Fairy Tales With A Modern Twist
When its all over and the new year winter blues set in what better way than to recreate the magic that has just gone with a visit to Opera North and their special fairy tale programme.
Opera North’s Winter Season enjoys a magical start this January as the Company brings a contemporary twist on three traditional fairy tales to theatres across the North of England
The Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov is a rare opportunity to see an opera which has not been staged professionally in the UK for over 60 years. Director John Fulljames blurs the boundaries between fantasy and modern day reality in this poignant tale of Grandfather Frost and Spring Beauty’s daughter who, while susceptible to human desire, hides a tragic secret: a fragile heart of ice which will melt if she falls in love. Irish mezzo-soprano Aoife Miskelly makes her Opera North debut as the Snow Maiden.
Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel tells the classic story of two children lost in the woods and forced to outwit a wicked witch to ensure their survival. This may be the best-loved of the operatic fairy tales, but the beauty of the music belies an unsettling twist as the action unfolds on stage. One of Britain’s leading sopranos, Susan Bullock CBE, appears in the dual role of the Witch and the children’s mother, while Katie Bray and Fflur Wyn return to the Opera North stage as Hansel and Gretel.
Completing the trio is Cinderella by Rossini. The perfect family treat, this romantic comic opera celebrates the power of music, dance and love as Cinderella overcomes all the odds to claim her prince. Audiences can look forward to seeing and hearing two young international stars in the lead roles with Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta as Cinderella and South African tenor Sunnyboy Dladla as her prince, Don Ramiro.
Opera North’s fairy tale season opens at Leeds Grand Theatre on Saturday 21 January, after which all three operas will tour to Newcastle Theatre Royal, The Lowry at Salford Quays, Belfast’s Grand Opera House and Nottingham Theatre Royal. Hansel and Gretel Schools’ Matinees and community ‘Whistle Stop’ performances are planned at every venue.