Opera North has announced their repertoire for Autumn 2019 and Winter 2020, headlined by new productions of Bohuslav Martinů’s rarely performed The Greek Passion and Kurt Weill’s great American opera, Street Scene.
The season showcases the best of Opera North, with revivals of some of their most popular and critically-acclaimed productions programmed alongside these adventurous new productions of two masterpieces from the 20th Century, which, although very different in character, both focus on the plight of displaced people and the experiences of communities at times of great change.
Opening the year in September 2019, The Greek Passion will be directed by Christopher Alden, designed by Charles Edwards and conducted by Garry Walker, with an ensemble cast including Nicky Spence as Manolios and Magdalena Molendowska as Katerina. Set in a remote community, Martinů’s final opera explores the divisions created in the village when refugees arrive, pleading for food and shelter, at the same time as the villagers are preparing their roles for the traditional Easter Passion play. Opera North, recently announced as a Theatre of Sanctuary, presents a new production of this urgent plea for compassion and tolerance, in what must surely be one of the essential operatic events of the year.
Returning to Opera North in Autumn 2019, Tim Albery’s thrilling production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare will be conducted by one of today’s leading early music conductors, Christian Curnyn. Mezzo-soprano Justina Gringytė makes her Opera North debut in the title role, while Sophie Bevan joins the Company for the first time as Cleopatra. Counter-tenor James Laing returns to this production in the role of Tolomeo.
Phyllida Lloyd’s classic staging of Puccini’s La bohème completes the Autumn; a production which has, over the years, provided an ideal introduction to live opera for countless newcomers. It is revived as part of the season which sees the launch of Try It ON, Opera North’s new initiative to offer first time attendees £20 tickets for all performances. La bohème will be revived by Michael Barker-Caven, with a new international cast showcasing some of the most promising young artists of today, many of whom make their Opera North debuts, including Lauren Fagan and Katie Bird as Mimì, and Eleazar Rodríguez and Thomas Atkins as Rodolfo.
Opening the Winter 2020 season, Giselle Allen and Robert Hayward head the cast as Anna and Frank Maurrant in Weill’s Street Scene, in a new production by Matthew Eberhardt, with designs by Francis O’Connor. This is Opera North’s first production of a work the composer himself regarded as his masterpiece, which will be conducted by James Holmes, one of the world’s leading authorities on the music of Weill.
Also in the Winter, Antony Hermus (Tosca, 2018) returns to Opera North to conduct Jo Davies’ meticulously detailed production of Mozart’s sublime human comedy The Marriage of Figaro in Leslie Travers’ beautiful designs, whilst Leo McFall takes the helm for Alessandro Talevi’s truly chilling production of one of Britten’s consummate masterpieces, The Turn of the Screw, with Sarah Tynan making her role debut as the Governess.
Audiences and Engagement
Continuing Opera North’s commitment to growing their audience, a new scheme for 2019/20, Try It ON will ensure that 20 stalls tickets are available at a significantly reduced rate of £20 for every performance in Nottingham, bookable by anyone who is new to Opera North’s main stage work. In addition to a cheaper ticket, audiences trying opera for the first time will receive additional information and insights in advance of the performance. The Under 30s scheme also enables anyone aged 16-29 or full-time students to book £10 tickets at all performances.
OPERA NORTH: 2019 & 2020
Theatre Royal Nottingham
Tuesday 5 – Saturday 9 November 2019
La bohème, Tue 5 Nov, Thu 7 Nov, Fri 8 Nov 2019 7.30pm
Giulio Cesare, Wed 6 Nov 7pm
The Greek Passion, Sat 9 Nov 7.30pm
Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 March 2020
Street Scene, Tue 17 March, Fri 20 March 2020 7pm
The Marriage of Figaro, Wed 18 March, Sat 21 March 2020 7pm
The Turn of the Screw, Thu 19 March 2020 7.30pm
£15 – £65 plus discounts for Under 18s, Under 30s and Full-time Students, Over 60s, Registered Unwaged, Groups and Schools www.trch.co.uk 0115 989 5555
On Sale to Royal Members* Mon 11 March 9am, On General Sale Friday 15 March 9am