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Opera North hits the high notes in Hull

12 March 2024

Opera North returns to Hull this spring with a range of opportunities for people of all ages to engage with opera and live performance both on and off the stage.

  • Mozart’s Così fan tutte heads to Hull New Theatre
  • Under 30s and Try it ON schemes engage young people and anyone new to opera
  • University of Hull partnership promises exciting opportunities for the city’s students

Comedy is the order of the day on Thursday 4 and Saturday 6 April when Opera North brings Così fan tutte to Hull New Theatre. Mozart’s much-loved opera sees two sisters being put to the test by their fiancés in disguise, thanks to an ill-advised bet that neither woman will remain faithful if tempted. What follows is a wry look at the game of love filled with seduction, revelations and surprises. To ensure as many people as possible get a chance to experience the thrill of live opera, Under 30s and students can catch a show for just £10, while newcomers to opera can enjoy some of the best seats in the house with two tickets for £20 each through the Try it ON scheme.

Tim Albery’s classic production, set in the 18th Century Age of Reason, features Alexandra Lowe as Fiordiligi and Heather Lowe as Dorabella, with Anthony Gregory and Henry Neill as their duplicitous lovers Ferrando and Guglielmo. Chloe Rooke makes her Opera North debut conducting the beguiling score, one of Mozart’s most breathtakingly beautiful. As Anthony Gregory says: “The music is ravishing – Mozart at his absolute peak – and the production is fun, clever and beautiful to look at. It’s sure to be a wonderful evening’s entertainment. Do come and see us!”

Così fan tutte will be performed at 7pm on Thursday 4 April and at 2.30pm on the Saturday, with English subtitles at both shows ensuring audiences can follow the plots with ease.

Opera North’s presence in the city moves beyond the theatre into the wider community as it builds on its existing relationship with the University of Hull. A new 3-year partnership will lead to more student-focused activity, collaboration on research, knowledge sharing and increased public engagement. A review of the company’s autumn Green Season - sharing learnings around staging sustainable productions - has already been held with the School of Music; a screening of Masque of Might, a new environmentally-themed opera created especially for the Green Season, has been held in Middleton Hall; and the same venue recently hosted a performance of Little Listeners: Cinderella introducing opera to local families and members of Hull Children’s University through an innovative retelling of the traditional fairytale. An MA student from the University is also currently working as an intern with Opera North to explore new ways of engaging university students more actively with the art-form.

Becky Smith, Head of Academic Partnerships at Opera North, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the University of Hull and building on previous activity with them. Hull has always been a key city for us – in fact, Middleton Hall was the chosen location for the first concert after lockdown, as well as being selected by the Opera North Youth Orchestra for one of their first public performances. We are now looking forward to a structured, long-term partnership reflecting our shared commitment to making a positive contribution to learning and musical excellence, as well as increasing opportunities for students to engage with the arts and to prepare them for working in the cultural industries.”

Amongst other activity, the partnership will provide opportunities for academics and students to attend dress rehearsals in Opera North’s home city of Leeds, alongside insight visits and student placements, giving valuable glimpses into the workings of a large opera company. Students will also be able to watch the final productions when they tour to Hull with many already planning on seeing Così fan tutte next month.

Professor Darren Mundy, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education at the University of Hull, added:

“Our partnership with Opera North provides brilliant opportunities for both our students and staff. They gain insight into the operations of an award-winning, leading UK arts organisation, and work with them in understanding significant issues impacting on the Arts nationally and internationally. We are glad to see Opera North performances return to Hull enabling our community to gain access to their outstanding works.”

Natasha agarwal as cinderella in little listeners cinderella performed at middleton hall tom arber
Alexandra lowe as fiordiligi gillene butterfield as despina and heather lowe as dorabella in opera north s production of così fan tutte james glossop