General Director, Opera North
Opera North is a national opera company based in Leeds, and is a leading UK arts organisation. Rooted in the North of England, international in outlook, we create extraordinary experiences, every day.
Our award-winning work tours to theatre stages and concert halls throughout the North and beyond, including to London and major international festivals, and we curate an eclectic artistic programme of gigs, concerts, spoken word and film in the Howard Assembly Room. Our aim is to make bold, innovative, ambitious work and share it in new ways.
Opera North believes opera and music is for everyone, and champions diversity in artists, repertoire and audiences. Opera North Education connects with communities and inspires each generation, aiming to enhance the health and well-being of people in the communities where we work through arts participation and performance.
Opera North is grateful for the generous support of Arts Council England and Leeds City Council, sponsorship from the private sector, trusts and individuals, the Friends of Opera North, the Opera North Future Fund and the box office income from its audiences, which allows us to continue to mount our award-winning work.
Creating extraordinary experiences every day, using music and opera to entertain, engage, challenge and inspire.
We will define what it means to be an opera company for the 21st century. Continually innovating across artforms, we will embrace the diversity of skills and artforms inherent in opera, to make bold and ambitious new work, shared in new ways. Opera is a radical, all-encompassing artform, and we will keep that sense of energy and experimentation at the heart of our work as we explore different avenues in theatre, music, education and beyond.
We create work for everyone and will champion diversity in artists, repertoire and audiences. Opera’s power is built on the diversity of the artforms it combines. We will challenge ourselves to ensure the artists and staff we train and work with, repertoire we commission and programme, and audiences or communities we engage are increasingly diverse.
Connect with communities
We work in communities with whom we make a deep, relevant and valuable connection. We are a company of the North with the scale, artistic resource and reputation to redefine our region economically, culturally and socially. Across all our activity, from main stage to education, we will make tangible, real connections with individuals, community groups, schools and businesses.
Make an impact
We will advocate for the value of culture. We believe culture enriches society and empowers people of all backgrounds and ages. We have a significant contribution to make and will collaborate with our peers to demonstrate the impact and value of opera and the creative industries.
Shape the future
We must secure the future. We are on a journey of significant change, on which we will reinvigorate the impact and perception of opera’s relevance and variety, reaching new audiences in new ways and making a positive societal impact across our region and beyond. We will reach more young people, fostering a diverse base of future audiences, singers and musicians. To ensure financial security, we will become more entrepreneurial in seeking out earned income and public, corporate or philanthropic support. We will evolve our business in response to a changing world, ensuring we have the resource and capacity to meet our ambitions.
Richard Mantle is General Director of Opera North. His first appointment in the opera field was as Deputy Managing Director at English National Opera until 1985 when he joined Scottish Opera as Managing Director. He spent 3 years working in opera in Canada before returning to the UK in 1994 to join Opera North.