We began our mission with a free 15-minute production of Christmas Meeting in December 2017, which took new opera to three locations in the city – the Thornton Estate, Brain Jar and Trinity Methodist Church on Newland Avenue. Our aims were taken up by the BBC who asked “Would you try opera if it was free and 15 minutes long?”. Audience reaction was very positive telling us that it was “wonderful to hear a new opera, and in Hull” and describing the production as “beautifully sung and played”.

In April of 2018 we began a series of informal performances of new music entitled the “Brain Jar Sessions”. Audience members are encouraged to bring their favourite tipple upstairs to the friendly bar’s back room where composers present their work and make themselves available for comments and questions. Brain Jar Session #1 was a sell-out success with some audience members experiencing the music for free from the foyer rather than miss out. Brain Jar Session #2 in July, will feature work presented by five female composers including at least one world premiere.

September will offer audiences the opportunity to experience an operatic masterpiece from inside as we present the “Squatters’ Boheme”. Played in a secret location, this immersive production has a brand new libretto locating the opera in present-day Hull an includes a trip to Brain Jar which stands in for the Cafe Momus. Hull hasn’t seen this kind of opera before and we’re excited too that Brain Jar patrons will experience Act 2 of this great work for free!

Hull Urban Opera