Opera North Switches ON for autumn

Published: 19 August 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Abel Selaocoe, composer of the new soundwalk for Leeds Credit: Mlungisi Mlungwana
Whistle Stop Opera Hansel and Gretel being performed in 2017
Song of our Heartland community rehearsals in Shildon, November 2019 Credit: Graeme Rowatt

Switch ON, Opera North's programme of new outdoor events and digital projects, takes place across the North of England this autumn following the postponement of the season previously planned. Opera North’s new concert staging of Parsifal, scheduled to be performed at concert halls across the country in spring 2021, remains on sale, while autumn productions are to be rescheduled.

Switch ON activities include:

  • As You Are, a new 'soundwalk' for Leeds composed by cellist Abel Selaocoe
  • A film of Will Todd's community opera Song of Our Heartland
  • Whistle Stop Opera: Hansel and Gretel performed live outdoors
  • A digital project bringing act III of La bohème to cities across the North.

Richard Mantle, General Director of Opera North, said, “Switch ON is our first step back to sharing music and performance with audiences in villages, towns and cities across the North of England. We have not been silent during lockdown, with thousands of people from around the world engaging with films of our work online from the Ring cycle to The Turn of the Screw, and over 1,000 amateur singers taking part in weekly lessons alongside the Chorus of Opera North in From Couch to Chorus, but we are delighted now to be announcing this first selection of new work.

“The overall picture regarding live indoor performances remains unclear over the next few months. We hope to be able to plan and present more live performance of great opera and music for audiences across our region, in as many different cities and communities as possible, once we are able to perform within social distancing guidelines."