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Opera North Intern 2019/20: Internship diary: January 2020

13th November

La petite boheme rehearsals at The Lowry, Salford.


The first day of my ON internship was spent at The Lowry watching rehearsals for La petite boheme, which toured in Manchester and Hull that same week. Not only was I thrilled to have been invited to watch the rehearsal, but I was also asked to act as stage assistant/manager for the performance at Middleton Hall, Hull University. Given that my technical discipline in my degree (I’m studying Drama and English at Hull University) is Stage and Production Management, this was a fantastic opportunity as it would allow me to put my knowledge into practice in a professional setting. On the day, I had the honour of meeting the Head of Music, David, as well as the cast of La petite boheme. I also met Tony Courts, who I worked alongside for the performance at Middleton Hall. The day was extremely insightful, and allowed me to meet a cohort of professionals who work for Opera North and learn about their experiences working for the company.


16th November

La petite boheme at Middleton Hall, University of Hull.

Being invited to be the Stage Manager for the performance of La petite boheme was an honour, and allowed me to put into practise the skills and knowledge I have acquired so far in my degree. It was an extremely busy and tiring but fulfilling day, and I left the venue feeling very accomplished and proud of myself. The cast were a pleasure to work with, as well as David, Tony and Rosie.


18th December

Opera North induction in Leeds.

My induction to Opera North was an extremely insightful day. I was introduced to the organisation’s administrative team, who span in areas from marketing, to publicity and to education. One of the aspects of my internship is to assist with marketing for ON’s Whistle Stop production of The Marriage of Figaro in the Arts Cafe at University of Hull in  February. After speaking to Alex, ON’s marketing assistant, we established areas in which we could target the student-staff demographic at the university. It was agreed that I would contact the Director of Drama (Cat Fergusson-Baugh) and the Head of Music to arrange info to be given to students to encourage them to come to the performance. It was also agreed that I would contact Culture Campus, FACE, and Hull University Union to arrange marketing and advertisement across social media for the event.

I was delighted to be invited to watch a rehearsal for The Marriage of Figaro, which will be ON’s first production in 2020. The rehearsal was insightful, and it was wonderful to see the technicians, artists and actors collaborate on the production. My next visit to ON will be to watch the get-in for the production in January and to ask Peter and Jane (Stage Manager/Company Manager) questions about their contributions to ON and how they worked their way into the organisation.


7th January

Tour of Leeds Grand

At the start of January, I was invited to Leeds Grand to meet ON’s Technical Manager, Peter Restall. As stage management is an area of work I am interested in pursuing, I was fascinated by Peter’s progression through the industry. He was extremely helpful in his recommendations for companies and theatres to pursue work and volunteer experience with, all whilst we watching the fit-up for ‘Street Scene’. As part of the experience, I also received a backstage tour of Leeds Grand, that involved going up to the fly floor. I found it very interesting to see how other theatres operate in contrast to the one I work in at the University of Hull. I was delighted to be invited back to Leeds Grand in February to sit in prompt corner during a matinee performance of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’.

28th January 2020