Ice Cream: The Opera will have its world premiere at:
City Park – Bradford Festival
Sunday 30th July
1.00pm, 3.00pm & 5.15pm
Come and see Spin Arts first commission! A charming 30-minute opera combining great tunes and big drama performed in and around two ice cream vans!

Skipton Building Society Camerata and Freedom Studios in association with Spin Arts comes the world premiere of Ice Cream: The Opera, Ian McMillan’s and Russell Sarre’s new opera about two warring ice cream vendor families from Yorkshire who come together through song, ice cream and love.

Performed in two actual ice cream vans, Ice Cream: The Opera tells the story of Romano and Geetha who have fallen in love. Their families own rival ice cream companies in the city and have been engaged in a turf war for generations. A bitter battle plays out between the parents; insults are hurled, jingles are amplified and weapons are brandished. Geetha and Romano proclaim their love and try in vain to calm the situation, but are caught in the crossfire with dramatic consequences.

Ice Cream: The Opera is a contemporary chamber opera for four singers inspired by the tale of Romeo and Juliet. The music, performed live, is in the rich tradition of 19th century romantic opera with a twist, given by a flavour of Indian music and a libretto full of unmistakable Yorkshire vernacular wit and warmth, sure to grab the imagination, stir the heart and engage. Joining the four performers will be a community chorus, including members of Bradford Friendship Choir for asylum seekers and friends. 

Commissioned by Freedom Studios, Young Opera Venture and Spin Arts.

Directed by Tom Wright (The Container, Young Vic and Brief Encounters at Bradford Interchange, Freedom Studios), the new opera has been written by poet, writer, playwright and broadcaster, Ian McMillan – ‘The Bard of Barnsley’, and composed by Russell Sarre, whose work has been performed around the globe, from The White House to Shanghai Arts Centre, to Edinburgh Fringe Festival and London’s West End. The production’s music is directed by Ben Crick and will feature designs by Ryan Dawson Laight.

The production’s cast will feature Mezzo Soprano Hannah Mason (Turandot, Opera North), Spiro Fernando, Tenor Joe Doody and Soprano Tara Mansfield.

‘I’m very excited that the Ice Cream Opera I wrote the words for is going to be produced in Bradford; I think that opera is the perfect form for our angry and excitable times, and this one can’t be licked! It’s so hot it’ll melt your heart!’  – Ian McMillan