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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

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The latest news about how the Coronavirus will affect Opera North’s activity and audiences, updated at 3.00pm on Wednesday 18 March.

In response to the rapidly changing situation we have been working with our partners in touring venues and concert halls to assess which of our forthcoming performances and activity have been affected. Our immediate priority is the health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff and so regrettably we have made the decision to cancel or postpone all public facing activity until the end of April. Together with our partner venues we are now in the process of contacting audiences and participants to arrange a ticket transfer or refund. A full list of affected events can be found below.

This is undoubtedly a time of great challenge for Opera North and our peers but we are determined to respond with creativity and resilience. We will honour the contracts of all guest artists to the end of our current main stage opera season and those of guest orchestral players until the end of April. We are working with our many education and community partners to ascertain what work can still be delivered in those settings, and will focus our creativity and core resources on finding new ways of using music and opera to enhance people’s lives. In these uncertain times it feels more important than ever that we use music to connect with each other. We are proud to play an active role in our communities, working with audiences of all ages from primary students in schools through to over 55s in participatory singing groups. We don’t yet know how, but where we can we will strive to find new ways to share the joy of music be it in person or online.

We will no doubt face a number of challenges as we go forward and we wish to thank our audiences and supporters for their continued and much valued support. We are focused on returning with a full main stage season of opera in September 2020 and we hope that audiences will be able to help us over the coming weeks and months by continuing to book their tickets for the 2020/21 season of incredible opera we have planned, or by becoming a Friend of Opera North.

More than ever we will all need our friends to navigate the coming weeks and months.

We will continue to update as events develop, but in the meantime we hope you will all stay safe and look forward to welcoming audiences to an Opera North performance again soon.

Richard Mantle
General Director

Cancellations and changes

Opera performances in Nottingham

Following official government advice issued on Monday 16 March, stipulating that people should avoid public buildings including theatres to help slow the spread of coronavirus, the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham will be closed until Sunday 12 April.

Ticket holders for the Opera North performances this week will be contacted directly by the box office team at the Theatre Royal and offered the chance to exchange tickets for a future Opera North season or a full refund.  Ticket holders will not need to contact the venues directly.  Due to the number of performances affected at the theatre it may take some time to contact all bookers, so we ask our audience to bear with us at this busy time and thank them for their patience and understanding.


The following Opera North concerts at Leeds Town Hall, CBSO, Huddersfield Town Hall and Dewsbury Town Hall have now been cancelled; ticket holders will be contacted by the relevant box office.

Lunchtime concert: Violin and Piano – Wed 18 March, Dewsbury Town Hall

Arya sitar concerto – Thu 19 March, CBSO

Orchestra of Opera North: A Space Odyssey – Thu 26 March, Huddersfield Town Hall

Orchestra of Opera North: A Space Odyssey – Sat 28 March, Leeds Town Hall

Inspiration: West End and Broadway – Sun 29 March, Leeds Town Hall

Room on the Broom and The Highway Rat – Sat 11 April, Leeds Town Hall


The performances of Green Eggs and Ham at the National Centre for Early Music in York on Sunday 22 March have been cancelled. Ticket holders will be contacted by the NCEM box office as soon as possible.

Youth ensemble rehearsals and Sing ON sessions have also been suspended until further notice.

Updated on 18 March: We are very sorry to announce that all rehearsals and the scheduled performances on 29 and 30 May of Song of our Heartland, our new community opera in partnership with Northern Heartlands, have now been cancelled in response to Government advice regarding COVID-19. We hope to be able to continue this exciting project in the future, but in the meantime the safety and wellbeing of participants, audiences and staff are our highest concern. We would like to thank Northern Heartlands and everyone who has contributed to this project, including everyone who attended workshops and rehearsals and the wonderful creative team, for all of their hard work on this to date. Ticket bookers will be contacted directly.

Other performances and activity

We are contacting our other partners in venues for performances and concerts in the coming weeks and will provide an update on these as soon as possible.

Our priority is the safety of our audiences, artists and staff and ask you to bear with us as we respond to a rapidly changing situation.


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