Opera North creates extraordinary experiences every day, using music and opera to entertain, engage, challenge and inspire.
Opera North tours to Theatre Royal, Nottingham or the Royal Concert Hall three times a year, bringing a range of full-scale operatic productions and incredible concert stagings to Nottingham.
View our top 10 facts about opera and see why it is accessible to all.
- Live performances are best
Nothing comes close to the experience of live opera in the theatre. Add in a spellbound audience and you know you’re in for something special.
- Dress code is relaxed
There is no dress code for a night at the opera. If you want to go glam and make a special occasion of it, that’s fine, but jeans are just as acceptable.
- It’s visually spectacular
Opera is one of the most visually stunning spectacles in all theatre. As well as some sumptuous sets and costumes, you often get a LOT of people on stage at any one time (principals, chorus and sometimes dancers as well). This always makes for an impressive sight – and amazing sound!
- It won’t break the bank
An evening at the opera is much cheaper than most people think with tickets starting from just £15 at Theatre Royal Nottingham, depending on where you choose to sit in the auditorium. If you have never been to the opera before, you can also sign up to get £20 tickets in the stalls via Opera North’s Try it ON scheme. Students and young people aged 16-29 can sign up to Opera North’s free Under 30s scheme and get tickets for just £10, as well as the chance to enjoy a selection of other benefits.
- The human voice as you’ve never heard it before
This is definitely what sets opera apart. There are no microphones, which means there’s no barrier between the performer and the audience, and you get the incredible experience of listening to someone singing over a full orchestra without any amplification. The sound really does have to be heard to be believed.
- It’s an emotional rollercoaster
As opera is powerful, edge-of-the-seat stuff, it’s perfect for adrenaline junkies and people who love experiencing emotion in its rawest form. Nowadays, opera singers are also talented actors, so you can become immersed in all the drama from the very first note.
- You won’t be sat there for hours
Most operas are only a couple of hours long and there’s usually at least one interval where you can get up and stretch your legs. There are even some that only last around an hour providing a short, sharp shot of emotion without any need to leave your seat at all.
- It’s easy to follow
Opera is simple to understand, even when it’s sung in a different language. Many operas are performed in English and, when they’re not, there are always translation screens at each side of the stage. There’s no need to worry about missing any of the action either – as singing takes longer than speaking, your eyes can easily move between stage and screen without losing the thread.
- You don’t need to know anything about opera
Opera is definitely not just for those who know loads about it, nor is it as elitist as people tend to think. In fact, Opera North was recently awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status in recognition of its commitment to welcoming, including and valuing everyone who comes along to its productions, whatever their circumstances.
- There’s something for everyone
Say ‘opera’ and everyone has an idea of what they think it is. However, there’s actually a wide range of styles, and the music of one composer sounds utterly unlike another so, even if you don’t like Mozart, it’s worth giving Puccini a go. As opera deals with all kinds of human experiences and emotion (think love, betrayal, jealousy, loss…), it also surprises people how relevant an opera can feel, whether it was originally written last week or 100 years ago.
Each season at Opera North, there’s always plenty to choose from, whether you prefer to be shaken by a tragedy or to laugh out loud at a comedy. Have a look at what’s coming up to see what takes your fancy.