OPERA North’s winter season enjoys a magical start with a contemporary twist on three traditional fairy tales.

The operas will debut at the Grand Theatre in January, before heading out on tour across the North of England.

The Snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov is a rare opportunity to see an opera which has not been staged professionally in the UK for over 60 years.

Director John Fulljames blurs the boundaries between fantasy and modern day reality in this poignant tale of Grandfather Frost and Spring Beauty’s daughter who, while susceptible to human desire, hides a tragic secret: a fragile heart of ice which will melt if she falls in love.

Irish mezzo-soprano Aoife Miskelly makes her Opera North debut as the Snow Maiden.

Written at one of the happiest times in his life, Rimsky-Korsakov described The Snow Maiden as ‘a spring fairy-tale’, creating an opera of sheer enchantment from this popular Russian tale, graced with some of the composer’s most spontaneously lyrical music.

Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel tells the classic story of two children lost in the woods and forced to outwit a wicked witch to ensure their survival.

This may be the best-loved of the operatic fairy tales, but the beauty of the music belies an unsettling twist as the action unfolds on stage.

One of Britain’s leading sopranos, Susan Bullock CBE, appears in the dual role of the Witch and the children’s mother, while Katie Bray and Fflur Wyn return to the Opera North stage as Hansel and Gretel.

Completing the trio is Cinderella by Rossini, described as the perfect family treat.

This romantic comic opera celebrates the power of music, dance and love as Cinderella overcomes all the odds to claim her prince.

Audiences can look forward to seeing and hearing two young international stars in the lead roles with Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta as Cinderella and South African tenor Sunnyboy Dladla as her prince, Don Ramiro.

The season runs in Leeds from January 21 to February 25. Visit leedsgrandtheatre.com or call 0844 8482700 to book tickets .