From our archive

From Wednesday 1st July 2020

We’re delighted to be able to bring you this recording of Satie’s “The Death of Socrates”, part 3 of “Socrates”, from our performances at Hull Minster in June 2019. It is sung by soprano Poppy Shotts with Caroline Blair at the piano (English translation by Russell Plows).

About us

Hull Urban Opera is a company specifically created to meet the needs of the people of Hull and has quickly become a valued part of the city’s creative ecology.

The company is run on socialist principles of fairness and equality which inform everything from casting, auditions and pay to repertoire and venues.

Our focus is mainly on exciting and engaging new work which can best meet the particular demands of the city with particular emphasis on quality and accessibility. We keep the quality high by working with the best available artists whilst introducing newcomers who can learn from them. HUO performs in unusual spaces across the city which have no stigma attached, have full disabled access and ticket prices reflecting the local cost of living.

We continue to support female composers and conductors and we warmly welcome applications from BAME and disabled artists who are less well represented in opera.


Various Stages

On Thursday 19 March 2020 HUO Artistic Director Russell Plows will be speaking at the ICA as part of Mahogany Opera's Round Table event chaired by Rhian Hutchings, Creative Director of OperaSonic. The panel includes Fay Jennett, Creative Producer at Opera & Music-Theatre Snape Maltings and Frederic Wake-Walker, Artistic Director of Mahogany Opera. The subject is: "While opportunities to develop new work are relatively plentiful, there can be many barriers to making the transition from workshop space to venue stage. Let’s begin to drive change in our industry by coming up with some big ideas and realistic actions to help us take the first step towards turning our dreams into reality."

A mum’s perspective

Having now seen our latest show "Music & Mindfulness" 5 times (!), we asked Sheila Shotts, mother of our solo soprano Poppy, to say a few words about it… Watching "Music & Mindfulness" has introduced me to the life of Socrates and I wonder how I've got to my age without knowing more about this man. The storytelling in this production is magnificent but it's good to get there half an hour early to hear the introduction and seeing it more than once has been fantastic. It really leaves an impression!

Captured yeti to sing at Glasto

"Yes, indeed! Having braved the harsh Himalayas in entirely unsuitable wear, and returned in triumph with the world's only recorded yeti, our brave hunter and his tiny assistant head off to Glastonbury to display their unique find - some say the creature even sings!"

Cruel Britannia

Our wry look at Britain's past and present through street-opera took to the streets on 29th & 30th March 2019. Find out more about it here

Music & Mindfulness

Exciting times ahead as we prepare for this beauty on tour in June 2019. Contact us if you'd like it to come to your city's church or meditation spaces.

It’s cast!

Bass & Coloratura Soprano on board. We're delighted to welcome soprano Zerrin Karsli and bass-baritone Neil Balfour to our March event, Cruel Britannia. Performances are 29th/30th March in and around central Hull.


Man, it was cold. But still great feedback from audiences for our Opera Favourites event on 14 December inside Scale Lane Bridge. The audience chose from a selection of rep offered and performed by Poppy Shotts, Beth Mackay, Alex Grainger and Eugene Dillon-Hooper. See page for more.

Great audience feedback for Session #2!

"It was beautiful!" The music was haunting, the artists, amazing" "The arcade was ideal and the soloists excellent" "I loved Paragon and the people passing by" "Great to have the composers there to introduce and explain" "Very emotional and a lovely acoustic" Thanks to our kind and attentive audiences!

In our recent past






No tuxedo. No party dress. Just thrillingly-sung, memorable theatre.

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