Being backstage of the Leeds Grand Theatre is the biz. It is a truly magical experience; let me tell you a little bit about it. It all starts with the rehearsal room. I don’t know whether you’ve seen any Opera at the Leeds Grand Theatre but each scene takes you to a different location. And in the rehearsal room there is a floor plan of these scenes. The plan that was on the floor at the time I went was from Abduction from the Seraglio. My brother acted out the particular scene. The next part of being backstage is standing behind the actual red curtain. Opera North had the Don Carlos scene up and there was a tomb of a dead person. The walls were really tall and you could see up into the fly tower. The stage, when you are on it feels smaller than when you are looking at it.
When I stood on the stage I got a wave of emotion thinking what it must be like to perform in front of all those people.
Now I’m going to talk about the fly tower. As I bounded up the steps a thought struck me: this place must be massive. Then we entered the fly tower: the first thing I did was look over the barrier to see how high up we were – gosh that was high! We looked around, there were lots of different posters and we could see ropes hanging down from the ceiling; we were told that they were for the lowering and the raising of the different scenes. The last thing I saw was the moving wall, a wall which could move up and down for an artist to paint higher than he could reach. That was the backstage tour of Opera North.