Thursday, July 7

Opera North Postpones Autumn / Winter Seasons

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the government’s advice regarding social gatherings and live performance, Opera North are very sorry to announce the postponement of all mainstage productions due to tour in Autumn 2020 and Winter 2021.

The following productions are postponed and will be rescheduled over the next two years: La traviata, Jack the Ripper, Trouble in Tahiti / West Side Story Symphonic Dances, Carmen, Alcina and The Girl of the Golden West.

Ticket holders for performances at Leeds Grand Theatre will be contacted as soon as possible by Opera North to refund all bookings. If you are a ticket holder for these events at The Lowry in Salford Quays, Theatre Royal Newcastle or Theatre Royal Nottingham, the venue box office will contact you directly to arrange a refund.

Opera North would like to thank all of our audiences and supporters for their much-appreciated support and understanding at this most challenging time for performing companies, artists and theatres.

Anna Jeruc-Kopec as Violetta and Ji-Min Park as Alfredo (centre) in La Traviata 2015 © Richard H Smith

Plans for Autumn and Winter

A new season of artistic activity for the Autumn 2020 season is being curated and devised, including a range of live musical and operatic performances, respecting government guidelines, together with innovative digital events for audiences in Leeds and across the North.

Opera North are pleased to be able to announce the first of these today: an interactive outdoor soundwalk for our home city of Leeds, for audiences to experience through headphones on a route through the city. A new score will be composed especially for the event to be recorded with the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North. This follows the success of previous soundwalks including The Height of the Reeds, created for the Humber Bridge as part of Hull 2017 City of Culture.

Opera North intend to tour a mainstage season in January 2021 and we are planning alternative repertoire in order to ensure a financially viable and agile Winter season, tailored to be responsive to ongoing need for social distancing for audiences, performers and backstage staff.

Their new concert staging of Parsifal, scheduled to be performed at concert halls across the country in Spring 2021, remains on sale.

Details of new events for Autumn 2020 and Winter 2021 will be announced as soon as possible.

School pupils take part in a mini opera performance © Jonny Walton

Richard Mantle, General Director, Opera North:

“We have continued to monitor the UK Government’s advice on social gatherings and the guidelines applicable to performing companies, theatres and public venues. It is now evident that it is no longer possible for Opera North to produce, rehearse and tour these large-scale productions as originally planned.

“We have been in close discussion with Leeds Grand Theatre and our partner touring venues, and it is increasingly unlikely that any of these theatres can remain open to enable large-scale productions to happen. While we are very disappointed to have to postpone these productions, the continued safety and wellbeing of our audience, performers and staff is our highest priority. We continue to work closely with our venues and colleagues within the theatre and music industry to see how we can rehearse and perform with safety, so that we can return to live performance of great opera and music as soon as possible.

“Rehearsals for our Autumn season were due to begin later this month, with technical deadlines for designing and building sets, costumes and other production elements for the Winter season also fast approaching. We do not believe it is prudent under current economic circumstances to continue production work on these titles for this year, given the unavoidable reduction in box office revenue, the uncertainty around theatres reopening, and the scale and cost of a production such as Carmen, which involves more than 100 performers, as well as creative and technical staff.

“We remain committed to making live music and creating extraordinary experiences, every day, for and with the communities we serve. Live or digitally, in classrooms, theatres, concert halls, homes and public spaces; we will continue to share music with people of all ages and backgrounds.”

Ticket holders will be contacted as soon as possible by the Box Office they booked with to arrange a refund. Please be aware this may take some time due to limited staffing. In the meantime, we hope our Refund FAQs will help answer any queries.

Should people have a question, the best way to contact the Box Office is by emailing boxoffice@operanorth.co.uk If you need to speak to Opera North, call 0113 223 3600 where you can leave a message, but please be aware that the phone line is likely to be very busy.

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