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FULL CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA Leeds 1994 Hazel Croft. Neil Martin Dunn. Linda Baxter. John Patchett

Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO          Qries

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Peter Perkins  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Unknown
  • Quality Video: 2 Audio:2
  • Subtitles: nosubs  
  • Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO

West Riding Opera – until 1969 West Riding Opera Circle
This large society produced at least one fully staged opera annually at Leeds Civic Theatre (the former Albert Hall) from 1954-2005. Smetana’s comic opera The Bartered Bride, conducted by W.Iles Pulford and produced by Anthony Besch, was followed in 1955 by a bold triple bill of Menotti’s The Telephone, Schubert’s The Conspirators and Bizet’s Doctor Miracle.

The appointment of Martin Binks as conductor and artistic director of West Riding Opera in 1969 ushered in a productive period which showcased the northern premieres of such rarities as Vaughan Williams’s Hugh the Drover, Lalo’s Le Roi d’Ys, Bellini’s Il Pirata, Marschner’s The Vampire; Lortzing’s The Poacher, and Delibes’ Lakme. In addition to these hidden gems came such cornerstones of French opera as Bizet’s Carmen or Gounod’s Faust. Martin notched a conducting tally amounting to 250 performances of forty different operas. His productions invariably featured traditional scenery and costumes, an orchestra of forty-five and chorus of fifty lusty Yorkshire voices. Alternating casts of principal singers would be hand picked from around West Yorkshire and beyond. Gounod’s Faust was the final opera to be staged at the Civic Theatre before its conversion into the new city museum.

West Riding Opera’s subsequent move to the Carriageworks, the Civic Theatre’s smaller replacement, saw dwindling audience numbers. WRO’s lavish productions soon became unviable and the society sadly folded in 2014.

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