart, Verdi and Puccini.

A Night at the Opera will be performed at The Lowry in June © Tom Arber

In Leeds: A Little Night Music

Summer 2021 – dates to be confirmed

In the coming weeks Opera North and Leeds Playhouse will confirm Summer 2021 dates for Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music,  their co-production originally intended to be performed in 2020.

Opera North’s former Head of Music James Holmes will conduct, with a cast including Dame Josephine BarstowStephanie Corley and Quirijn de Lang directed by Leeds Playhouse’s James Brining.

The Chorus of Opera North in Into the Woods, a co-production with Leeds Playhouse, 2016 © Manuel Harlan

Livestream: The Whitehall Road Sessions

6pm, Thursdays from 22 April

22 April: Debussy Syrinx and Sonata for Viola, Flute and Harp
29 April: Schubert Octet in F Major
6 May: Farrenc Piano Quintet No. 2, Boulanger D’un Matin de Printemps
20 May: Mozart Quintet for Piano and Wind in Eb (K452), Herzogenberg Quintet for Piano and Wind
27 May: Ravel String Quartet in F Major, Britten Phantasy Quartet

Before live performances are able to restart, a new series of weekly livestreamed chamber concerts from the Company’s rehearsal studio in Leeds will feature soloists and small ensembles from the Orchestra of Opera North. Free to watch, The Whitehall Road Sessions will be streamed live over five weeks on YouTube and Opera North’s ONDemand platform.

Opera North remains committed to sharing performances digitally © Justin Slee

Other Activity:

The next couple of months will also see the welcome return of two of Opera North’s most popular outdoor events: the sound walk for the streets of Leeds, As You Are, and Whistle Stop Opera.

A newly devised take on Mozart’s much-loved work, Whistle Stop Opera: The Magic Flute has been written and directed by John Savournin for a small cast and accordion. Touring to indoor and outdoor small-scale venues across the North from June, performances will take place in schools, community spaces, and theatres in towns and rural touring networks across the region.

Opera North hopes to announce further activity for Spring/Summer 2021 and a new season of work for September 2021- July 2022 as further details around the COVID roadmap and the continued impact of the pandemic on indoor performances become clearer.

Claire Pascoe the Witch in Whistle Stop Opera: Hansel and Gretel © Tom Arber

Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North:

“Following the challenges of the last year, we are very pleased to announce our return to live performances as we prepare to welcome audiences once again. During this long period when it has not been possible to perform live, we have certainly not been silent, and we have made great strides in recording and streaming large-scale pieces within social distancing restrictions over the last few months. Our 2020 livestream of Fidelio, with our wonderful Chorus and Orchestra alongside some truly outstanding soloists, was a musical highlight of the past year which we can’t now wait to share with audiences in person. We are also delighted that, a year later than planned, A Little Night Music will be performed at Leeds Playhouse this summer.

“We are extending and developing our digital programme, with the release of a filmed version of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, as well as our new free series of livestreamed chamber concerts, allowing us to create and share powerful musical experiences with audiences at home. The more recent series of ONe-to-ONe solo performances given for free by members of our Chorus and Orchestra over Zoom will continue throughout April as well, bringing music into the living rooms of even more people across the country.”

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