Northern Opera Group Unveils Programme for the 8th Annual Leeds Opera Festival in 2024

Northern Opera Group has unveiled the programme for its 8th annual Leeds Opera Festival, taking place from 17 August to 8 September 2024. This milestone promises to captivate audiences with a blend of world premieres and exciting collaborations, designed for the whole community.

The World’s First Sherlock Holmes Opera. Northern Opera Group proudly presents the world premiere of its major new commission, ‘Sherlock Holmes and The Sign of Four’, a brand new opera by award-winning composer Lliam Paterson. This production is the first-ever opera adaptation of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. The outstanding bass Edward Hawkins leads the cast in the role of Sherlock, with tenor David Horton as Watson, soprano Ellen Mawhinney as Mary, and bass Trevor Bowes as Jonathan Small. Audiences can expect a musical journey through the iconic tale, bringing a fresh perspective to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic work.

Interactive Mystery Show: Touring West Yorkshire Libraries. Continuing the theme of mystery, the festival presents an interactive mystery show for children (aimed at 8-12 year olds) touring over 20 libraries across Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Kirklees. Entitled ‘The Book of Eternity’, this immersive experience promises to bring the magic of opera to diverse communities across the region, and will include creative workshops with primary school pupils in Leeds. The story is written by leading children’s mystery author Clare Povey.

Musical Escape Room. The festival will also feature a musical escape room, combining the thrill of opera with the immersive challenges of an escape room experience. This collaboration with a local Escape Room company promises a unique and entertaining fusion of music and mystery.

Also new for 2024 is the introduction of the festival’s first Guest Artistic Director, a move designed to diversify artistic leadership and support the next generation of opera leaders.

As part of its wider commitment to fostering a more equitable and sustainable opera community, Northern Opera Group has also become one of the only companies to establish a House Agreement with Equity. This agreement solidifies the company’s longstanding commitment to appropriate levels of pay and positive working conditions for artists.

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