Kevin Puts’ First World War opera Silent Night (2011) was given its UK debut in Nov 2018 with Nicholas Kok at the helm in Leeds. Based on the Christmas truce of 1914 and coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the moving opera features 100 male operatic voices alongside the Orchestra of Opera North, and it premiered to warm reviews.
“An overwhelming emotive experience… Conductor Nicholas Kok commands an impressive range of colours” - Alfred Hickling, The Guardian ****
“Puts’ score, conducted with unfailing assurance by Nicholas Kok, is virile and punchy.” - Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph ****
“The beautiful Sleep Chorus makes a huge impact, but even more impressive is the consummate way Kok controls such disparate forces spread over the whole stage, especially when the principals and chorus of each of the nations are acting a different scene, singing a different song.” - Ron Simpson, The Reviews Hub *****
Nicholas Kok’s previous work with Opera North includes the world premiere of Mark Simpson’s debut opera, Pleasure, which toured the UK to great critical acclaim, and Orfeo ed Euridice at the Edinburgh International Festival. This season, he can also be heard conducting Serse with Theater Magdeburg, and The Coronation of Poppea at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in the US.