Media Release: Unique online collaboration invites everyone to take a look inside opera

SEVEN of the UK’s opera companies have joined forces to produce Inside Opera: Live, a unique online event offering unprecedented behind the scenes access and insight into the opera being created and performed in theatres across the country.

In a collaboration, the scope of which is a first for the arts, the Companies – English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Northern Ireland Opera, Opera North, The Royal Opera, Scottish Opera, and Welsh National Opera – will come together on 10 May 2014 as part of a Europe-wide celebration of opera.

Designed for anyone who is new to opera, but with obvious appeal for opera fans, this ambitious event will be hosted on YouTube.

It combines live streamed and filmed footage to give viewers a chance to experience opera across the UK from the inside, and encourages them to find out about the opera activity on their doorstep.

Hosted from the Grand Theatre in Leeds as Opera North prepares for matinee and evening performances of Puccini’s La bohème, it will air specially commissioned behind the scenes films from all the participating companies, live interviews with singers and directors, and live links to rehearsals, backstage and community-based activities.

In the course of a packed afternoon, viewers will have the chance to hear from performers just before they go on stage; find out how a singer prepares for a new role; meet the people behind an opera production and learn what they do; see what it takes to make and take an opera out on tour; and understand the skill that goes into making a period costume.

Throughout the event there will also be the opportunity using #insideopera to put questions live via Twitter to the companies’ artistic directors.

Opera productions on stage in the UK on European Opera Days weekend include some of the best loved works in the repertoire, such as Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, Puccini’s Tosca, La bohème and Madama Butterfly, and Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier.


Notes to editors:

Inside Opera:Live can be seen at from 2pm – 6pm on Saturday 10 May 2014.

Since 2007, opera companies from all over Europe have been collaborating on The European Opera Days – an open invitation to discover opera in all its forms on the weekend closest to 9 May, Europe Day. The European Opera Days are a joint initiative of Opera Europa, the leading organisation for professional opera companies and festivals throughout Europe, serving over 140 members in 37 countries (, and RESEO, the European network for opera and dance education, supporting participation, creative learning and youth productions of 80 members in 21 countries (, in partnership with la Réunion des Opéras de France (, Ópera XXI (, the UK National Opera Coordinating Committee and the Benelux United States of Opera. For more information on European Opera Days, please contact

European Opera Days 2014 are on 10 and 11 May. Over 90 opera companies in 22 countries will celebrate opera, its diversity, its rich heritage and its contemporary message through free activities, tours of theatres and workshops, rehearsals and performances.

For additional press details please contact:

Kenny Young, Scottish Opera press manager, or 0141 242 0511

Emma York, Scottish Opera press officer, or 0141 242 0552

The Inside Opera: Live programme on the day includes:

English National Opera

A film showcasing and celebrating the variety of people working to create opera at the London Coliseum, through a series of interviews that reveal the personalities behind the scenes. There will also be a link with ENO’s schools programme.

Live activity on the day in the run up to an evening performance of new world premiere of Julian Anderson’s The Thebans.

English Touring Opera

A film showcasing the scale and ambition of ETO’s tour operation, following the daily activities of three company members during a visit to the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham: Marius Ronning (production manager), Dafydd Hall Williams (staff director) and Abigail Kelly (singer).

Live activity on the day from Warwick Arts Centre where a tour for families and children of the set of The Magic Flute is taking place prior to an evening performance.

Northern Ireland Opera

A film about the first ever performances in Ireland of Gerald Barry’s new opera The Importance of Being Earnest in October last year.

Live activity on the day from Armagh, where NI Opera’s Young Artists are preparing for a concert to mark the start of Stage 3 of this year’s Giro d’Italia.

Opera North

A film about the making of ON’s revival of Phyllida Lloyd’s classic production of La bohème, tracking the realisation of the production rehearsals (music, studio and stage) and following the young cast.

Live activity on the day from the Grand Theatre, Leeds, in the run up to matinee and evening performances of La bohème.

The Royal Opera

A film showing the journey from the first rehearsal to the first night of a singer; young soprano, Elizabeth Watts as Zerlina in Kasper Holten’s new production of Don Giovanni which opened in February 2014.

Live activity on the day in the run-up to a midday performance of Le nozze di Figaro and an evening performance of Tosca.

Scottish Opera

A film showing the creation of the costumes for Lisa Milne as Donna Elvira in SO’s recent production of Don Giovanni from initial design through construction, fittings, rehearsals through to the first performance.

Live activity on the day as the SO Community Choir gives a performance at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum.

Welsh National Opera

A film narrating the two-day get-in during WNO’s tour to Plymouth this spring, illustrating the scale, reach and journey of the touring operation across Wales and England.

Live activity on the day will include chief executive and artistic director, David Pountney, skyping from a WNO concert at Penarth Pier.

PRESS RELEASE issued by Scottish Opera. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka press or media releases), on Email for more information.

Contact: Emma York