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2021 Leeds Opera Festival


27 - 31 August 2021

The 2021 Leeds Opera Festival will be themed around the works of Gustav Holst, and will visit venues around Leeds and the North of England.


Headlining the Festival will be a double bill of Holst’s At the Boar’s Head and Savitri.


These two very different operas respectively explore the comic exploits of Shakespeare’s Sir John Falstaff in At the Boar’s Head, and a tale from an Indian Sanskrit epic in Savitri.


The productions will be directed by Emma Black, who joined us this summer to direct Thomas and Sally, and conducted by Lewis Gaston, who conducted our 2018 production of The Original Chinese Conjuror. The double bill will be designed by George Leigh – winner of the 2019 European Opera Prize – who also designed The Original Chinese Conjuror.


We’ll also be working with South Asian Arts UK to commission a composer and writer to create a new music theatre piece in response to Savitri – creating a contemporary response to Holst’s opera.


Our third Holst production will be his short comic opera, The Wandering Scholar. This is a revival of our 2017 production, which went on a whistle stop tour to five venues in three cities, and featured a new orchestration for clarinet and violin.


In 2021 we’ll tour the production to eight venues in eight different communities of Leeds, as well as visit four cities across the North of England.


We’ll have a full additional programme of talks, discussions and participatory events across the Festival, including a live recording of our Operacast podcast.


Festival tickets*


As we look forward to 2021 we’re asking for your help in making the Festival happen. For the first time, we’re asking you to consider supporting the Festival by booking your tickets one year in advance!


By doing so, we’ll have valuable funds to enable us to develop work for the Festival over the next 12 months, and we’ll be able to show other funders the interest from audiences in attending the Festival next year.


A £25 advance ticket will get you a top-price seat to our double bill of At the Boar’s Head and Savitri, as well as access to all other Festival events, including The Wandering Scholar. You’ll also get exclusive Festival updates across the year, a free 2021 Festival programme, and a special thank you event next Summer.

* Should details of the Festival change, or the event have to be postponed/cancelled, advance ticket purchases will be refunded.


Advance ticket holders will have choice over which performance to attend over the Festival weekend. Full dates and details will be released in early 2021.