Opera North is an opera company based in Leeds which tours to theatres and concert halls throughout the North of England and beyond. We have a venue called The Howard Assembly Room where we put on gigs, concerts, spoken word and film – this is currently being redeveloped, reopening in September 2020. With a full-time orchestra and chorus, plus large costume, technical, education and community partnerships departments, we offer a diverse range of artistic experiences.
We run a scheme called Encore which enables us to build relationships with groups and organisations that work with people who may have barriers to attending our performances. Encore members can access heavily subsidised tickets, special events and a personalised booking system as well as taster performances and workshops.
We were awarded Theatre of Sanctuary status in 2018 for our work in welcoming refugees and asylum seekers.
“We’ve seen improved mental health from experiencing live musical performance, as well as having ‘things to do’ on an evening. Most of our clients live in very poor accommodation and struggle to occupy their time. This forced inactivity can have particularly negative affects on individual’s mental health. Visits to the opera and HAR has changed this.”
We started Arts Together because we know that wonderful things can happen when arts organisations and community groups come together to share their ideas and experiences!
2C The Gateway East
Image credit: Tristram Kenton
People you may meet
Hello! I have been Opera North’s Head of Community Partnerships since 2013 and am very proud to be leading on Arts Together. Before working at Opera North, I worked in theatre for 14 years, mostly in Education and Community roles but also as a freelance theatre practitioner. I am a massive Kylie Minogue fan!
I work as Community Partnerships and Access Officer at Opera North so I'm responsible for making Opera North’s performances accessible, which includes organising audio described, signed, captioned and dementia-friendly performances. First record ever bought - Nik Kershaw's 'Wouldn't it be good'!
As the Community Partnerships Assistant at Opera North, I welcome guests and assist at events, workshops and performances. I help Alice and Madeleine administer our engagement work with local groups and organisations, Arts Together and our access work. Fun fact: I once went to an underwater concert in Iceland.