Rhinegold Performances postponed at Opera North's home, the Leeds Grand Theatre

Owen Mortimer

Opera North’s Autumn/Winter seasons postponed

10:34, 2nd July 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the latest guidance on live performances, Opera North has announced the postponement of all its mainstage productions in its Autumn 2020 and Winter 2021 seasons. The productions affected are: La TraviataJack the RipperTrouble in Tahiti / West Side Story Symphonic Dances (in association with Phoenix Dance Theatre), CarmenAlcina, and The Girl of the Golden West.
A new season of artistic activity is being curated and devised for the autumn, including a range of live musical and operatic performances, together with  a series of  digital events. An ‘interactive soundwalk’ in Opera North’s home city of Leeds has been commissioned, with a new score to be recorded with the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North. Audiences for the soundwalk will be given a set of headphones connected to a wireless receiver, triggering new musical chapters at different points on the walk through Leeds.

Meanwhile, Opera North intends to mount a mainstage season in January 2021 together with a northern tour, and is planning alternative repertoire in order to ensure a financially viable and agile Winter season, tailored to be responsive to the ongoing need for social distancing for audiences, performers and backstage staff. A further announcement regarding the Winter season is expected in September.

Opera North’s new concert staging of Wagner’s Parsifal, scheduled to be performed at concert halls across the country in Spring 2021, remains on sale.

Richard Mantle, general director of Opera North, said : ‘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.

‘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.’

Details of activities through the autumn and winter, as well as information about future seasons at Opera North will be made available on the company’s website. Information about ticket refunds to Opera North’s customers can also be found here: www.operanorth.co.uk
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