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Liz Coggins reviews Opera North’s production of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride.

It was in 1981 that I first saw Opera North’s production of The Bartered Bride. It was part of my mother’s inauguration programme for me to learn to appreciate the delights of opera. Choosing the right operas for people who are just starting out as opera goers is so important she used to declare. And mother, whose operatic career was brought to a sudden end by the onslaught of war followed by marriage and motherhood, certainly knew best.


The production I remember was folksy and set in Bohemia in the mid 19th century.  So I must say I was…

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Review Das Rheingold

Opera North perform Wagner's great work at Leeds Town Hall

On Friday 01 July, Opera North offered another performance of Richard Wagner’s immense work Das Rheingold at theLeeds Town Hall.

At half past seven the house lights went out. Then, with a rise of Richard Farnes’ conductor’s baton, the first few notes started to sound out. And as they boomed and rolled around the hall it was as though, for just a moment, the river Rhine itself was flowing through our Yorkshire city. In fact, you might even say that its springs were here and that it flowed from Leeds to the rest of the UK: this excellent…

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Review Opera North's Carmen

Tom Tollett watches am intriguing re-telling of the famous opera

The Carmen storyline has undergone many transformations from its far-off 1875 beginnings. Otto Preminger’s 1954 musical film, Carmen Jones, based it at an all-black army camp, with the beautiful, feisty Dorothy Dandridge, as the eponymous heroine portraying a civilian parachute-maker. A 1990 Carmen on Ice starred the delectable Olympian Katarina Witt in what was a glorious expansion of her gold medal free-programme from the Calgary Games two years before, a performance said to be hot enough to melt the ice. The 2001 MTV film, Carmen: A Hip Hopera, had the multi-talented Beyoncé Knowles as Carmen Brown.

The critics found several…

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