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Left Bank Opera Festival 2018

22 - 26 August

The Original Chinese Conjuror

The Yellow Princess


Following the sell-out success of our 2017 Festival, this year we are turning our attention to opera’s longstanding (and rather contentious) relationship with stories, characters and music from Asia.

Our headline production is

music by Raymond Yiu

libretto by Lee Warren

The Original Chinese Conjuror tells the true story of magician William Robinson who, in his efforts to enliven his act, adopts the persona of a mystical conjuror from China - and keeps his real identity hidden to all but those closest to him. Raymond Yiu’s opera is a hilarious and poignant tale of ambition, masquerade, and - of course - magic!

The production will be directed by Northern Opera Group’s Artistic Director, David Ward, conducted by Lewis Gaston, and designed by George Leigh.

We'll also be exploring opera's fasincation with Japan in Saint-Saens'

a dramatic and musically sumptuous piece which explores obsession, love, and escape from reality. Performing this will be two outstanding young singers, Natalie Johnson-Hyde and John Porter.

We're delighted to welcome Ensemble Tempus Fugit to Leeds with their production of

where audiences can explore music from 18th Century Calcutta, where performers from both India and England wound melodies from many cultures into their own traditions. Told through puppetry and song, Calcutta is a beautiful performance for the whole family.

Accompanying the productions will be a programme of free talks, discussions and events which will further explore Western opera’s fascination with Asia. Click here for the full schedule.

Whether you are an opera enthusiast, or new to the art, we hope that we’ll have something for everyone as part of the 2018 Festival.

Tickets are now on-sale.

David Ward (Artistic Director) “I’ve always been fascinated by the way that composers and writers have taken inspiration from the music and stories of Asia, and the way that those music and stories have been represented through opera. There are some really interesting and successful ways that these have been expressed, but also many examples of where they have been poorly represented, or even scorned, by composers and writers. We want to confront some of these issues in our 2018 Festival, and Raymond Yiu’s opera is a terrific headline act to begin exploring these issues. It’s a really tuneful, funny and entertaining opera, but also asks some serious questions of quite why it is that we have been (and continue to be) fascinated by archetypal notions of ‘the Orient’. We have worked hard to programme a Festival which has something for everyone, and we hope that you're inspired to take in as much of the Festival as possible!

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