‹ Back to What's On The Snow Maiden

21 Jan - 24 Mar 2017

Opera North's first ever staging of Rimsky-Korsakov's delightful Russian opera The Snow Maiden opens our fairy tale season.

The Snow Maiden is warm and beautiful, but she hides a tragic secret, her heart is made of ice. If warmed by human love, her heart will melt and she will die. Enchanted by the shepherd boy Lel, she yearns to experience life with humans. Her parents relent, with tragic consequences.

A gorgeous and lyrical evocation of the natural world, Rimsky Korsakov’s delightfully colourful, folk-inspired opera is based on a well-loved Russian fairy tale. With an inventive use of video imagery, the piece imaginatively blends and contrasts worlds of fantasy and reality. 

Running Time

Approximately 3 hours


Sung in English with English titles

Age Guidance

Suitable for 7+

What the critics say

… visual enchantment...captivating.

The Spectator - Read full review

Strikingly atmospheric

The Stage - Read full review

There is delightful singing from Aoife Miskelly in the title role and Elin Pritchard as her rival, and a striking debut from Heather Lowe as Lel.

The Telegraph - Read full review


Audience Reaction Trailer

The Music




The Snow Maiden | Your Reaction

1 comment

Our first ever production of Rimsky-Korsakov's enchanting opera The Snow Maiden has opened. Here is a selection of opening night audience tweets, Facebook comments and some production photos... Read More

  • The Snow Maiden Aoife Miskelly
  • Tsar Berendey Bonaventura Bottone
  • Bermyata Dean Robinson
  • Spring Beauty Yvonne Howard
  • Grandfather Frost James Creswell
  • Boblyl Bakula Joseph Shovelton
  • Boblyikha Claire Pascoe
  • Lel Heather Lowe
  • Kupava Elin Pritchard
  • Mizgir Phillip Rhodes
Creative Team
  • Conductor Leo McFall (ex 17 Feb, 17 Mar), Martin Pickard (17 Feb, 17 Mar)
  • Director John Fulljames
  • Set Designer Giles Cadle
  • Costume Designer Christina Cunningham
  • Lighting Designer Matthew Haskins
  • Video Designer Will Duke
  • Choreographer Lucy Hind

Click on the venue below to plan your visit.

Leeds Grand Theatre

Find Us

46 New Briggate
Leeds Grand Theatre

Important Information

Box Office: 0844 848 2720 (calls cost 7ppm)

  • To access the Grand Theatre, there are six steps from the street up to the foyer or a wheelchair lift from the Grand Theatre Box Office to the foyer, and then lift access to the rest of the auditorium (excluding the Upper Balcony). Some areas of the auditorium do have steep stairs and may not be suitable for people with limited mobility. Please check with the Box Office. 
  • There are 6 wheelchair spaces: four in the Stalls and two in the Dress Circle.
  • There are accessible toilets at Stalls and Dress Circle levels. 
  • There is an infra-red system in operation for sound amplification. Headsets are available from the Grand Theatre foyer for a £5 refundable deposit. Please ask Box Office staff when booking for advice on the best seats to use this service. 
  • Support dogs are welcome in the auditorium and can be looked after on request. 
  • For refreshments, there are bars at Stalls, Upper Circle and Balcony levels.  

Choose from these fantastic pre-theatre dining options and make your experience complete!

The Alchemist

Opera North ticket holders can enjoy 20% off their food bill at The Alchemist. Located on the second floor of Trinity Shopping Centre, The Alchemist offers a fantastic menu and stunning views of Leeds City Centre. Not available Saturdays. 

Download Menu | Book online 


Manahatta is a recently opened bar and kitchen located on Merrion Street, just a minute's walk from Leeds Grand Theatre. Serving a fantastic New York inspired menu made with fresh local produce, guests will receive 20% off their food bill before 6.15pm with proof of ticket. Booking is required. 

Download Menu | Book online

North Bar

Opera North and Howard Assembly Room ticket holders can enjoy 10% off all drinks at New Briggate's finest craft beer hotspot — North Bar, just a stone's throw from Leeds Grand Theatre. 

Find out more 


Enjoy 15% off all food and drink at authentic Italian wine bar Veeno (Leeds branch only) on presentation of ticket for an Opera North performance. Excludes Fridays and Saturdays after 5.00pm. 

Download Menu | Book a table 

Veritas Ale & Wine Bar

Enjoy a special pre-opera meal at Veritas Ale & Wine Bar. Just a 5-10 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, choose either two courses for £13.95 (£17.50 with a 175ml house wine) or three courses for £15.95 (£19.50 with a 175ml house wine). Available 5.00-6.30pm. Booking is required.

Download Menu | Book via email or call 0113 242 8094 and quote 'pre-opera menu'

Brasserie Blanc

Sample the fabulous pre-theatre menu at Brasserie Blanc and choose from two courses for £11.95 or three courses for £15.45, with a complimentary glass of fizz for Opera North ticket holders. Located just a 10 minute walk from the Leeds Grand Theatre. Available 12.00-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday. 

Download Menu | Book online or call 0113 220 6060

The Reliance

Just a 5 minute walk from Leeds Grand Theatre, The Reliance bar and dining room offers a fantastic pre-theatre menu. Choose from two courses for £14.45 or three courses for £18.90. Available 5.30-6.30pm, Monday-Saturday.

Download Menu


Find Us

100 Grey Street

Important Information

Box office: 08448 112121


Free Parking in all City Council multi-storey carparks after 5pm.

The two closest car parks to Theatre Royal are the Oxford Street multi-storey (just behind the Laing) and the Dean Street multi-storey. Click here for more info.

There are two parking spaces for blue badge holders on Shakespeare Street and three on Hood Street. Most parking meters are free to Blue Badge Holders.


Alight at Monument Metro Station and follow the signs for the Theatre Royal. We are less than one minutes walk from the Metro entrance on Grey Street.

Travel free on the Metro with your theatre ticket (up to two hours before and after the performance) - simply retain your theatre ticket for inspection by Metro Staff.


The Theatre Royal is only ten minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station.

Salford Quays

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Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ

Important Information

Box office: 0843 208 6000 

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level. 

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/


Find Us

Great Victoria Street

Important Information

Box office: 028 9024 1919

Easily accessible by road or public transport, The Grand Opera House is located on Great Victoria Street, next door to the world famous Europa Hotel. The main entrance is on Great Victoria Street, with Stage Door located on Glengall Street.

There is a multi-storey car park situated behind the Europa Hotel, accessible via Sandy Row and Hope Street. McCausland Car Park, located onGrosvenor Road, is open to midnight, Monday - Friday, and 11.00pm on Sunday. There is limited on-street parking on Great Victoria Street, while the nearby Days Hotel also offers secure car-parking facilities.

Great Victoria Street Train Station and the Europa Bus Centre are located on Great Victoria Street, next door to the Grand Opera House. Rail services are available on the Bangor, Londonderry, Larne and Portadown lines and cross-border Enterprise services to Dublin are also available. The Europa Bus Centre provides services across Northern Ireland. Timetables can be viewed at www.translink.co.uk or contact 028 9066 6630 for further information.


Find Us

Theatre Square

Important Information

Box Office: 0115 989 5555

Find access details for Nottingham Theatre Royal

By Car

Follow signs for the city centre and the 'Royal Zone'. Nearest car parks are Talbot Street car park and Crowne Plaza Hotel car park on Wollaton Street.
For maps and information about on-street parking, off-street car parks, park and ride and the blue badge scheme please visit Parking In Nottingham

By Bus

For bus times call Nottingham City Transport on 0115 950 6070, Traveline on 0871 200 2233 or visit www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk   Find out about our £1 return bus ticket here.

By Tram

 The 'Royal Centre' tram stop is directly outside the venue and runs every 10 minutes until midnight. There are five Park and Ride sites along the route. Visit www.thetram.net or call 0115 942 7777 for full details of the tram route. Find out about our £1 return tram ticket here.

By Rail

Nottingham Station is a 15 minute walk or a short taxi or tram ride from the venue. Call 0845 748 4950 or www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times and fares. 


Discover exciting pre-theatre dining options for Nottingham Theatre Royal

What you say

Comment from Moira


Moira said ago

What a wonderful evening. The Snow Maiden was enchanting and mesmerising! Real 'love in a cold climate!' Aoife and Heather's voices were perfect for their parts and Elin as Kupava really put some sass into the performance! Loved the whole evening, a must see.

Comment from kevin pattison


kevin pattison said ago

excellent singing & acting, clever use of Silk Screen to show the changing seasons.

Comment from Pete Leonard


Pete Leonard said ago

Loved the music; excellent singing performances, especially Lel. Congratulations to not one but two stand-in principals; I don't know whether Daisy Brown was really terrified, but it enhanced her performance as the Snow Maiden.
Some doubts about the production; we couldn't see what a sewing sweat shop had to do with villagers in the forest. Indeed, there was no forest anywhere to be seen. I know you've got a job lot of sewing machines from one of the Eight Little Greats, but that doesn't mean you have to use them!
Overall, we greatly enjoyed our evening.

Comment from Keith Davies


Keith Davies said ago

A fantastic production, also much enjoyed by two of our friends new to Opera. We are always apprehensive when cast changes due to illness are announced. We need not have worried , Daisy Brown as the Snow Maiden was excellent as were the other replacements. We would perhaps have preferred Snow Maiden in a little less 'Cinderella' dress.

Comment from Nikki


Nikki said ago

Loved the music and the video but seemed a bit silly to have the main character in jeans:spoilt the fairytale element but overall really good

Comment from Geoff Critchley


Geoff Critchley said ago

Excellent entertainment, liked the atmospheric projections, appreciated the english sur-titles. Thanks for that.

Comment from Ninian Fergus


Ninian Fergus said ago

I travelled from just outside Edinburgh by coach - 5 hours each way - to see the Snow Maiden, and I wasn't disappointed. I've always loved the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, and I knew this would be my only chance of ever seeing the opera. I loved all the singing, the staging was very clever, and the actual theatre itself is gorgeous! One minor point though. In the posters all over Leeds promoting the opera, the Snow Maiden is seen in traditional dress, whereas in the actual performance she is wearing fashionably-ripped jeans. It didn't detract from my enjoyment of the evening though, and I hope to revisit Opera North soon.

Comment from Viktoria Spaiser


Viktoria Spaiser said ago

I saw the opera on the 21st January and it was phantastic! I loved the production, i.e. the special effects, the costumes, Aoife's (snow maiden) voice singing in an Italian coloratura. It's a beautiful Russian fairytale, enchanting and tragic. It's certainly Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's masterpiece and absolutely worth seeing and hearing.

Comment from Robert and Jackie Taylor


Robert and Jackie Taylor said ago

We went to the opening night with three friends. All our party found it a fascinating theatrical experience; and we would urge anyone interested in opera to grab any chance they can to see this rarely performed work in a most inventive production, with some fine singing and the orchestra of Opera North in top form (especially the woodwind and the brass).

Although the opera itself has some wonderful music, the storyline sometimes seems to meander, so that in a less imaginative production there could have been some dull stretches. But this production, with its astonishing use of such techniques as video imaging, constantly maintained our interest.

Much of the singing was excellent. Aoife Miskelly was outstanding as the Snow Maiden herself. Our edition of Kobbe says: "One of the problems of this opera is to find a soprano with a voice equal to the music she has to sing, and physical attributes that fit the child-like character she has to play". There was no such problem here. The chorus was superb, and we also greatly enjoyed the singing of Yvonne Howard and Heather Lowe.

We were mystified by the setting of some scenes in a sweat-shop, and would have welcomed some explanation of what we found to be one of the less attractive features of this production. We also were disappointed that the Snow Maiden was required to spend most of the opera in an uninspiring costume of yellow tabard and torn jeans.

We are coming to see this production again in a few weeks' time and are greatly looking forward to this.

Robert and Jackie Taylor

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Cast and Creative Team


The Snow Maiden Aoife Miskelly
Tsar Berendey Bonaventura Bottone
Bermyata Dean Robinson
Spring Beauty Yvonne Howard
Grandfather Frost James Creswell
Boblyl Bakula Joseph Shovelton
Boblyikha Claire Pascoe
Lel Heather Lowe
Kupava Elin Pritchard
Mizgir Phillip Rhodes


Conductor Leo McFall (ex 17 Feb, 17 Mar)
Conductor Martin Pickard (17 Feb, 17 Mar)
Director John Fulljames
Set Designer Giles Cadle
Costume Designer Christina Cunningham
Lighting Designer Matthew Haskins
Video Designer Will Duke
Choreographer Lucy Hind

Your Visit