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


Responding to Gustav Holst's 'Savitri' (headline production of the Leeds Opera Festival 2021)

Sayeed and Kaur's interpretation of the ancient Indian epic poem will reclaim Savitri's voice and explore how we deconstruct the lives of Asian / Indian women historically and then reconstruct perceptions of them. The work blends spoken word with music for voice, bass, veena, sitar, and violin.

Composer ... Sarah Sayeed

Librettist ... Jaspreet Kaur

Performers ... Clive Hunte, Olivia Moore, Freny Nina

Performances of Savitri will take place during the Leeds Opera Festival 2021.

Savitri marketing image, 2021 Leeds Opera Festival