Leeds Opera Stories

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"My mother Elsie was from a musical family in Vienna. She came to Yorkshire by Kindertransport and settled with my father Terence in Roundhay, Leeds after the Second World War. They often came into the city by tram for concerts at Leeds Town Hall.

My parents were keen for me to have a good musical education. I began piano lessons at the Yorkshire College of music in Headingley and studied A level music at school in Bradford.

My first visit to Opera at Leeds Grand was during my university gap year, I was driving a van for Leeds General Infirmary.

My parents obtained tickets for the full Ring Cycle. On the first evening I came directly from work, still dressed in my donkey jacket. During the second interval I ate my picnic on the stairs, mingling with the other opera goers in their DJs.

I have attended many Opera North concerts over the years. When my mother died in 2010 the family presented the company with our Schiedmayer piano to mark our connection"


Exhibition partners

Leeds Corn Exchange, Leeds Libraries, Leeds Museums, University of Leeds, West Yorkshire Archive Service

Main image

The Original Chinese Conjuror (Northern Opera Group, August 2018)

credit: Pelly & Me Photography

Exhibition curated by

Northern Opera Group



Supported by

National Lottery Heritage Fund


Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council




David Ward (Artistic Director)