Opera North live Fidelio dates at Leeds Town Hall as 2021 events programme takes shape

A Leeds opera company has shared plans for its first large scale production in more than a year as it builds back towards a fuller programme of public events.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:45 pm

Opera North plans to give four live performances of Fidelio, Beethoven’s only opera, as well as taking part in a gala concert at The Lowry in Salford Quays.

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Originally due to be performed in November 2020, a subsequent livestream of Fidelio that was filmed behind closed doors at Leeds Town Hall proved to be both a critical and audience success last year.

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Fidelio was livestreamed from behind closed doors last year at Leeds Town Hall where live performances open to socially-distanced are now planned. Picture: Richard H Smith

The same cast will return to bring the performance to live, socially-distanced audiences for the first time at the town on Wednesday June 9 and Saturday June 12, followed by dates in Salford and Nottingham.

In the coming weeks, Opera North and Leeds Playhouse will also confirm new dates for their co-production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.

Opera North general director Richard Mantle said: "Following the challenges of the last year, we are very pleased to announce our return to live performances as we prepare to welcome audiences once again.

"During this long period when it has not been possible to perform live, we have certainly not been silent, and we have made great strides in recording and streaming large-scale pieces within social distancing restrictions over the last few months.

The Whitehall Road Sessions, a series of chamber concerts, will be streamed live on YouTube and Opera North’s ONDemand platform. Picture: Justin Slee.

"Our 2020 livestream of Fidelio, with our wonderful Chorus and Orchestra alongside some truly outstanding soloists, was a musical highlight of the past year which we can’t wait to share with audiences in person."

Before live performances are able to restart, a new series of weekly livestreamed chamber concerts will feature soloists and small ensembles from the Orchestra of Opera North.

Free to watch, The Whitehall Road Sessions will be streamed live on YouTube and Opera North’s ONDemand platform.

The series of five concerts, broadcast live from the company’s rehearsal studio in Whitehall Road, will run at 6pm on April 22, April 29, May 6, May 20 and May 27.

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