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New Responses to Old Operas


Our new commissioning programme invites artists to create new music theatre responses to opera's past - bringing a contemporary perspective to the operas, composers and stories that have dominated the art for centuries.


Our first two new commissions are


12901211 - The Leeds Opera Story


Responding to the history of opera in Leeds, drawing paralells between the city's (and the artform's) past and present.


12901211 follows the journey of two people trying to put together ambitious projects and how their various obstacles are overcome. The first character the audience meets is in 1911 and trying to stage a full performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. This character is based loosely on Ernst Denhof, the man who first brought the Ring Cycle to audiences outside of London. The second character is based in our current times and faces the task of staging an opera during a global pandemic.


Composer ... Carmel Smickersgill

Librettist ... Emma Hill


Savitri


Responding to Gustav Holst's 'Savitri', bringing the perspective of South Asian artists to the story.


Composer ... Sarah Sayeed

Librettist ... Jaspreet Kaur


These first two commissions will be released online in Spring 2021, with live performances to follow later this year.

Savitri marketing image, 2021 Leeds Opera Festival