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Opera North: The Rite of Spring & Gianni Schicchi

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For the first time, Opera North collaborates with Leeds-based, internationally-renowned Phoenix Dance Theatre. Together they present present Stravinsky’s groundbreaking ballet The Rite of Spring, along with Puccini’s Gianni Schicci in a double bill offering two very different reflections on the decline of the old order and the beginning of the new.

The Rite of Spring

The premiere of The Rite of Spring in Paris on 29 May 1913 was a succès de scandale. Stravinsky wrote in a letter home that ‘things got as far as fighting’, whilst the impresario Serge Diaghilev claimed that the audience’s riotous reaction to the music and – especially – to Nijinsky’s choreography was ‘exactly what I wanted’. Structured in two parts, ‘The Adoration of the Earth’ and ‘The Sacrifice’, the ballet draws on Russian folklore to conjure up a world of primitive religious ceremony, ancestor worship and ritual sacrifice. Whereas conventional ballet aspired to free dancers from gravity, Nijinsky’s choreography and Stravinsky’s music rooted them in the earth. Stravinsky wedded the shifting metres of Russian folk music to a modernist harmonic language, with stamping bass-lines and off-the-beat accents generating a pulverizing rhythmic energy.

Additional Information
Running time approximately 40 minutes
Co-production with Phoenix Dance Theatre


Gianni Schicchi

Gianni Schicchi is a bitterly sardonic comedy played out around the death-bed of a rich man. The scheming relatives who vie for a chunk of his fortune are all too recognisable types, revealing the greed and avarice which lie just below the thin veneer of their family loyalties.

Puccini’s only outright comedy is based on an episode in Dante’s Inferno, and Christopher Alden’s wickedly satirical production frames the action in the early Renaissance, when medieval cobwebs were blown away by radically new ways of thinking. At the same time, the chic modern Italian costumes are a sly nod in the direction of the ageless themes which Puccini exploits to brilliantly farcical effect – after all, those scheming relatives may bear an uncanny resemblance to our own family members!

With its vivid characterisation and the spontaneity of its musical invention, Gianni Schicchi is a comic masterpiece in miniature, and features one of Puccini’s best-loved arias, ‘O mio babbino caro’.

Additional information
Running time approximately 1 hour
Sung in Italian with English titles

Important Information

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes


£2 for online bookings or £3 for phone & counter sales applies per transaction.

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Groups 8+
20% off the ticket price. Available Tuesday to Friday.

Under 30s & Students
Tickets £10. Subject to availability, cannot be reserved in advance. Maximum of two tickets per person per opera.

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50% off from 6pm on the day available to concession holders in person. Subject to availability.
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Under 18s & Registered Unwaged
50% of all tickets. Available Tuesday to Friday.

School Groups
50% Balcony tickets for groups of 10+. One free teacher place per 20 pupils booked. Available Tuesday to Friday.

Concessions are not available in the Balcony, or for Saturday 7.30pm performances.

The following audio notes give detailed information about the story, the sets and costumes and the cast list. These are to aid customers who are blind or partially sighted. Please note, the story and the details of the sets and costumes contain spoilers, so avoid them if you would prefer not to know what happens!