Opera North’s packed Christmas programme in Leeds

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Opera North will be spreading festive cheer in Leeds as it dashes through December with a packed programme of orchestral and choral spectaculars, live soundtracks and pop-up performances.

The company, which has just celebrated its 40th anniversary, kicks off Christmas with a UK premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night, opening at Leeds Town Hall on November 30.

The show follows the true story of the 1914 Christmas truce in the trenches of the Western Front. An international cast joins the Orchestra of Opera North and a 100-strong male chorus including singers from the Chorus and Youth Chorus of Opera North, students from the Royal Northern College of Music and members of the community. A performance by the Silent Night Creatives, a community ensemble featuring 22 men aged between 16 and 80, will precede the first performance at 6.15pm, and the matinee on Sunday, December 2 from 3.15pm.

Younger members of the audience are also catered for - on December 16 the Orchestra of Opera North will perform the live

soundtrack to a screening of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved animation The Snowman along with excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker at Leeds Town Hall.

On December 17, the Opera North Festive Fanfare returns to Trinity Leeds at 2.40pm. Young singers from the company’s In Harmony schools programme will be joined by the Chorus of Opera North and a brass ensemble from the Orchestra of Opera North to serenade shoppers.

The Viennese Whirl (Leeds Town Hall, December 30) will perform a glittering collection of music as heard at the Musikverein in Vienna in celebration of the New Year. For more information and to book tickets, visit operanorth.co.uk or call 0844 848 2720.