1. Shostakovich meets the West End. Where else could you see the brightest talents of the West End musical stage and the brightest talents of the opera stage? For one night only you can see a brilliant fusion of dance, opera, musical theatre and orchestral playing in Paradise Moscow at The Lowry on 4 June. Summer Strallen, who plays the lead Lidochka, is direct from her success as Maria in the Sound of Music and she is joined by the magnificent Maggie Preece, who as the Mother Abbess helped Maria over the hills every night, but in Paradise she plays Vava a gold digging mistress of a corrupt boss

2. This show is for those who enjoy a good night out watching a production of the highest quality.  In particular it is a perfect first for those who have often hesitated about going to see an opera or a company who has ‘opera’ in their title.  Opera North has a proven critically acclaimed track record of producing musicals and repertoire that is a little more unusual.  So this is for you if you want an introduction into the opera world but, who also wants to be able to hum a tune by the interval - and that I can guarantee!

3. The dancing is superb! Choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood and revived by David Hulston you will see a 50’s Russian rock and roll and see 40 people dance a ‘drunken Russian polka’, not to mention a magic garden scene that will make you giggle the whole way through as plant pots do really sing!
4. An to the minute storyline. Although set in Russia in the 1950’s when residents of Moscow were trying to get a new flat in the high rise council estate of Cherry Tree Estate or Cheryomushki, most of us can see parallels to contemporary life. In Moscow in 1950 most people lived in shared accommodation, several families to a house so a ‘roof of their own’ was their hearts desire. Sasha and Masha, a young married couple dream of their home and are seen dancing with a fridge, a cooker, a washing machine and even, Masha’s ultimate must have kitchen appliance - a blender!

5. The whole cast and chorus is a joy to behold, and where else are you going to hear a wobble board, an out of tune piano, a rattle, whistle, a banjo and Ukulele in the pit amongst the strings and wind? Keeping this party together with more verve and energy than you are ever likely to see on the conductors podium is James Holmes, who like me would very much like to see you on the 4th.

-Caroline Clegg