PEOPLE passing St George’s Square got an operatic surprise at the weekend as a cultural performance took to the town’s streets.
Huddersfield Creative Arts Network and Huddersfield Youth Opera presented the first of two street performances of Mozart and Salieri, in what they term a “guerilla-style” opera.
Train passengers and shoppers gathered for the first scene which was staged at 2.30pm before the action moved to the nearby Head of Steam.
Mozart and Salieri is a short opera by Rimsky Korsakov sung in English about the jealousy that Salieri – the most senior composer of his time – supposedly had for the genius musician Mozart.
Musical director Gordon Balmforth, said: “We had a technical run through early in the morning which attracted some attention and helped spread the word for the afternoon performance which was split into the two scenes.
“I think the opera gelled quite well and the day was helped by the good weather.
“There was as steady flow of people coming from the train station and a few shocked faces.”
Speaking on people’s views of opera he added: “Huddersfield Opera is still relatively new, but by offering shorter performances in perhaps somewhat unusual settings it allows us to engage with a new audience and make opera acceptable to everyone.
“Opera is not only for the elite at the Royal Opera House, it can be enjoyed by anyone.”
Costumes for the production have been made by Huddersfield University students Oliver Smith, Natalie Lawson and Emily Hargreaves.
Music for the performance was specifically chosen by music director Janet Cowley.
Huddersfield Youth Opera’s David Heathcote said: “The exciting thing about opera is that it combines all kinds of art.
“Perhaps even some casual passers-by will pay attention to the production and decide that opera is something they want to find out more about.
“We were thrilled with the response we received and it has even created a buzz around opera on social media which is really exciting.”
The second performance of Mozart and Salieri will take place at St George’s Square, Huddersfield, at 2.30pm next Saturday.