If you're new to opera, and not sure if it's for you or where to start, see our handy guide below and we'll let you in on some best kept secrets, including tickets for just £10…
1. It won't break the bank
Introducing… Try for £10. If you’ve never been to the opera before, you can book a ticket for any of The Little Greats in Leeds this Autumn and get a great seat for just £10! We’re not lying… here’s how to book.
And if you’re under 30 or a full-time student, you can sign up to our free Under 30s membership scheme and get ticket for just £5 per Little Greats opera (or £10 per double bill), plus invites to special events and other great benefits!
2. You won't be sat there for hours...
All of the operas in our Little Greats season are, well, little, with half of the operas coming in at only 45 minutes, and the longest, Osud (Destiny), at just 80 minutes. So you can experience a complete opera with all its impact in around an hour — perfect for dipping your toe in.*
3. Nothing beats a live performance
You can try DVDs or even YouTube, but you won’t get to experience the electric atmosphere of being in the room in which it is actually happening, or the silence of an audience so mesmerised, you can hear a pin drop…
4. You can wear whatever you like
There's no dress code for Opera North performances. If you do want to make a special occasion of it and wear your best frock, be our guest, and if you want to wear jeans, feel free to do so.
5. There's no language barrier
No need to sit there baffled! Many operas are sung in English, and when they’re not, there are screens with surtitles at each side of the stage so you know exactly what is going on. In our Little Greats season, Trouble in Tahiti, Trial by Jury, and Osud (Destiny) are performed in English, Pagliacci and Cavalleria rusticana are sung in Italian with English surtitles, and L’enfant et les sortilèges in French with English surtitles.
6. The unamplified power of the human voice
This is what really sets opera apart. The lack of microphones means that there is no barrier between the performer and the audience – the connection is immediate and the emotions you experience all the more intense.
7. You'll find your emotional outlet
Opera is for people that love to FEEL, that love to be made to laugh and cry, adrenaline junkies, and those that want to be moved by the power of music. If this sounds like you, the sublimely beautiful Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana is sure to have the tears rolling.
8. It's visually spectacular
Opera can be some of the most visually stunning spectacles in all theatre. As well as some sumptuous sets and costumes, you can get a LOT of people on stage at one time (principals, chorus and sometimes dancers as well). This makes for an impressive sight – and sound! For a magical visual experience, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells) may be just for you.
9. You don't need to be an 'opera buff'
Opera is not an ‘intellectual’ art form. Above all, it appeals to the emotions. You don’t need to know anything about the opera beforehand in order to enjoy it, although a skim through a brief plot synopsis may be helpful. If you like to read up, our ‘opera in a nutshell’ series allows you to discover the essentials — plot, characters, and what you’ll see and hear, at a glance.
10. There's something to suit every taste
‘Opera’ is as broad a genre as ‘film’ — there are so many different styles, and the music of one composer sounds utterly different to that of another. That’s where The Little Greats season comes in! With six contrasting pieces that really showcase everything opera can be, from the hard-hitting drama of Pagliacci to the silliness and sauce of Trial by Jury, it’s a fantastic opportunity to find out what’s for you.
If you’re not sure what to go for, get in touch and we’ll do our best to help find your perfect fit. Contact us through Facebook, Twitter, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0844 848 2720 (calls cost 7ppm).
*The Little Greats are sold as individual operas in Leeds with varying start times. On tour, the operas are locked into double bills of Pagliacci & Cavalleria rusticana, Trouble in Tahiti & Trial by Jury, and L’enfant et les sortilèges & Osud.