If you ask a lot of people what they think opera is they’ll say ‘a long boring show with lots of annoying singing in it’. Believe me, it is absolutely not! The first time I went to the opera I thought it was going to be really boring and long. After the show, if you asked me what I thought opera was I’d tell you it was a really exciting performance with loads of adventures and fabulous singing!

The opera me and my family went to see was called Paradise Moscow and before the show had even started I was impressed. The surroundings of the theatre were AMAZING. Gold paint was everywhere with loads of flowers intricately styled into the ceiling and angels painstakingly carved into the walls. This was no ordinary theatre, I thought to myself.

Then the show began. Paradise Moscow was set in 1950’s Russia where people had to struggle just to buy a house!

The performance had really funny characters in it like my favourite, Boris. A large group of friends were travelling to a new estate where houses were cheap and easy to buy. However, the greedy owners of the estate realised that the houses were an offer not to be missed and wanted special apartments of their own! They wouldn’t give the desperate people of Russia the keys to their reserved houses until they had altered the blueprint of the houses saying that there were some extra large flats entitled to themselves! Eventually the greedy tyrants were overthrown and everyone had an apartment of their own.

There were loads of really surreal dances, with people coming on as washing machines and plant pots. In fact, the whole opera was slightly surreal with statues doing break dancing and all that jazz.

As it was my first time at the opera I was expecting a load of people dressed in Elizabethan dresses with white masks on and singing really shakily but I was surprised at how modern the whole set design and costumes were. There was one person wearing what looked like a Bob the Builder suit!

One thing I hadn’t expected was how much dancing there was in the opera. Summer Strallen was the actress who played Lidochka (the leading role!) who could sing and dance really well at the same time!

The whole experience was fantastic and made me realise that I wanted to see and do more for Opera North.

Opera is really interesting and is not the long boring show that some people will tell you it is. I strongly urge you to get involved with opera and you could be a Young Advisor too (!)

Harri Pitches, Young Advisor for Opera North, aged 11