Tips & Reviews

Guest Post: Busting 5 Myths About Opera with Opera North

January 11, 2019

As you may have noticed Dr C has frequently written about opera and theatre for me. She’s a huge fan and has recently been to some of Opera North’s productions. Today she’s busting some myths about opera and sharing why opera could be for you!

Disclaimer – Dr C has been invited to a number of Opera North’s productions recently. Over to Dr C…

I was lucky enough to be asked along to Opera North’s recent production of Puccini’s Tosca. It was marvellous. Beautiful staging, wonderful music and exceptional singing. I’ve been along to quite a few of Opera North’s recent productions and I’ve never failed to be impressed. I’ve also been lucky enough to catch Don Giovanni at the Vienna State Opera House and a different production of Tosca in Budapest. It got me to thinking. I rave about the opera to everyone I can, but not everyone seems as keen as I’d love them to be. So with the help of Opera North I want to dispel some of the myths around opera and show you just how accessible it can be.

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Madam Butterfly Crowd Shot – Tom Arber

“It’s in Italian, I won’t understand it”

True, a vast majority of Operas are sung in Italian, but nearly all have handy subtitles to keep you in the loop. What I’ve come to realise it that I don’t end up paying attention to the subtitles most of the time. The music, acting and singing are all so powerfully evocative that it’s easy to follow the action. On top of that there are some cracking Operas like The Merry Widow which are sung in English

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Tosca – Robert Hayward as Scarpia and the Chorus of Opera North, credit to Richard H Smith

“It’s really expensive”

Like most things in life it can be, but tickets to Opera North productions start from as little as £15 depending on where you choose to sit. Opera North also run a fantastic Under 30’s programme. If you’re 19-29 or a full time student you can join the FREE initiative and bag yourself tickets for £10 as well as a host of other benefits and discounts.

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Don Giovanni – John Savournin as Leporello, credit to Bill Cooper

“Isn’t there a really strict dress code?”

Not anymore, times have moved on! What I’ve found is that you’ll be just as comfortable wearing your day to day clothes as you would be putting on your glad rags. I do have to admit that I always like to make a bit of an occasion of it as dress up a little bit

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Madama Butterfly – Richard H Smith

“But don’t Operas drag on for hours?”

While most might be a little longer than your average cinema release there are handy intermissions to allow the sets to be changed up. I always use this as a handy excuse to run to the bar and treat myself to a glass of something bubbly. I did say that I do like to make an event of going to the Opera!

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Mini Magic Flute – Charlotte Trepess in The Mini Magic Flute, create to Mark McNulty

“Isn’t Opera for older people?”

No, completely not! Opera North run their fantastic Under 30’s scheme, and they also run operas for children to get the younger generation involved too. Their next mini production is The Mini Magic Flute.

So if you’ve got some Christmas money sloshing around in your pockets and don’t feel like braving the sales, why don’t you treat yourself to a night at the opera? Opera North have a great spring programme planned at The Lowry with something for everyone:

Tuesday 5 March 2019 – The Magic Flute (Mozart)

Thursday 7 March 2019 – Katya Kabanova (Janacek)

Friday 8 March 2019 – The Rite of Spring with Phoenix Dance Theatre (Stravinsky) and Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)

Don’t be disheartened if you’re not Manchester based, these productions will also be touring Leeds, Nottingham and Newcastle. Just pop along to the Opera North website to check dates.

Are you an opera fan already? Or has Dr C convinced you to check out an opera production? Let me know in the comments,

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P.S. Disclaimer – Dr C has been invited to a number of Opera North’s productions recently.

2 Comments

  • Reply Chyaz January 13, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    I have to say, going to the opera is never something I’ve considered (and I’m a theatre geek, so there’s no excuse really!) This post has made me add it to my ‘must do’ list for 2019, and hopefully even make something more regular out of it 🙂 Brill post!

  • Reply Ryan January 13, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    I love the opera. I also really like the ballet, but that’s another misunderstood art. Great post.

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