Opera North returns to Newcastle in October

Published: 19 September 2018
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Opera North brings a new production and a classic revival to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal in October.

Puccini’s Tosca (23, 25 and 27 October) is a new production directed by Edward Dick (Hansel and Gretel for Opera North in 2017), starring Belfast-born Giselle Allen (Cavalleria rusticana and Osud) as Floria Tosca (not 23 October), Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas (Un ballo in maschera) as Cavaradossi and British baritone Robert Hayward (Andrea Chénier) as Scarpia.

Susannah Glanville will play Tosca on Tuesday 23 October.

The revival is of Giles Havergal’s production of The Merry Widow (24 and 26 October), which stars Katie Bird as Hanna Glawari, Quirijn de Lang as Danilo and Geoffrey Dolton as Baron Zeta.

This production uses Kit Hesketh-Harvey’s English translation rather than the more usual one by Jeremy Sams and set and costumes are by Leslie Travers.

“Opera North’s purpose is to create extraordinary experiences every day, using music and opera to entertain, engage, challenge and inspire,” said Richard Mantle, Opera North’s General Director. “In this, our 40th year, we seek to reinvigorate our incredible art form for the 21st century, and to share our work in new ways with more people across the whole of the North of England and beyond.”

For those who are undecided whether to try opera, Opera North is offering a free ‘pop-up’ version, Whistle Stop Opera, at the Lit & Phil in Westgate Road at 4:00 on Monday 22 October. The half-hour crash course in opera provides a bite-sized introduction to four different works as a group of professional opera singers and an accordionist perform scenes and songs packed with comedy, deceit, love and tragedy. After the performance, there will be a chance to ask the cast about the production and opera more generally.

In addition, the company is offering a 45-minute Little Listeners concert for babies, toddlers and children under 7 at Seven Stories in the Ouseburn Valley at 11:30 on Friday 26 October. The event is kept as relaxed as possible with the young audience welcome to move around as they wish and to get up close to the instruments. Tickets are £5 for both adults and children and are available from Seven Stories.

Then at 1:30 Little Singers is designed especially for adults, tots and babies, exploring the theme of light and dark. Suitable for children aged 5 and under, the £5 tickets are also available from Seven Stories.