DARE Conferences

A broad and innovative programme of conferences and symposia brings together academics, practitioners and commentators at the highest level to debate, explore and stimulate new ways of thinking.




The Art of Risk
26 June 2014
Howard Assembly Room
This one-day event brought together people from a range of backgrounds, including arts, medicine and psychology.  It explored the pitfalls and creative potential of risk through presentations, discussions, provocations and performances.
Read the article in Arts Professional

Richard Wagner’s Impact on His World and Ours
30 May-2 June 2013
University of Leeds
To mark the 200th anniversary on 22 May 2013 of the birth of Richard Wagner, this international conference will embrace the multitude of artistic and non-artistic disciplines that have felt the composer’s impact.

Performance Studies International
27 June – 1 July 2012
University of Leeds and performance venues across the city
The University’s School of Performance and Cultural Industries won the bid to host the conference in 2012. An International Festival of Performance will complement the conference and embrace a range of DARE initiatives including performance, panel discussions and workshops.

The Theory, Practice and Business of Opera Today
12-14 April 2012
University of Leeds
A new kind of international opera conference brought practitioners and academics together to debate key themes through presentations, workshops and performance.  Conference speakers included Opera North’s general director Richard Mantle, Pettman Dare Scholar Hugo Zanker, and DARE Collaborative PhD student  Jenny Daniel.

Histories of Violence
September 2011
A multi-media web forum exploring the theoretical, empirical and aesthetic dimensions to the problem of violence. Launched to coincide with the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and including filmed symposia, exhibitions and interviews plus a feature on operatic violence.

The OPENCOV Experiment
12 February 2011
A one-day symposium which explored and shared the experiences and learning from the OPENCOV project, through workshops, roundtable discussions and presentations. Delegates included academics, performers and a broad spectrum of arts practitioners.

Between the Lines: Re-figuring the Miner’s Strike
26-27 March 2010
A workshop and photographic retrospective on the miners’ strike.
Featuring writing workshops with poet and BBC presenter Ian McMillan, an interview with photographer Ken Wilkinson by Dr Philip Kiszely and an exhibition of Ken Wilkinson’s photographs of the miners’ strike.

5 November 2009
Howard Assembly Room at Opera North
A partnership between Dare and Leeds Film Festival. Talks about and screenings of Edgar Reitz’s classic TV films Heimat, plus reflections on representations of history and German-ness, music, film, modernism and contemporary German film.

Discovering Dante: an evening of poetry, music and art
7 October 2009
Howard Assembly Room at Opera North
Short readings, projected illustrations and performance by Leeds Cathedral Choir reveal the power and drama of Dante’s Italian.

Professor Slavoj Zizek
10 March 2009
Howard Assembly Room at Opera North
The International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London discussed: Brunhilde’s act, or, why was it so difficult for Wagner to find a proper ending for his Twilight of the Gods?
Followed by a Q&A.

Sex and Sensationalism in Early Romantic Opera’ (1800-1830)
7 March 2009
School of Music, University of Leeds
A one-day symposium contextualising the British premiere production of Spohr’s Pietro von Abano (1827).  Keynote speaker: Dr Wolfram Boder, author of Die Kasseler Opern Louis Spohrs.

Promoting Models of Arts & HE Collaboration
25 February 2009
This symposium explored collaboration and how Arts Council England can support models in the region and included a presentation about DARE .
Organised by EIAT Creative Education.

Skin Deeper: Cosmetic surgery and popular culture
24 January 2009
Howard Assembly Room at Opera North
Independent critic Lynne Walker led a panel of academics and artists to explore the ethics of cosmetic surgery.  To coincide with Opera North’s new commission Skin Deep , composer David Sawer, libretto Armando Ianucci.

Vengeance & Desire
14 December 2008
Leeds Town Hall
Conference day on the theme of psychoanalysis and sibling rivalry.  Keynote address: Juliet Mitchell, Professor of Psychoanalysis and Gender Studies at Jesus College , Cambridge. An Opera North/ CentreCATH collaboration to coincide with Opera North’s new commission, Skin Deep.

America Elects
2 November 2008
Cultural and political commentators provided an insight into the race for the Whitehouse, to coincide with Opera North’s new productions of Gershwin’s Of The I Sing and Let ’em Eat Cake.  Speakers included David Aaronavitch The Times, Steve Bell The Guardian, and Mandy Merrick, Royal Holloway College.

Music and the Idea of the North
Leeds Town Hall, 5-7 September 2008
This conference – a collaboration between the University of Leeds School of Music and the Institute of Northern Studies at Leeds Met, Opera North, and Leeds International Concert Season – celebrated the 150th anniversary of Leeds Town Hall, culminating in a gala performance of Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast on 6 September, featuring the Orchestra of Opera North.  International speakers from the UK, US, Canada, Scandinavia, Germany, Italy, and Russia, explored relationships between music and northern identities across the globe.

4th Annual Film and Music Conference
Bradford Film Festival, 4 – 5 March 2008
Shakespeare was the theme of this year’s conference, hosted by The University of Leeds School of Music, the School of Art at Brunel University, and the National Media Museum, Bradford, and in association with DARE. Highlights included a keynote interview with Patrick Doyle, and a master class hosted by Gary Carpenter.

Yorkshire Universities Annual Conference 2008
February 2008
Opera North and the University of Leeds presented the DARE collaboration as a case study of the cultural role of Higher Education.

Shakespeare: modification of text for stage
30 January 2008
School of Music, University of Leeds
This symposium brought together academics and practitioners to debate the crucial elements in successful adaptation, based on Opera North’s season of new main-stage productions, Macbeth; Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Romeo et Juliette.
Symposium, 30 January 2008, University of Leeds

The Orpheus Myth in Modern Culture
Friday 23 – Sunday 25 November 07
A collaborative venture between Opera North Projects and the University of Leeds School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies. Over three afternoons, leading speakers from the arts and academic worlds explored the enduring potency of the Orpheus Myth – from Monteverdi’s opera to American TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. As well as the discussions the conference featured film screenings (including Jean Cocteau’s Orphee and Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus), poetry readings and live performance.