Today saw the launch of our first behind the scenes online experience which offers visitors a weekly insight into the process of creating an opera, from notes scribbled on a piece of paper to a polished production with a cast of over 60, a full orchestra and tour dates across the UK.

The first in this series is the new production of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades. The site will include behind the scenes footage, interviews, blogs and photos to give unparalleled access into the creation of the production.

The epic tale of glamour, gambling and greed sees the lead character Herman, sung by Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts, obsessed with learning the secret of the three cards that will bring him wealth, love and happiness. But fate deals against him and he loses everything.  The exciting cast includes one of the world’s leading singing actresses Dame Josephine Barstow, alongside a highly acclaimed production team including theatre director Neil Bartlett, who joins Opera North for his first full scale opera production, together with established set & costume designer Kandis Cook.

This week on watch the first instalment from Director Neil Bartlett’s video diary. It includes an insight into the first model show, costume ideas and themes of the production, a blog from tenor Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts and a look at the image being used in our marketing material. will follow the whole production process of The Queen of Spades over 14 weeks until the opening night on Thursday 20 October at Leeds Grand Theatre.