OPERA Nova is returning to a village church with a double bill of contrasting musical works.

The concert at St Brandon’s Church, in Brancepeth, near Durham, at 7.30pm on Saturday, April 6, will open with the melancholy beauty of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, featuring a succession of beautiful arias.

It will be followed by Gilbert and Sullivan’s sparkling comedy opera, Trial by Jury.

Using a minimum of props and simple costumes, Opera Nova’s semi-staged productions have become renowned both for the quality of singing and the vibrant performances of chorus and soloists alike.

This year, as an added bonus, both productions will be accompanied by the acclaimed Yorkshire based Kildale Quartet.

Opera Nova chair Sue Grogan said: “St Brandon’s is always one of our favourite venues.

“The church provides a wonderful performance space and is a perfect setting for the combined voices and instrumentalists. It promises to be a wonderful live performance.”

Admission is £12 for adults, with students and under 16s welcome for £1. Tickets can be obtained on the night or in advance by contacting 01642 290115 or 07795 323985.