As many of you will already be aware, bdb are proud sponsors of Opera North, a national opera company based in Leeds. They are a leading UK arts organisation who believe opera and music is for everyone, and champion diversity in artists, repertoire and audiences.
It is well documented that the arts are facing many challenges in-light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. With no clear date for when live performances at theatres can safely resume, Opera North have recently announced the postponement of their autumn and winter seasons.
As with many other organisations, they are now thinking creatively about alternate ways to deliver their content safely. I recently caught up with them and it was energising to hear their excitement around the new opportunities that have arisen. They are looking at potential outdoor performances and experiences as well as other ways to engage audiences.
In the meantime, there are a number of resources that you can access safely from the comfort of your own home to get that culture hit!
This year, Opera North’s production of Benjamin Britten’s spine-chilling chamber opera The Turn of the Screw became their first production to be streamed live. You can watch the production online in full, for free, in partnership with Opera Vision until 21 August. You can also watch Opera North’s acclaimed staging of Wagner’s epic masterpiece online.
If you fancy a look at what goes on behind the scenes you can discover the fascinating backstage world at Opera North during a live performance of Verdi’s La traviata in 2015. It’s available on BBC iPlayer until 26 July.
Finally, if you would like to dip your toes in the water and try a bit of opera singing for yourself, then their beginner’s guide to singing opera might be for you. Starting next week Opera North are commencing a four week programme of virtual workshops called Couch to Chorus. Singing is well known for providing an endorphin hit so why not learn a new skill? The workshops are ‘pay as you feel’ and you can find out more here.