Leeds Kirkgate Market
24 August to
7 September 2020
This Summer, 250 years of operatic history in Leeds will come to life as part of a new exhibition and website – the Leeds Opera Story.
Curated by Northern Opera Group as part of the Leeds Opera Festival 2020.
The Leeds Opera Story is an exhibition and website that will uncover the hidden history of opera in the city – starting with the first operas to have been performed in Leeds during the 18th Century.
It will explore the singers, conductors and companies who first brought opera to Leeds, how tastes in opera have changed over time, and the forgotten theatres across the city which first hosted performances.
The exhibition will be open at Kirkgate Market from 24 August to 7 September and will be free to attend. Our website – leedsoperastory.co.uk – will launch in full later this year, and will be host to fascinating archive material, as well as photos, videos and audio recordings of opera in the city.
We’re looking for a team of volunteers to take part in the project. Activities will include interviewing people who’ve played a significant role in the operatic life of Leeds, exploring archive materials housed with our partners (including Leeds Museums and the West Yorkshire Archive Service), and supporting the curation of the final exhibition.
Please contact Louise Garner (firstname.lastname@example.org) to express your interest.
Do you have stories about your own experience of opera in Leeds that you’d like to share? We want to hear not only from artists, but from audiences who’ve experienced the changing face (and sound!) of opera over time. Do you have archive materials, programmes, recordings, that might be useful for the project?
Please contact David Ward (email@example.com) to discuss.
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Our second Leeds Opera Story documentary is out now! Link in bio In this episode we unearth the story of the first Gilbert and Sullivan opera to visit Leeds - 'Trial by Jury' in 1876 This episode has been created in collaboration with the finest modern day interpreters of G&S, @charlescourtopera and their Artistic Director, John Savournin - @john_savournin The programme features new recordings of songs from 'Trial by Jury', and performances of pieces by Offenbach and Auber, as well as lots of archive material and research we've found over the past few months! Watch online now, and if you've been enjoying our Leeds Opera Story project, then please consider donating to Northern Opera Group so we can continue to bring to opera history to life. The Leeds Opera Story is supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund and Leeds Inspired
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Due to world events we're postponing further archive research and interviews for #leedsoperastory - so instead we're going to release some of the fascinating material we've found to date! Today read about the first opera in Leeds, 'The Beggar's Wedding' - bit.ly/2UchueJ @heritagefunduk @leedsinspired @leedslibraries #opera #operainleeds #archive #research #charlescoffey #johngay #beggarswedding (Picture - Hogarth’s ‘The Beggar’s Opera’ - source @tate)