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Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel Voted best musical of the 20th century... the reviews are in!


The Times

'full of moments of grace'

The Telegraph

'Throughout, the ensemble’s vocal performance is outstanding but never better than Yvonne Howard’s beatific rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone'

The Stage

'vividly animated'

The Guardian

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Carousel announcement

Michael Rouse as Jigger (centre) and Michael Todd Simpson as Billy Bigelow (right) with the Chorus of Opera North and dancers. Photo credit: Robert Workman

Opera North’s hit production of the classic American musical, Carousel, returns to UK and Ireland stages for a new tour following a sell-out run at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.

One of the greatest musical works of the 20th century, Carousel was composed by one of Broadway’s most successful and enduring partnerships, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, whose much-loved stage and screen legacy includes The Sound of Music, Oklahoma! and The King and I.  

Asked if he had ever been tempted to write an opera, Richard Rodgers replied that he had, and that Carousel was the closest he had come to doing so. His score is studded with some of the most powerful, uplifting and moving music ever written for the stage, including 'If I Loved You,' 'June is Bustin' Out All Over,' and, of course, 'You'll Never Walk Alone.' James Holmes, arguably today’s most expert interpreter of Rodgers’ score, returns to conduct.

This fresh and vibrant production received 5 star reviews for its first performances in Leeds, Salford and at the Barbican, London in 2012. Directed by Jo Davies, it brings the New England community to life with joyous choreography, a full orchestra and chorus, and a classically-trained cast, including Keith Higham as Billy Bigelow, Gillene Butterfield as Julie Jordan, and Yvonne Howard as Nettie.

UK venues for the tour of Carousel in 2015 include Leeds Grand Theatre, Theatre Royal Norwich and Edinburgh Festival Theatre, before this beautifully staged production travels to the Republic of Ireland for further performances in Dublin.

An instant hit with audiences and critics alike, it has been praised as an “exhilarating” show which “does great honour to a rich piece of musical theatre” (Daily Telegraph); “a real masterpiece […] totally charming” (Mail on Sunday); “got me hook, line and sinker” (The Times); “tremendously uplifting” (Financial Times) and “easily the best Carousel since Nicholas Hytner’s National Theatre revival nearly 20 years ago” (The Guardian).

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Highlighters at the ready: Gillene Herbert marks her first steps on the road towards Carousel

Since joining Opera North, I have appeared on stage as a puppet, a can-can dancer, a Japanese geisha, a witch, a maid (twice) and a crazy bridesmaid. But this May brings the most exciting challenge I've had at Opera North so far: the role of Julie Jordan in Carousel.

Since seeing my name appear in print at alongside the other cast members, I am getting both very excited and very nervous in equal measure!


Book Your Tickets

Leeds Grand Theatre
Wed 13 – Sat 23 May 2015
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Norwich Theatre Royal
Thu 28 – Sat 30 May 2015
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Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Tue 2 – Sat 6 June 2015
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Dublin Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
Wed 10 – Sat 13 June 2015
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The Cast - view all

Billy Bigelow - Keith Higham
Julie Jordan - Gillene Butterfield
Carrie Pipperidge - Aoife O'Sullivan
Enoch Snow - Joe Shovelton
Nettie Fowler - Yvonne Howard
Jigger Craigin - Stuart Neal
Mrs Mullin - Michele Moran

Creative Team - view all

Conductor - James Holmes
Director - Jo Davies
Set & Costume Designer - Anthony Ward
Choreographer - Kay Shepherd
Choreographer (Ballet) - Kim Brandstrup
Lighting Designer - Bruno Poet
Video Designer - Andrzej Goulding

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