Open Day: Backstage Pass

Wednesday 27 Oct 2021

Join us for Open Day: Backstage Pass – a one-off chance to experience what really goes on behind the scenes. This is an action-packed day of backstage tours, insightful talks, intimate events, pop-up operas and so much more. And the best part? It’s all FREE!

We are delighted to open the doors of our transformed home to people from every corner of Leeds and the North to experience the thrill of live music, to make music with us, and to learn about music. Whether this will be your first or your fiftieth time through our doors, we’re open to all and we can’t wait to welcome you.

Families might also like to join us on Thursday 28 October for Family Festival, a fun-packed day full of free events, including magical storytelling, fairytales, Halloween craft activities and family singing in our brand new Education Studios.

All this change has been part of our £18 million capital project Music Works to create a place where everyone is welcome to experience the joy of music. Our thanks go to the late Dr Keith Howard MBE and our many generous supporters and funders who made this possible.

Price
Free
Venue
  • Opera North

Covid guidance
To ensure the safety of you, our staff and our guest artists, masks are mandatory as you move around our buildings. If you have booked for a seated event, masks may be removed once seated.

Tickets will be available on the day but booking is advised. For access queries please contact the Box Office.

Open Day Whistle Stop: The Magic Flute

Location: Howard Assembly Room
Start times: 11.30am, 1.15pm, 4.45pm

Join us for a special Whistle Stop Opera performance in the Howard Assembly Room as part of Open Day: Backstage Pass. A cast of three professional opera singers and an accordionist take on a noble quest to save the climate in a new whistle stop adventure suitable for all ages, inspired by Mozart’s popular work The Magic Flute.

Book Now

Emily Loftus in Whistle Stop Opera: The Magic Flute © Tom Arber

Online singing taster: Carmen

Location: Online
Start time: 3pm  

If you can’t join us in person on our Open Day, we’ll come to you with a special online singing event! Choral Director, Jenny Sterling (From Couch to Chorus) guides you through a warmup and techniques before everyone joins in to sing the Habanera from Carmen.

Open to singers of all levels, from complete beginners to experienced choir-goers – all from the comfort of your own home beamed straight from our new Education studio.

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The Chorus of Opera North singing from home

Watch a Vocal Masterclass

Location: Howard Assembly Room
Start time: 7.30pm

Preparing to sing and perform an opera role is so much more than having a beautiful voice. There’s the style of each composer to consider, the use of language, there are dramatic choices to be made at every turn of the music. At Opera North, this work is done in collaboration with our own music staff, who as well as being professional pianists, are able to help the singers make the most of their potential and give compelling and exciting performances.

Join our Head of Music, David Cowan, in this vocal masterclass, as he coaches some wonderful singers from our current season: Natasha Agarwal, Satriya Krisna and Amy J Payne.

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Chorus Master Oliver Rundell conducts the Chorus of Opera North

Costumes: From Sketch to Stage

Location: Howard Assembly Room / Howard Opera Centre
Times: 2.30pm, 5.30pm

From a sketch on a notepad to an incredible costume on stage, discover how costumes are created in this insightful talk with Stephen Rodwell, Head of Costume, and Dominic Gray, Projects Director.

Limited availability

Head of Costume Stephen Rodwell gives a talk © Tom Arber

Behind the scenes tour

Location: Howard Opera Centre
Start times: Every 30 minutes from 10.30am to 5pm, plus 6pm and 6.30pm 

Join us on our Open Day for a guided tour of our building, including the brand-new Howard Opera Centre and newly reopened Howard Assembly Room. Discover the secrets of our costume department, take a peek at our sets and check out the Leeds Grand Theatre dressing rooms, as well as visiting our architecturally stunning new atrium space. You’ll get a chance to see our fantastic new music studios and if you’re lucky you might catch some rehearsals taking place…

Sold out

Visitors to Opera North's new atrium © Tom Arber

Carmen Backstage

Location: Leeds Grand Theatre
Start times: 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4pm, 5.30pm

Join Peter Restall, our Technical Manager, on the stage at Leeds Grand Theatre for an insight into Opera North’s life backstage. See what happens behind the scenes in our new production of Carmen, understand how the lighting rig and other technical departments support all the on-stage action, and get up close to the showstopping swing from Carmen’s opening number.

Sold out

Touch tour for Madama Butterfly at Leeds Grand Theatre © Tom Arber

Trouble in Tahiti in rehearsal

Location: Howard Opera Centre
Start times: 12.30pm, 4.15pm

Take a look inside rehearsals for one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti, part of our Bernstein Double Bill. This is your opportunity to find out what goes on during rehearsal, plus there’ll be time to ask the performers and director Matthew Eberhardt some questions.

Sold out

Kang Wang as Tamino in rehearsals for The Magic Flute © Tom Arber

La petite bohème

Location: Howard Assembly Room
Start times: 3.45pm, 6.30pm

Visit the newly reopened Howard Assembly Room as part of Open Day: Backstage Pass for an immersive screening of this 20-minute animated re-imagining of Puccini’s best-loved opera La bohème.

Once madly in love, Rodolfo and Mimì have fallen on hard times – Mimì’s illness is getting worse and Rodolfo is driven to jealousy and rage. In this famously heart-breaking act, the couple reaches breaking point. Can their love survive the harsh winter?

Sold out

Scene from Matthew Robins' La petite bohème

Itinerary

Behind the scenes tour
Location: Howard Opera Centre
Start times: Every 30 minutes from 10.30 to 5pm, plus 6pm and 6.30pm

Carmen backstage
Location: Leeds Grand Theatre
Start times: 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4pm, 5.30pm

Whistle Stop Opera: The Magic Flute
Location: Howard Assembly Room
Start times: 11.30am, 1.15pm, 4.45pm

La petite bohème
Location: Howard Assembly Room
Start times: 3.45pm, 6.30pm

Trouble in Tahiti in rehearsal 
Location: Howard Opera Centre
Start times: 12.30pm, 4.15pm

Online singing taster: Carmen
Location: online
Start time: 3pm

Costumes: From Sketch to Stage
Location: Howard Assembly Room / Howard Opera Centre
Start times: 2.30pm/5.30pm

Watch a Vocal Masterclass
Location: Howard Assembly Room
Start time: 7.30pm

Open Day: Backstage Pass
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