The Artistic Director of The Civic, Michael Barker-Caven, is directing a double bill of two intense one-act Puccini dramas at Opera North in Leeds.

The first of Puccini’s Il trittico (The Triptych), Il tabarro, is a noir thriller set in working class Paris. The young Giorgetta takes a lover and drives her husband Michele to murderous despair. A love triangle is at the heart of this very human drama and at its climax, a cloak reveals a dark and bloody secret.

Suor Angelica focuses on one of the most heart-rending human experiences. Sister Angelica has been confined to a convent following the scandal of an illegitimate son. After years of missing her child every day, she discovers that he died a long time ago. Angelica is plunged into suicidal despair yet the end of the opera holds out the promise of redemption.

Michael is an internationally acclaimed theatre, musical and opera director who has worked extensively in London’s West End and directed dozens of award-winning shows in Ireland over the past 20 years. He was the Artistic Director of the Everyman Theatre, Cork from 2011 – 2014 and prior to this was the Artistic Director of Theatreworks/Ouroboros Theatre Company from 1995 – 2004. Career highlights to date include Shadowlands, Wyndhams Theatre & The Novello Theatre, London West End, Medea for Glimmerglass Opera, in New York, a number of acclaimed productions for Landmark Productions including Skylight by David Hare and Dandelions by Fiona Looney, Little Women for the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Moll by John B Keane at the Gaiety, and The Bloody Irish! for PBS TV in the US. Most recently Michael directed the opera The Barber of Seville for Wide Open Theatre Company at the National Opera House, Wexford and Bord Gáis Theatre, Dublin.

For more information check out Opera North’s website.

Read the Guardian review here