Family friendly opera visits Holbeck

Families are being invited to get their first taste of opera this summer as Opera North takes its Whistle Stop Opera: The Magic Flute on tour, kicking off in Holbeck.

Inspired by Mozart’s final opera, The Magic Flute, this Whistle Stop version packs adventure, a thought-provoking message and enchanting music into a 35-minute show suitable for all the family.

Through the story of Prince Tamino and his quest to win the hand of the beautiful Pamina, daughter of the Queen of the Night, it invites the audience to embark on a magical journey, exploring the issue of climate change along the way. At first glance, all seems well in the kingdom, but the bird-catcher Papageno has noticed that the birds are disappearing, and the animals no longer assemble to hear Tamino’s magic flute. Together, the two men and Pamina determine to find out why.

The fast-paced show has been devised by John Savournin, who also directs the piece. He is joined by three professional opera singers – soprano Emily Loftus, tenor Nicholas Watts and baritone Timothy Nelson – with accordionists Miloš Milivojević and Djordge Gajic providing the musical accompaniment.

Before they go, younger theatre-goers are encouraged to find out all about Mozart’s The Magic Flute, its characters and plot, at Opera North’s Little School of Music, where there will also be details on how to make a paper bird which can be brought along to the performance.

Jacqui Cameron, Education Director, Opera North, said:

“Our Whistle Stop Operas are a great way to experience opera for the first time. We were keen to create one inspired by The Magic Flute as its creative and imaginative story and exciting blend of magic and adventure offer a lot for everyone, whatever their age, to enjoy and appreciate. In this version, we have introduced the theme of climate change as it is such a relevant topic today. We hope the show will both entertain people and make them think.”

The production will be performed to socially distanced audiences in both indoor and outdoor settings across the north of England starting at The Holbeck club on Saturday (12 June 2021) 3-4pm. As with all sjhows hosted by Slung Low, tickets are pay-what-you-decide: you can book here.

A performance exclusively for refugees, those seeking sanctuary and other community groups will also take place outside Opera North’s offices in Leeds to celebrate Refugee Week later in the month.

Opera North’s Education Programme is supported by The Emerald Foundation, The Liz & Terry Bramall Foundation, The Whitaker Charitable Trust and Opera North Future Fund.


This post is based on a press release issued by Opera North

Photo: Richard Pinkstone in The Mini Magic Flute in 2018. Photo credit Mark McNulty