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Opera North to stage Kiss Me, Kate and Into the Woods

The new season also features a new opera starring Lesley Garrett and a full Ring Cycle

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Opera North will stage productions of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate and Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods as part of its newly announced 2015/16 season.

Porter's Broadway classic, a co-production with Welsh National Opera, opens the season at Leeds Grand Theatre on 24 September 2015.

Directed by Jo Davies, with design by Colin Richmond and choreography by Will Tuckett, Kiss Me, Kate will star Opera North regulars Jeni Bern as Lilli and Quirijn de Lang as Fred.

Sondheim's fairytale musical Into the Woods will open next year (dates tbc), marking the company's first major collaboration with West Yorkshire Playhouse. Directed by WYP's James Brining, the cast will be drawn largely from the Chorus of Opera North, part of the Company's core ensemble.

Other productions in the new season include touring revivals of The Barber of Seville (opens 7 October, Leeds Grand Theatre), Jenůfa (from 22 October), Cosi fan tutte (from 3 February) and L'elisir d'amore (from 17 February). Giordano's Andrea Chénier is given a new production by Annabel Arden, which tours from 19 January.

There will also be the world premiere of a new opera by Mark Simpson, Pleasure, set in a gay nightclub, directed by Tim Albery with cast including Lesley Garrett.

And a full cycle of Wagner's The Ring will be conducted by Richard Farnes from April to July 2016 in Leeds, Nottingham, Salford, Gateshead and London.

Opera North's general director Richard Mantle described the season, which also features a range of performances in Leeds' Howard Assembly Room and will see work performed at Latitude and Wilderness festivals, as the company's "most excitingly diverse" to date.

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