The chance to learn about opera from one of the artform’s most experienced conductors, Nicholas Cleobury, is on offer to Huddersfield music lovers next week.

Nicholas is artistic director of the Mid Wales Opera Company, which is performing Carmen at the Lawrence Batley Theatre on September 13. He is famed throughout the Western world for his operatic, orchestral, choral and contemporary music work.

The day before the performance, Nicholas will be leading an afternoon opera workshop, with artists from the company, in the Attic Theatre at the LBT.

According to Christopher England, who heads the Opera Circle at the LBT - an organisation for those who enjoy and want to learn about opera - it is an unparalleled opportunity to find out more from someone at the pinnacle of his career.

“And it’s free,” said Christopher, who started the Opera Circle 12 years ago as an alternative to the opera appreciation adult education classes that used to run in Kirklees. Although tickets have to be booked in advance at or by calling 01484 430528.

The Opera Circle meets on the first Monday of the month in the LBT upper bar (7.30pm) and Christopher is offering new members the chance to sample what it has to offer free of charge for the first few sessions. The next meeting is on October 6.

“We would welcome new members,” says Christopher. “A lot of people here think that opera is for music snobs. In Italy they put on open air opera and get 20,000 people watching, it’s like a football crowd. Ours is not an elitist group at all, it’s very down to earth and casual.”

The Opera Circle has regular speakers, often drawn from opera companies and musicians.