OPERA North has revealed more details of its autumn programme of events designed to operate amidst the current coronavirus restrictions.

The Leeds-based opera company has created Switch ON to place its originally have planned season of large-stage touring theatre productions.

Switch ON features outdoor events across West Yorkshire and beyond, and digital projects that can be accessed from anywhere. he Leeds-based national opera company has postponed its previously planned season of large-scale operas, which was due to tour to theatres across the North of England from September.

The season includes As You Are, an interactive outdoor soundwalk for Opera North’s home city of Leeds, will be composed by South African cellist Abel Selaocoe. The journey will start and end at Victoria Gate, following a route exploring many of the city centre’s most recognisable landmarks as well as its arcades and side streets and the waterfront of the River Aire.

Audiences taking part in the soundwalk in small groups will each be given a set of headphones connected to a wireless receiver, triggering new musical chapters at different points on the walk through Leeds, experiencing the cityscape through a new and transformative journey.

Taking inspiration from his South African heritage, Abel Selaocoe is creating music that embraces the healing power of walking. At times uplifting with full orchestra and chorus, at others reflective with just a single voice, As You Are expresses acceptance that there will be difficult times, but that we will come through to the other side.

As You Are will run in Leeds city centre from November 14 to January 6. Tickets will go on sale in September.

Song of Our Heartland is a new community opera that was originally due to premiere at Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham, in May this year.

Written by Durham-born composer Will Todd, with a storyline by Caroline Clegg and libretto by Emma Jenkins, the new opera was developed in partnership with members of local communities. It was commissioned by Northern Heartlands, the Great Place scheme for County Durham.

Following the cancellation of rehearsals and performances earlier in the year, Song of Our Heartland will now be created digitally, with different elements recorded separately under social distancing guidelines and pieced together as a 60-minute film. The film is expected to be released in October this year.

Set in a town marked by declining local industry and loss of civic spaces, Will Todd’s new community opera Song of Our Heartland is both a love letter to the landscape, the heritage and the people of the area and an act of storytelling by three generations of indomitable women.

Following the death of Harold, a former miner and railwayman, the opera shines a light on his family, his wife Lilian, daughter Jacqueline and granddaughter Skylar, as they face a stark choice between moving away to find jobs and new opportunities, or staying to face an uncertain future.

Forced to remain by Harold’s death and driven by her grandad’s spirit, Skylar fights to save the things which are most important to her; the school choir and the abandoned Moonlight Ballroom Theatre.

Directed by Caroline Clegg and conducted by Holly Mathieson, the film of Song of Our Heartland will be filmed on location at Locomotion and the surrounding area and recorded by the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North and the newly formed Community Chorus, with solo roles shared between members of the Chorus of Opera North and community participants.

Visit operanorth.co.uk.