Main menu


Three of the best from Opera North in latest visit to Nottingham Theater Royal

featured image

A scene from Orpheus by Claudio Monteverdi and Jasdeep Singh Degun Photo credit: Tristram Kenton
A scene from Orpheus by Claudio Monteverdi and Jasdeep Singh Degun Photo credit: Tristram Kenton

The company brings its acclaimed new take on Monteverdi’s opera Orpheus, told through a unique meeting of western baroque and South Asian classical music, to the venue on Saturday, November 12.

One of the most popular operas, packed with 19th-century glamor and tragedy in equal measure, Verdi’s La Traviata opens the Leeds-based company’s autumn season at the theater on Tuesday, November 8, with further performances on Thursday, November 10 (BSL interpreted ) and Friday, November 11.

And on Wednesday, November 9, there’s a very different telling of the ancient Orpheus myth in a concert staging of Gluck’s seminal 1762 opera Orfeo ed Euridice.

Nottingham Theater Royal hosts a production by Opera North of Orpheus, by Claudio Monteverdi and Jasdeep Singh Degun Photo credit: Tristram Kenton

A reimagining of one of the earliest surviving operas, Monteverdi’s 1607 work L’Orfeo, Orpheus weaves a new musical and dramatic tapestry from western and Indian classical music.

Opera North’s new version features additional composition and arrangements by Jasdeep Singh Degun, working as co-music director with early music expert Laurence Cummings at the head of an ensemble of some of the greatest musicians and singers working in each field.

The opera is sung in Italian and Urdu, with additional sections sung in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi and Bengali. English surtitles are screened throughout.

Parts of the opera have been rescored and arranged for Indian classical instruments, with an onstage orchestra of 19 players including sitar, tabla, santoor, esraj and bansuri, as well as a western baroque ensemble featuring strings, harpsichord, lirone and theorbo.

The opera takes place on the day of the wedding of Orpheus, a musician of mythical power, to Eurydice. But their joy is shattered when Eurydice dies suddenly, and Orpheus, heartbroken, vows to travel to the Underworld to find his new wife and return her to life.

The cast includes performers trained in western and Indian classical traditions, with tenor Nicholas Watts singing Orpheus and British-Tamil Carnatic singer Ashnaa Sasikaran singing Eurydice.

Keranjeet Kaur Virdee, chief executive and artistic director of South Asian Arts-uk, Opera North’s partners on the production, commented: “Through this collaboration we have the opportunity to bring together a cast who are masters in their own right, who can break down boundaries and cross borders through music to touch our hearts and minds. Ultimately, they remind us that we are all humans with lots of shared similarities and particularities.”

Providing a glittering curtain up on Opera North’s week in Nottingham, La Traviata unfolds in the ballrooms and bedrooms of Parisian high society, with some of the most memorable melodies in opera.

Courtesan Violetta falls in love with the naïve young Alfredo and prepares to the bustling, jaded life of the city behind. But their intoxicating romance takes a devastating turn when her past life catches up with her, and she’s forced to sacrifice what may be her only chance of real love.

On November 9, audiences can see Gluck’s version of the Orpheus tale, Orfeo ed Euridice, in the latest of Opera North’s trademark concert performances, stripping away the baggage of set and costume to focus on the emotional power of the music and the splendor of the chorus and orchestra.

Tickets are available to book at

For more entertainment stories, you can click here or click here.