I joined this a few years ago but until now, I've not made the most of what a great deal it is, which is stupid considering I've only got a few more years of eligibility. The scheme allows you to get up to two tickets to Opera North performances at certain locations for as little as £10, including some seats that would normally cost £40+.
Until I came to Leeds, I had never seen an opera live but had enjoyed the recorded performances I'd heard. This has totally changed now and I am trying to go to as many performances as possible, even asking for vouchers for Leeds Grand Theatre for Christmas. The idea of Opera North's scheme is to make opera accessible for young people, which it does incredibly well.
On top of this, you get discounts at other venues, deals on food and drink at the theatre, as well as invites to special events. You can buy a ticket for yourself and one other person, who also needs to be aged under 30, which means my husband is out (although he's not a fan of opera so he's happy about this).
So far, all of the performances I've seen with the scheme have been at Leeds Grand Theatre, although I have also got a ticket to see Turandot at Leeds Town Hall in May. February was the fairy tale season so I went to see the Snow Maiden, Hansel and Gretel and Cinderella.
My favourite performance had to be Cinderella, which was the first live opera I'd seen in Italian, which made it so special. On top of this, the set design, costumes, music and singing were absolutely incredible, especially as I was only three rows away from the stage. In fact, I would say this was one of the best operas I've seen so far, which is saying a lot as Don Giovanni was also brilliant.
Without the Opera North Under 30 scheme, I probably wouldn't have made it to one of these performances, let alone all three. This would have been a real shame as each of them was brilliant in a different way. Whether you're a big fan of opera or have never seen one, it is definitely worth signing up to enjoy cheaper tickets. I'm already looking forward to finally getting to see Madama Butterfly in the new season.
For more info about the scheme and to sign up, go to the Opera North site.