Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North:
“The coming year will be a hugely significant moment for Opera North: a new beginning for the Company as we return to live performance in theatres and concert halls across the North and open our transformed estate following its £18 million redevelopment. A world-class centre for music and the arts, our new spaces in the Howard Opera Centre will for the first time bring young people, community partners, and adults participating in our creative education programmes into the heart of the Company. The newly built music rehearsal studio for the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North also gives our permanent ensembles a dedicated rehearsal space for the first time, while enabling the re-opened Howard Assembly Room, previously used for much of the year for rehearsals, to expand its programme of events, with a new entrance, public atrium, bar and restaurant revitalising an under-used part of New Briggate in central Leeds.
“The operational impact of COVID-19 on Opera North and all of our partner companies, venues and freelance artists will still continue to be felt, and we will be working very closely with our partner venues to ensure that the safety of audiences, staff and artists is our highest priority as we go into the upcoming season.
“One of our new productions delayed by the pandemic, Carmen, will be our first event back in residence at Leeds Grand Theatre since early 2020, and we are delighted that this opening production will be conducted by Garry Walker in his belated debut as our new Music Director.”