Opera North: History and Repertoire, Seasons 1997-98 to 2003-04
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Opera North: History and Repertoire, Seasons 1997%E2%80%9398 to 2003%E2%80%9304

Opera North is an opera company based at The Grand Theatre, Leeds. This article covers the period between the departure of Paul Daniel (music director 1990-1997) and the arrival of Richard Farnes (music director 2004-present).


During the seasons 1997-8 and 1998-9, while the company was looking for a successor to Daniel, Elgar Howarth held the title of Music Advisor. The company mounted ten new productions and seven revivals, led by a total of eighteen different conductors, among them Steuart Bedford, Wyn Davies, Oliver von Dohnányi, Paul Goodwin and András Ligeti, as well as Howarth himself, Paul Daniel, Richard Farnes and Steven Sloane, who became Music Director in 1999. When he departed in 2002, Sloane had conducted a further ten new productions and two revivals, while fifteen other conductors, including Stephen Barlow, Harry Bicket and David Parry were also employed by the company.

Another interregnum (2002-4) ensued before the appointment of Sloane's successor, Richard Farnes, with new names on the podium including Martin André, Martyn Brabbins, Frédéric Chaslin, William Lacey, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Grant Llewellyn and Mark Shanahan.

There was one world premiere during this period - Simon Holt's The Nightingale's to Blame - and a number of rarities: Martin?'s Julietta, Schumann's Genoveva, Verdi's Giovanna d'Arco, Handel's Radamisto and Shostakovich's operetta Paradise Moscow. The Bartered Bride was successfully updated to the Prague Spring period, Tristan und Isolde was semi-staged at Leeds Town Hall and elsewhere, and musical theatre was represented by George Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing and Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.

The unusual final segment of the 2003-4 season attracted a great deal of interest and a number of awards.[1] Under the title "Eight Little Greats", the company presented eight one-act operas, each by a different composer. Two were performed per night and additionally there were two-opera matinées on Saturdays, all in various combinations. Operas could be booked individually or as double-bills. A company of 21 principals was assembled, and most of them appeared in more than one of the operas. Four operas were directed by David Pountney and four by Christopher Alden; three were conducted by Martin André and four by David Parry; Johan Engels was responsible for all of the sets and three different costume designers were engaged.


Below is a list of main stage[a] operas performed by the company during this period.

Season Opera[b] Composer Principal cast Conductor Director Designer[c]
1997-98 Aida Verdi Josephine Barstow (Aida), Edmund Barham (Radames), Sally Burgess (Amneris), Jonathan Summers (Amonasro) Giuliano Carella Revival of 1985-6 production
1997-98 Così fan tutte Mozart Elena Ferrari (Fiordiligi), Alice Coote/Claire Evans (Dorabella), Jeffrey Stewart (Ferrando), Garry Magee (Guglielmo), Margaret Preece (Despina), Eric Roberts (Don Alfonso) Martin Fitzpatrick Revival of 1996-7 production
1997-98 Julietta Martin? Rebecca Caine (Julietta), Paul Nilon (Mischa) Steuart Bedford David Pountney Stefanos Lazaridis
1997-98 The Magic Flute Mozart Jamie MacDougall/Jeffrey Stewart (Tamino), Margaret Richardson (Pamina), Eric Roberts (Papageno), Clive Bayley (Sarastro), Cara O'Sullivan/Laure Meloy (Queen of the Night) Brad Cohen/
Martin Pickard
Annabel Arden Roswitha Gerlitz
1997-98 Sweeney Todd Sondheim Steven Page (Sweeney Todd), Beverley Klein (Mrs Lovett) James Holmes David McVicar Michael Vale/
Kevin Knight
1997-98 The Barber of Seville Rossini Roderick Williams (Figaro), Ann Taylor (Rosina), Iain Paton (Almaviva), Eric Roberts (Dr Bartolo) Daniel Beckwith/
Dominic Wheeler
Revival of 1986-7 production
1997-98 Eugene Onegin Tchaikovsky Alwyn Mellor (Tatyana), Peter Savidge (Onegin), Paul Nilon (Lensky), Emer McGilloway (Olga) Steven Sloane/
Martin Pickard
Dalia Ibelhauptait? Giles Cadle/
Sue Willmington
1997-98 Giovanna d'Arco Verdi Susannah Glanville (Giovanna), Julian Gavin (Carlo VII), Keith Latham (Giacomo) Richard Farnes Philip Prowse Philip Prowse
1997-98 Of Thee I Sing Gershwin William Dazeley (Wintergreen), Margaret Preece (Mary), Kim Criswell (Diana Devereux), Steven Beard (Alexander Throttlebottom) Wyn Davies Caroline Gawn Charles Edwards/
Nicky Gillibrand
1998-99 Il re pastore Mozart Rebecca Caine (Amyntas), Mary Hegarty (Elisa), Peter Bronder (Alexander), Alice Coote (Tamyris), Nicholas Sears (Agenor) Paul Goodwin Revival of 1993-4 production
1998-99 The Bartered Bride Smetana Alwin Mellor (Ma?enka), Neill Archer (Jeník), Clive Bayley (Kecal), Iain Paton (Va?ek) Oliver von
Daniel Slater Robert
Innes Hopkins
1998-99 Don Carlos Verdi Julian Gavin (Carlos), Lori Phillips (Elisabetta), Jeffrey Black (Posa), Alastair Miles (Philip II), Sally Burgess (Eboli) Yves Abel Revival of 1992-3 production
1998-99 The Nightingale's to Blame Holt Donald Maxwell (Perlimpin), Patricia Rozario (Belisa), Fiona Kimm (Marcolfa), Frances McCafferty (Belisa's mother) Richard Farnes Martin Duncan Neil Irish
1998-99 Carmen Bizet Ruby Philogene (Carmen), Antoni Garfield Henry (Don José), Mark Stone (Escamillo), Susannah Glanville/Majella Cullagh (Micaela) András Ligeti Phyllida Lloyd Tim Hatley
1998-99 La gazza ladra Rossini Mary Hegarty (Ninetta), Jeffrey Stewart (Giannetto), Christopher Purves (Podestà), Jonathan Best (Fernando), Ann Taylor (Pippo) David Charles Abell Revival of 1991-2 production
1998-99 Arabella R Strauss Susannah Glanville (Arabella), Robert Hayward (Mandryka), Isabel Molnar (Zdenka), Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Matteo), Richard Angas (Waldner), Carole Wilson (Adelaide) Elgar Howarth Francisco Negrin Paul Steinberg/
Jon Morrell
1998-99 Gloriana Britten Josephine Barstow (Elizabeth I), Thomas Randle (Essex), Susannah Glanville (Lady Rich), David Ellis (Mountjoy), Emer McGilloway (Lady Essex), Clive Bayley (Raleigh), Eric Roberts (Cecil) Paul Daniel Revival of 1993-4 production
1999-00 La traviata Verdi Janis Kelly (Violetta), Thomas Randle (Alfredo), Keith Latham (Germont) Richard Farnes/
Martin Pickard
Annabel Arden Nicky Gillibrand
1999-00 Ká?a Kabanová Janá?ek Vivian Tierney (Katya), Alan Oke (Boris), Jamie MacDougall (Kudryash), Ann Taylor (Varvara), Gillian Knight (Kabanicha) Steven Sloane Tim Albery Hildegard Bechtler
1999-00 Don Giovanni Mozart Garry Magee (Don Giovanni), Majella Cullach (Donna Anna), Claron McFadden/Emma Bell (Donna Elvira), Jonathan Best/Iain Patterson (Leporello),  (Don Ottavio) Dominic Wheeler David McVicar Kevin Knight
1999-00 A Midsummer Night's Dream Britten Christopher Josey (Oberon), Claron McFadden (Tytania), Jonathan Best (Bottom), Nicholas Sears (Lysander), Helen Williams (Helena), Ann Taylor (Hermia), Mark Stone (Demetrius) Steven Sloane Moshe Leiser & Patrice Caurier Christian Fenouillat
/Agostino Cavalca
1999-00 Madama Butterfly Puccini Lada Biriucov/Rosalind Sutherland (Butterfly), Julian Gavin/David Maxwell Anderson (Pinkerton), Steven Page (Sharpless), Jane Irwin (Suzuki) Stephen Barlow Revival of 1996-7 production
1999-00 Falstaff Verdi Conal Coad (Falstaff), Josephine Barstow (Alice Ford), Brent Ellis (Ford), Wynne Evans (Fenton), Thora Einarsdottir (Nanetta), Frances McCafferty (Mistress Quickly), Yvonne Howard (Meg Page) Steven Sloane/
Lionel Friend
Revival of 1996-7 production
1999-00 La Gioconda Ponchielli Claire Rutter (Gioconda), David Maxwell Anderson (Enzo), Katja Lytting (Laura), Jonathan Summers (Barnaba) Oliver von
Revival of 1992-3 production
1999-00 Radamisto Handel David Walker (Radamisto), Alice Coote (Zenobia), Helen Williams (Polissena), Emma Bell (Tigrane), Michael John Pearson (Tiridate), Elizabeth McCormack (Fraarte) Harry Bicket Tim Hopkins Charles Edwards
1999-00 Orpheus in the Underworld Offenbach Jamie MacDougall (Orpheus), Yvonne Barclay (Euridice), Eric Roberts (Jupiter) Wyn Davies Revival of 1992-3 production
2000-01 Genoveva Schumann Patricia Schuman (Genoveva), Christopher Purves (Siegfried), Paul Nilon (Golo), Clive Bayley (Drago), Keith Latham (Hidulfus), Sally Burgess (Margaretha) Steven Sloane/
James Holmes
David Pountney Ralph Koltai/
Sue Willmington
2000-01 The Marriage of Figaro Mozart James Rutherford/Christopher Purves (Figaro), Colette Delahunt (Susanna), Roderick Williams/Stephan Loges (Count), Majella Cullagh/Simone Sauphanor (Countess), Emer McGilloway (Cherubino) Roderick Bryden
/Stephen Clarke
Revival of 1995-6 production
2000-01 La rondine Puccini Janis Kelly (Magda), Jorge Antonio Pita (Ruggero), Wynne Evans (Prunier), Mary Hegarty (Lisette), Jonathan Best (Rambaldo) Dietfried Bernet Revival of 1993-4 production
2000-01 L'elisir d'amore Donizetti Mary Hegarty (Adina), Paul Nilon (Nemorino), Christopher Purves (Dulcamara), Richard Whitehouse (Belcore) David Parry Daniel Slater Robert Innes
2000-01 Pelléas et Mélisande Debussy Joan Rodgers (Mélisande), William Dazeley (Pelléas), Robert Hayward (Golaud) Paul Daniel/
James Holmes
Revival of 1994-5 production
2000-01 Tristan und Isolde[d] Wagner Mark Lundberg (Tristan), Susan Bullock (Isolde), Anne-Marie Owens (Brangäne), John Wegner (Kurwenal), Donald McIntyre (King Marke) Steven Sloane Keith Warner Keith Warner/
Elaine Robertson
2000-01 Eugene Onegin Tchaikovsky Giselle Allen (Tatyana), William Dazeley/Richard Whitehouse (Onegin), Iain Paton (Lensky), Cécile van de Sant (Olga) Richard Farnes Revival of 1997-8 production
2000-01 Moscow, Cheryomushki Shostakovich Alan Oke (Sergei), Rachel Taylor (Lusya), Janie Dee (Lidochka), Loren Geeting (Boris), Daniel Broad (Sasha), Gillian Kirkpatrick (Masha) Steven Sloane/
James Holmes
David Pountney Robert Innes
2001-02 The Cunning Little Vixen Janá?ek Janis Kelly (Vixen), Christopher Purves (Forester), Giselle Allen (Fox), Nigel Robson (Schoolmaster), Richard Angas/Michael John Pearson (Priest) Steven Sloane Annabel Arden Richard Hudson
2001-02 La bohème Puccini Harrie van der Plas/Peter Auty (Rodolfo), Mary Plazas/Barbara Haveman (Mimi), William Dazeley/Mark Stone (Marcello), Christine Buffle/Giselle Allen (Musetta) Steven Sloane/
Dietfried Bernet
Revival of 1992-3 production
2001-02 Gloriana Britten Josephine Barstow (Elizabeth I), Thomas Randle (Essex), Susannah Glanville (Lady Rich), Karl Daymond (Mountjoy), Ruth Peel (Lady Essex), Mark Beesley (Raleigh), Eric Roberts (Cecil) Richard Farnes Revival of 1993-4 production
2001-02 Albert Herring Britten Iain Paton (Albert), Josephine Barstow (Lady Billows), Richard Whitehouse (Sid), Heather Shipp (Nancy), Ethna Robinson (Mrs Herring) James Holmes Phyllida Lloyd Scott Pask
2001-02 Sweeney Todd Sondheim Steven Page (Sweeney Todd), Beverley Klein (Mrs Lovett) James Holmes Revival of 1997-8 production
2001-02 L'enfant et les sortilèges[e] Ravel Claire Wild (The child), Emmanuel Plasson Amir
Nigel Lowery
Nigel Lowery
2001-02 Oedipus rex Stravinsky Stuart Skelton (Oedipus), Natascha Petrinsky (Jocasta), Ashley Holland (Creon), Jeremy White (Tiresias) Steven Sloane Charles Edwards Charles Edwards
2002-03 Tosca Puccini Nina Pavlovski/Susannah Glanville (Tosca), Rafael Rojas/Ian Storey (Cavaradossi), Robert McFarland/Matthew Best (Scarpia) Steven Sloane/
Richard Farnes
Christopher Alden Charles Edwards/
Jon Morrell
2002-03 Jen?fa Janá?ek Giselle Allen (Jen?fa), Josephine Barstow (Kostelni?ka), Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Laca), Kevin Anderson (?teva) Elgar Howarth Revival of 1995-6 production
2002-03 Der Rosenkavalier R Strauss Deanne Meek (Octavian), Janis Kelly (Marschallin), Conal Coad (Baron Ochs), Marie Arnet (Sophie), Christopher Purves (Faninal) Dietfried Bernet David McVicar David McVicar &
Michael Vale/
Tanya McCallin
2002-03 Il matrimonio segreto Cimarosa Wynne Evans (Paolino), Mary Nelson (Carolina), Henry Waddington (Geronimo), Richard Morrison (Count Robinson), Natasha Jouhl (Elisetta), Louise Mott (Fidalma) Wyn Davies Revival of 1994-5 production
2002-03 Idomeneo Mozart Paul Nilon (Idomeneo), Paula Hoffman (Idamante), Natasha Marsh (Ilia), Janis Kelly (Elettra) David Parry Tim Albery Dany Lyne
2002-03 Julietta Martin? Rebecca Caine (Julietta), Paul Nilon (Mischa), Martin André Revival of 1997-8 production
2002-03 The Magic Flute Mozart Philippe Do (Tamino), Thora Einarsdottir (Pamina), Matthew Sharpe (Papageno), Mark Coles (Sarastro), Helen Williams (Queen of the Night) William Lacey Tim Supple Jean Kalman/
Tom Pye
2002-03 La damnation de Faust[d] Berlioz Stephen O'Mara (Faust), Alastair Miles (Mephistophélès), Lilli Paasikivi (Marguérite) Frederic Chaslin Matthias Janser
2003-04 La traviata Verdi Janis Kelly/Anne-Sophie Duprels (Violetta), Thomas Randle/Peter Auty (Alfredo), Robert McFarland/Robert Poulton (Germont) Mark Shanahan/
Richard Farnes
Revival of 1999-2000 production
2003-04 Rusalka Dvo?ák Giselle Allen (Rusalka), Stuart Skelton (Prince), Richard Angas (Water Sprite), Susannah Glanville (Foreign Princess), Susan Bickley (Jezibaba) Sebastian
Olivia Fuchs Nicki Turner
2003-04 Manon Massenet Malin Byström (Manon), Julian Gavin (Des Grieux), William Dazeley (Lescaut) Grant Llewellyn Daniel Slater Francis O'Connor
2003-04 The Barber of Seville Rossini Garry Magee (Figaro), Deanne Meek (Rosina), Nick Sales (Almaviva), Eric Roberts (Dr Bartolo) Wyn Davies Revival of 1986-7 production
2003-04 The Bartered Bride Smetana Giselle Allen (Ma?enka), Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Jeník), Jeremy White (Kecal), Iain Paton (Va?ek) Martyn Brabbins Revival of 1998-9 production
2003-04 Der Zwerg Zemlinsky Paul Nilon (The Dwarf), Stefanie Krahnenfeld (Donna Clara), Majella Cullagh (Gita), Graeme Broadbent (Don Estoban) David Parry David Pountney Johan Engels/
2003-04 La vida breve Falla Mary Plazas (Salud), Leonardo Capalbo (Paco), Susan Gorton (Grandmother) Martin André Christopher Alden Johan Engels/
Sue Willmington
2003-04 Il tabarro Puccini Nina Pavlovski (Giorgetta), Jonathan Summers (Michele), Leonardo Capalbo (Luigi), Anne-Marie Owens (La Frugola) Martin André David Pountney Johan Engels/
Sue Willmington
2003-04 L'occasione fa il ladro Rossini Mark Stone (Don Parmenione), Iain Paton (Count Alberto), Majella Cullagh (Berenice), Kim-Marie Woodhouse (Ernestina), Adrian Clarke (Martino), Nicholas Sharratt (Don Eusebio) David Parry Christopher Alden Johan Engels/
Tom Pye
2003-04 Francesca da Rimini Rachmaninoff Nina Pavlovski (Francesca), Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Dante/Paolo), Jonathan Summers (Ghost of Virgil/Malatesta) Martin André David Pountney Johan Engels/
Sue Willmington
2003-04 Pagliacci Leoncavallo Geraint Dodd (Canio), Majella Cullagh (Nedda), Jonathan Summers (Tonio), Iain Paton (Beppe), Mark Stone (Silvio) David Parry Christopher Alden Johan Engels/
Sue Willmington
2003-04 Djamileh Bizet Patricia Bardon (Djamileh), Paul Nilon (Haroun), Mark Stone (Splendiano) David Parry Christopher Alden Johan Engels/
Sue Willmington
2003-04 The Seven Deadly Sins Weill Beate Vollack (Anna I), Iain Paton (Tenor I), Nicholas Sharratt (Tenor II), Adrian Clarke (Father), Graeme Broadbent (Mother) James Holmes David Pountney Johan Engels/
  1. ^ "Main stage" means operas performed at Leeds Grand Theatre and a number of touring venues; small-scale productions are not included. Semi-staged concert performances at Leeds Town Hall and other similar venues are included, but concert performances without any staging are not.
  2. ^ Titles in Bold are new productions. Opera titles are those used in popflock.com resource and not necessarily those used by Opera North.
  3. ^ Where two designers are credited, the first-named designed the set and the second designed the costumes
  4. ^ a b Semi-staged concert performances.
  5. ^ Performed as a double-bill with Petrushka


  1. ^ 2004-5 Annual Report, p. 12


  • Leeks, Stuart, ed. (2003). Opera North @ 25. Leeds: Opera North.
  • Opera North annual review 2004-2005[full ]

See also

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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