Newcastle steps into the spotlight as Opera North prepares to return to the city

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The Tyne Bridge is set to take centre-stage this autumn as Opera North launches its latest season at Newcastle Theatre Royal (Wed 6 – Sat 9 Nov 2024) with a series of compelling images featuring one of the region’s most iconic landmarks.

The company’s latest season offers magic, mystery and magnificent music in abundance. A revival of The Magic Flute sees James Brining returning to Opera North to direct a production for all ages packed with fantasy, romance and daring. The adventure sees Prince Tamino embarking on a quest to save Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, from the clutches of Sarastro, the Priest of the Sun, with plenty of surprises along the way and Mozart’s breathtaking score underpinning all the action.

The magic continues with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Benjamin Britten’s take on Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy, featuring a host of well-known characters including Bottom the weaver and the mischievous Puck. Completing the trio is Gilbert and Sullivan’s hilariously inventive Gothic parody, Ruddigore, with a reluctant villain and modest maiden joined by an assortment of amiable ghosts and scary professional bridesmaids. Directed by Jo Davies, the production was hailed as an instant classic in its first run.

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Opera North, a national opera company rooted in the North of England has created the series of impactful visuals specifically for its touring visit to Newcastle with some of the principal singers from the upcoming season pictured in various instantly recognisable locations around the historic bridge.

Sir Despard Murgatroyd from Gilbert & Sullivan's RuddigoreSir Despard Murgatroyd from Gilbert & Sullivan's Ruddigore
Sir Despard Murgatroyd from Gilbert & Sullivan's Ruddigore

Emily Simpson, Director of Audiences at Opera North, said: “Newcastle is one of our regular touring venues and opera is something the residents can feel proud of hosting as part of their wider cultural offer. By putting these destinations in the limelight, we’re looking to underline to residents in and around the city that opera belongs to them – and, just like the city itself, that it offers a warm welcome to everyone.”

Natalie Johnston, Head of Marketing at Newcastle Theatre Royal added: “We are delighted to welcome Opera North back for what promises to be another fantastic season. With titles such as The Magic Flute, which is a perfect first-time opera, Ruddigore – one of the great Gilbert and Sullivan stagings – and a new production of Wagners thrilling opera, The Flying Dutchman. This programme has something for everyone whether you’re new to opera or a long-time enthusiast.”

She continued: “All performances feature English subtitles, with sign-interpretation, audio description and touch tours available on selected dates. Pre-show talks, allowing audiences to gain a deeper insight into each production will also be taking place and new-to-opera ticket schemes are available, including the Try it ON scheme (offering £20 tickets for first timers), and £10 tickets for Under 30s and students.”

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Opera North visit Newcastle Theatre Royal (Wed 6 – Sat 9 Nov 2024 & Thu 6 – Sat 8 Mar 2025). Tickets can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

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