Opera North’s 2014/15 announcement includes the news that music director Richard Farnes is to continue in the role for two years more, bringing a 12-year tenure to a finale in summer 2016 with a series of complete Ring cycle performances at ‘concert halls around the country’.
Concert stagings of the Ring’s separate parts, in order, directed by Peter Mumford with video, costumes and lighting, have concluded each season in Leeds, Birmingham, Gateshead and Salford over the past four years, and proved an ‘overwhelming success’, general director Richard Mantle sais. (Götterdämmerung opens at Leeds Town Hall on 14 June).
Next summer sees a similar staging of The Flying Dutchman, conducted by Farnes, but he does not plan to conduct in the theatre in 2014/15. Young Italian conductor Gianluca Marcianò will make his Opera North debut with La traviata this autumn (a new production directed by Alessandro Talevi), and Oliver von Dohnányi takes performances in 2015. Laurence Cummings conducts a new production by Tim Albery of The Coronation of Poppea in October/November, while Anthony Kraus and James Holmes conduct an updated revival of The Bartered Bride, directed by Daniel Slater.
The new year brings a new Marriage of Figaro (director Jo Davies), in which Alexander Shelley, who has given several performances with the Orchestra of Opera North, conducts his first opera for the company. Alongside is a double bill, directed by Christopher Alden, of Falla’s La Vida Breve (revived from the ‘Eight Little Greats’ series of 2004), with a new Gianni Schicchi, both conducted by Jac van Steen.
The season also includes a new staging of Jonathan Dove’s haunting children’s opera, Swanhunter, commissioned and premiered by Opera North in 2009 in the wake of his highly successful Pinocchio. This is to open at the Linbury Theatre in London before Leeds and a tour. There is also to be a revival of Carousel, in Leeds and touring.
Artists include Christopher Purves (title role in Gianni Schicchi) and Anne Sophie Duprels (Salud in La Vida Breve), and in The Flying Dutchman, Béla Perencz, Alwyn Mellor, Mati Turi, Ceri Williams and Mark le Brocq.