Know your theatre:
The Royal Northern College of Music is the biggest and arguably best music conservatoire in the country.
Built in 1972 in Oxford Road’s academic quarter in Manchester, and since considerably expanded, it was always planned as an arts centre as well as an educational institution, so has many concerts by students and touring performers, and its student opera productions have turned up many future stars.
Facilities include a big concert hall with theatre-style technical kit, a recital room and two theatres, the 650-seat RNCM Theatre and a smaller subterranean studio theatre.
The larger theatre was created with opera in mind and has a stage the size of that at Covent Garden, with superb backstage and technical facilities and a large orchestra pit. Audience seating is in one near-rectangular block with a good rake, so all areas have excellent sight lines.
Once inside you are often amid the buzzing centre of a large student community and may have to fight off young bohemians to get near the bar - but they have a nice restaurant on site as well as canteen-style light refreshments at most performance times.
RNCM, 124 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9RD
Box office 0161 907 5555 (11am-6pm Mon-Sat, later on performance nights, also from one hour before Sunday performances. General inquiries 0161 907 5200
The RNCM building is relatively modern and thus comes with modern facilities and access, including bars and a restaurant (named after former principal Adolph Brodsky). Disabled visitors can get to all halls, and can call 0161 907 5300 to reserve a disabled parking space.
Parking near the venue can be a problem, though there is an RNCM underground pay-park open evenings and weekends only. Two other car parks are nearby. See here for details
Online box office:
Go here and follow the booking route to your show choice