Jonathan Dove and librettist Alisdair Nicholson are working on Swanhunter, based on Norse myths, which will premiere in November. Other new productions are Massenet’s Werther, Janacek’s The Adventures of Mr Broucek, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore and Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda.

Along with revivals of Così fan tutte, La bohème (is anyone not doing that?) and Rusalka, these productions will make up the autumn and spring tours beginning on 11 September.

The new Werther is particularly exciting, not least for the participation of Alice Coote. The mezzo appeared with the company in the early years of her career and now, as one of the leading artists of her generation, returns for her UK role debut as Charlotte. She will be joined by tenor Paul Nilon in the title role.

Janacek’s relatively rarely-performed Broucek is also a great prospect, with The Opera Group’s John Fulljames directing. Maria Stuarda sees the return of another great mezzo to the company in Sarah Connolly, who played Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi last year.

The productions will visit Opera North’s regular venues in Leeds, Belfast, Nottingham, Salford and Newcastle with smaller venues for the Swanhunter tour. As yet, there has been no announcement of the usual London trip in the New Year.

Further details of Opera North’s programme at www.operanorth.co.uk

Photograph: Alice Coote

- Simon Thomas