Opera North at The Lowry

Part of our Classical Music guide

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
Image courtesy of The Lowry.

Opera North at The Lowry, Salford, 7–11 March 2023, from £20.00 - Book now

From 7-11 March, The Lowry is once again hosting a striking collection of productions from Opera North. As the North of England’s leading opera company you can expect breathtaking set design, inventive contemporary direction and most importantly, outstanding musical performances from international level soloists and a powerful chorus.

As part of their March run at The Lowry, Opera North are taking audiences back to 19th Century Rome with Puccini’s canonic tale of love and loss, Tosca. As musically stunning as it is tragic, Tosca is a must-see opera for those new to the genre. Let yourself become swept up in the love, hope and despair of prima donna Tosca and artist Mario Cavaradossi’s love as it intertwines with a dangerous political climate; you can’t help but still feel heartbroken for them when their predicament reaches the inevitable denouement. This is a great introductory opera for anyone who is yet to take the plunge into the highly stylised sung art form, as there is high drama, memorable tunes and breathtaking design.

Later in the week, Opera North will be bringing the chaos, comedy and compositional conundrums of a bustling 1950s Italian film studio to Salford, in Strauss’s Ariadne Auf Naxos. In this reimagining of the original setting by Rodula Gaitanou, two films are being simultaneously created, one a very serious Greek tragedy, the other a light hearted comedy. The production interrogates what we view as being ‘high’ or ‘low’ art in a playful way, letting you in on the backstage humorous mischief between creative minds. Strauss is known for his vibrant and powerful orchestrations as well as being able to create charismatic characters out of unlikely scenarios, so expect to feel yourself becoming lost in the lives of these creatives.

Finally, the first of Opera North’s productions to arrive in Salford is Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen. In contrast to the other two, this opera is a heartfelt fairy tale that explores the bittersweet nature of life and death as well as the relationship between human and animal worlds. We follow a vixen as she tries to keep herself and her family safe in a world that would wish otherwise. As is typical of the composer’s scores, you can hear folk tunes placed with great care and purpose throughout the story, blurring the lines between the real world and this magical realm where forest creatures take on humanistic characters. Ultimately Janáček makes a stark point about the flaws of men and how their actions, when made naively, can have drastic consequences on the world around them. The production is directed by  Sir David Poutney who has returned to work with the company, creating a charming and fresh-feeling version of this well loved story.

The run is sure to be a highlight of The Lowry’s March programme. For more highlights, head to our theatre section.

Opera North at The Lowry, Salford

7–11 March 2023
From £20.00