Mini operas aiming to pack a punch

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Opera North has announced 11 main stage productions in Leeds for its 2017-18 season, including eight new shows and three revivals.

The company returns this autumn to an experimental format. The Little Greats brings six short operas together, from the well known to rarely-performed jewels.

They are Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, Janáček’s Osud and Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti.

The season journeys from the passion of 19th-century Italian verismo, via the unmatched comic style of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Victorian operetta, through the inventive modernism of Ravel and Janáček, ending in the 1950s with Bernstein’s fusion of operatic conventions with jazz and musical theatre.

A company of artists all take on multiple roles, with the involvement of the chorus in all but one of the pieces. They also take all the principal roles in Trial by Jury.

Guest principals include Giselle Allen, Peter Auty, Katie Bray, Richard Burkhard, Wallis Giunta, John Graham-Hall, Quirijn de Lang, Rosalind Plowright, Phillip Rhodes, Sheffielder John Savournin, Joseph Shovelton, Jonathan Stoughton, Ann Taylor and Fflur Wyn.

The six operas will be presented in changing rotation, creating new and unusual pairings.

Tickets will be sold separately, allowing audiences to choose to see a double bill or one short opera.

First-time audience members can buy £10 tickets.

Other highlights include a new production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and the return of popular productions of Don Giovanni and Madama Butterfly.

For more details and bookings, go to www.operanorth.co.uk