FROM OPERA NORTH
(Main picture by Guy Farrow)
Opera North has announced the repertoire for its 2018/19 season, which will mark 40 years of inspiration, ambition and adventure since the Company was established as the opera company for the North of England, giving its first performance in November 1978.
The operas within the season also explore themes around conflict both directly and symbolically: national identity, patriotism and emerging statehood; abuse, enslavement and exile; political and religious persecution; sacrifice and betrayal; the ending of old orders and the dawning of the new. And above all, conflict’s human face: the experiences and relationships between people caught in the tides of historical change, and the overriding power of hope.
The 2018-19 season opens in September with a new production of Tosca, directed by Edward Dick, which will tour alongside a revival of The Merry Widow, two works composed in the very earliest years of the 20th century, with Europe on the cusp of transformation.
A new production of The Magic Flute, directed by West Yorkshire Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining, opens in January 2019, following his acclaimed West Yorkshire Playhouse/Opera North co-production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. It will tour with three further works composed in the years around the First World War: a revival of Katya Kabanova, and a double-bill in which the worlds of opera and dance collide: with Puccini’s short comic opera Gianni Schicchi paired with Stravinsky’s iconic ballet, The Rite of Spring.
The Rite of Spring sees another of Leeds’ great arts organisations working in partnership with Opera North, in the Company’s first large scale collaboration with Phoenix Dance Theatre, the longest running contemporary dance ensemble outside London. A newly choreographed version of this era-defining work will be performed by Phoenix, with the full Orchestra of Opera North and conductor Garry Walker playing the unmistakable modernist score.