Four year labour of love creates a definitive history of Opera North
A new book detailing the history and inner workings of Opera North has been published by a Leeds lecturer.
Opera North: Historical
and Dramaturgical Perspectives on Opera Studies details opera production
through history, ethnography and production analysis for opera staff, opera
scholars and opera lovers alike.
It examines the workplace behaviour of the much-loved opera
company through its rehearsal and performance spaces. Dr Kara McKechnie,
Lecturer in Dramaturgy and Literary Management
follows the production cycle from first rehearsal to first night, through
detailed observation and images from Opera Norths 35-year history.
The book delves deep into the Leeds companys past from its
roots in 1978 when it was founded by George Lascelles, then Earl of Harewood.
Originally called English National Opera North, it was the first large-scale
opera company in the North and set out to bring the highest quality opera to
the regions stages, with an egalitarian spirit and a conviction that great
opera is for everybody.
Opera North continues to fulfil its remit as a touring company
and is widely praised as one of the UKs boldest and most adventurous opera
Dr McKechnie, from the Universitys School
of Performance and Cultural Industries, was granted unprecedented access to the companys archives and daily
routines, interviewing key staff past and present
She said: It has been an intense and inspiring four years of
research, thanks to the generous support, openness and artistic excellence of
everyone at Opera North.
With its interdisciplinary research agenda, the study aims to
cater for audiences beyond the academic sphere, such as friends, patrons and
audiences of Opera North, experts in their own right, as well as readers
involved in the opera industry. It aims to reflect Opera Norths principle that
opera is for everyone.
Richard Mantle, General Manager for Opera North said: I am
immensely pleased to celebrate the publication of Karas study of Opera North,
a fascinating exploration of this companys history and work.
The book was launched at Opera Norths Howard Assembly Room on
Tuesday 28 October.
· Opera North: Historical and Dramaturgical Perspectives on Opera Studies by Dr Kara McKechnie, is published by Emerald (ISBN: 9781783505012). Priced £49.95, it is available to order online from http://goo.gl/f1cu3Q.Posted in: Research and innovation