Celebrating the 10th anniversary of DARE

Who would have thought when colleagues from across Opera North and the University of Leeds met for an initial conversation a decade ago, that ten years later we would be celebrating a partnership that has become a beacon of good practice and success in the arts and higher education.

  • More than 250 projects
  • In excess of 50 new works
  • Over 10,000 students have connected
  • Two new accredited practice-based learning programmes
  • More than 80 conferences and symposia
  • In excess of £3 million of new funding

I wanted to write and tell you how indebted I am to the DARE programme.  I did an undergraduate placement, then a post-graduate internship at Opera North.   It was the DARE placement that started it all for me, it is the most incredible scheme – I owe my future career to it!  Emma Black, freelance assistant director, former University of Leeds student and DARE intern.

A programme of special events marks the achievements of the past ten years


A celebration of the people the activity and the impact of DARE 

Monday 13 February:  Howard Assembly Room:  6.00pm – 7.30pm

Those who got DARE off the ground, who participated in projects and whose work and careers grew out of DARE, come together with invited guests to celebrate the first ten years and the award of the inaugural DARE Prize.

DARE does film


Tuesday 17 January:  Howard Assembly Room:  7.30pm

Screened to mark a year since the death of David Bowie, Labyrinth’s mix of spectacle and Bowie rock opera is a cult favourite.  The film will be introduced by Dr Dennis Flannery, Bowie specialist and senior lecturer in American literature at the University of Leeds.  Book tickets here

Sir Christopher Frayling: Inside The Bloody Chamber followed by La Belle et la Bête

Thursday 26 January:  Howard Assembly Room:  7.00pm

To coincide with Opera North’s season of dark fairy tales, broadcaster and author Sir Christopher Frayling talks about Angela Carter, her book The Bloody Chamber and her influence on ‘contemporary Gothic’, followed by a screening of Jean Cocteau’s adaptation of the classic fairy tale.  Book tickets here

DARE Academic in Residence: Edmund Gordon

Saturday 28 January:  Howard Assembly Room:  2.00pm – 5.00pm

Responding to Opera North’s Fairy Tales season, acclaimed writer of recent biography The Invention of Angela Carter, and lecturer of Creative Writing at King’s College London, Edmund Gordon is this season’s DARE Academic in Residence.  He will deliver a programme of public events as well as engaging with students and academics in the School of English (DARE Season Partner 2016).

On 28 January, as part of Opera North’s Inside Opera: Fairy tales, Edmund will discuss how Angela Carter retold fairy tale stories in her seminal work The Bloody Chamber and will answer questions from the floor on her life and work.

The DARE Prize

The DARE Prize, the first of its kind, challenges artists and scientists to work together on new approaches to the creative process.  Launched as part of the programme in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the DARE, the shortlist of five comprises proposals including a whale choir, an exploration of cosmic bubbles and an investigation into the social life of slime.

The first Prize will be awarded at the DARE 10th Anniversary reception on Monday 13 February. See here for further information.

The DARE Student BreakfastA new approach to gaining insights into cultural careers

Wednesday 1 March:  Linacre Studio at Opera North:  9.00am – 10.00am

Hosted by Opera North staff from across the Company. An opportunity for students to meet early career professionals from multiple disciplines, who will share their career paths and insights into working in the arts.  A partnership with the University of Leeds Careers Centre.

Performing Violence: a symposium

Building on the Performing Violence research initiative, a day-long event engaging academics, practitioners and students, internally and externally.

Thursday 16 March:  University of Leeds:  Details to follow