As lockdown continues to impact live performance, Opera North has announced a range of options, from powerful productions to intimate chamber concerts, to entertain viewers at home.

Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck) [pictured]

Watch at – Free

A chance to watch the artistry of music-making from a different perspective as the camera goes behind-the-scenes during the recording of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for BBC Radio 3’s Opera on 3. The performance took place behind closed doors at Leeds Town Hall due to the pandemic, with Laurence Cummings conducting the Orchestra of Opera North and a cast including Paula Murrihy, Fflur Wyn and Daisy Brown.

Fidelio (Beethoven)

Available until 8 April 2022 at – £15

This critically-acclaimed dramatic concert staging of Beethoven’s only opera was originally livestreamed in December from Leeds Town Hall. It is now available to rent at £15 for seven days. Conducted by Mark Wigglesworth with a 33-piece orchestra and 24-strong chorus, it is performed by an impressive cast of internationally-renowned singers including Rachel Nicholls, Toby Spence, Robert Hayward and Brindley Sherratt.

The Whitehall Road Sessions

Watch – Free

These chamber concerts feature soloists and small ensembles and are livestreamed on a Thursday on YouTube and ONDemand from Opera North’s rehearsal studio at Whitehall Road in Leeds. The first two included repertoire from Schubert and Debussy, as well as a guest appearance by South Asian multi-instrumentalist Vijay Venkat playing the venu (a Hindustani classical flute).
This week, Thursday 6 May, sees a celebration of works by neglected female composers including Lili Boulanger’s D’un matin de printemps and Farrenc’s Piano Quintet No. 2. The ensemble will be joined by singer, composer and instrumentalist Alice Zawadzki for a live performance of My Boy of the Birds, her contribution to the Walking Home sound walk series composed during the first lockdown as part of the BBC Arts and Arts Council England’s Culture in Quarantine programme.

Orpheus in the Record Shop

Watch on – Free

Inspired by the ancient Greek myth, acclaimed rapper and playwright Testament fuses spoken word and beatboxing with a cinematic score performed by the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North. Originally performed during Connecting Voices at Leeds Playhouse, it has been reworked for film by Alex Ramseyer-Bache and James Brining as part of the BBC Lights Up season. 

Kirklees Concert Season: Bach and Mozart Concertos

Watch: from Thursday 13 May

Celebrating the announcement of the Kirklees Concert Season 2021-22, this specially recorded performance sees the Orchestra of Opera North joined by pianist Ian Buckle in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14, and violinist Jack Liebeck in Bach’s Double Violin Concerto.   

With the conductor-less ensembles relying on incredibly close communication, these eighteenth-century masterpieces take on a new significance in our age of social distancing, as musicians and audiences look forward to the end of a long, enforced solitude.