Audiences are being invited to join Opera North on its journey towards sustainability this autumn with special bus deals making it even more affordable to travel to the theatre on public transport.
The upcoming Green Season sees Opera North producing three operas as sustainably as possible using the Green Theatre Book to interrogate all aspects of bringing an opera to the stage. This includes looking at minimising the environmental impact of sets, props, costumes, lighting and touring, reusing and repurposing where possible and consistently choosing more sustainable options. To help reduce the season’s carbon footprint further, the region’s bus operators are encouraging opera-goers to make the most of the services available for travelling into Leeds from outlying areas.
Transdev, the group of local bus operators across Lancashire and Yorkshire which includes The 36 from Ripon and Harrogate, is providing Opera North audiences with 2-for-1 single tickets on their routes to and from the city, making it just £2 each way until the end of October for two people. To take advantage of the offer, travellers simply need to produce their opera ticket or show the driver their pre-show email on The 36, The 7 from Harrogate and Wetherby, Aireline from Keighley and Shipley, FLYER from Leeds Bradford Airport and Horsforth, and Coastliner from Scarborough and Whitby, plus Malton, York and Tadcaster.
In its first initiative of the kind, MCard is offering an Opera DaySaver ticket from 28 September to 28 October 2023. The £4 ticket will be available via the MCard Mobile app for unlimited journeys after midday to and from the city on any operators’ services. The idea is to enable people to use the bus to travel to all evening and afternoon matinee performances, more of which have been programmed during the season’s run to make it easier for people to choose public transport as their travel option.
The Green Season opens on Thursday 28 September at Leeds Grand Theatre with a new production of Verdi’s Falstaff. This hilarious opera sees Sir John Falstaff, Shakespeare’s comic knight, trying to fill his empty coffers by seducing two wealthy wives. What seems like a foolproof plan rapidly unravels however, when the women concerned cotton on to him and decide to teach him a lesson he will never forget.
This is followed by the world premiere of Masque of Might. In the spirit of the season, this new show ‘repurposes’ the sublime music of baroque composer Purcell to tell the tale of a power-hungry dictator who thinks little of destroying the world around him – until, that is, nature rises up to take its revenge. Told with a keen eye for the witty and satirical, the story is delivered by means of a masque, the seventeenth century version of a variety show.
Completing the Green Season is Puccini’s La rondine. Best-known as the composer of La bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly, Puccini’s romantic streak comes to the fore in this later work which sees Magda, a wealthy man’s mistress, risking it all to follow her heart’s desire in pursuit of true love. In this new production directed by James Hurley, 1930s Paris and the glamour of the Riviera provide an elegantly stylish background as the drama between the lovers plays out on stage accompanied by Puccini’s sweeping score.
Opera North’s Green Season opens at Leeds Grand Theatre with Falstaff on 28 September, followed by Masque of Might on 6 October, and Puccini’s La rondine on 20 October. All three productions will tour to Newcastle Theatre Royal, Theatre Royal, Nottingham, and The Lowry, Salford.
For more information and to book tickets, visit operanorth.co.uk
Main Picture shows rehearsal picture of Henry Waddington at Falstaff. Picture Credit Tom Arber