Masque of Might

Thu 16 November

Opera North - Masque of Might

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An Eco-Entertainment

Don’t miss the world premiere of a witty new recycled opera. Sir David Pountney skilfully assembles Henry Purcell’s music to create a fantastical tale of power and the demise of the planet. Brace yourself as a tyrannical climate-denying ruler unleashes chaos on the planet until an eco-warrior arrives to save the day. But can nature fight back?

Inspired by the ‘masque’ (the 17th century equivalent of a variety show!) expect a unique performance of song, dance and spectacle. Taking place on a repurposed set, featuring re-used costumes and props, this recycled opera is the star of Opera North’s Green Season.

Music by Henry Purcell
Libretto assembled and adapted by Sir David Pountney

Part of Opera North’s Green Season.

Running Time:

First Act 50 Mins

Interval 20 minute

Second Act 81 Mins

#OperaGoes Green


Masque of the Might

A tale of nature fighting back

Experience a fantastical tale of power in a world teetering on the brink of darkness. It begins with the birth of a horrendous ruler, Diktat, who imprisons and tortures his subjects while also wreaking havoc on the environment.

As a band of unlikely heroes – talking animals, plague like winds and fortune tellers – emerge on a mission to restore balance to a wounded Earth, Diktat is pushed to breaking point… but can a shattered world heal in time?


Discover the full story 📖

Falstaff’s caravan

What is the opera like?

Masque of Might is our ‘juke box opera’, which sees music by genius composer Henry Purcell ‘recycled’ into one piece. Listen out for the distinct sounds of instruments from the Baroque (pronounced ba–rock) era (c.1600–1750) too, including harpsichord, viola da gamba, the theorbo and recorder.

Everything you see on stage has had a previous life, often from another one of our productions. If you come along to another show in our Green season, you may recognise pieces that have been repurposed, such as Falstaff’s caravan that is transformed into a theatre for Masque of Might!

Find out More 🔍



‘David Pountney’s ingenious new fable’

The Telegraph

‘Purcell with a punch’

The Times

‘Soprano Anna Dennis is a compelling presence at the heart of David Pountney’s exuberant production’

The Guardian

‘Musically the evening is sublime’

Reviews Hub

‘a smash hit’


‘it is all things an opera should be: quirky, a little raw, bursting with talent and thought provoking.’

Yorkshire Times

‘An eco-entertainment that’s full of fun’

The Opera Critic