IF music be the food of love, as Shakespeare's Duke Orsino posited in Twelfth Night, such a statement wholeheartedly applies to opera.

"This is a genre full of great romantic stories," says York Opera chairman Hilary Dyson. "Carmen and Don Jose. Mimi and Rodolfo. Turandot and Calaf. Granted not everyone has a happy ending in opera, but tales of star-crossed lovers, unrequited affection and romances tragically cut short are an important operatic cornerstone.

"They provide some of the most dramatic moments in opera, and set the scene for some of the most memorable songs in music history."

York Opera will celebrate this abundance of love in their late-spring show at the York Guildhall on June 4 to 6.

"We've compiled a programme featuring some of the biggest romantic numbers in opera, with arias from Puccini'sTurandot, Bizet's Carmen and Mozart's Don Giovanni staged in the round," says Hilary.

"The evening will finish with a full performance of the second of Jacques Offenbach's Tales Of Hoffman,’ which tells the story of the unfortunate Hoffman as he falls in love with a rather unsuitable lady."

Next month'sTalesOf Love show will stir up memories for York Opera members.

"As a society nearing its 50th anniversary, many of our members have their own romantic opera tales to tell," says Hilary. "Indeed some members fell in love through the society and still participate together to this day, though it's not only through York Opera that current members of the society met their significant others."

Jo Hartley is one such singer.

"My husband Dave and I met at the Newcastle University Gilbert and Sullivan Society in 1986, when we were performing The Gondoliers,” she says.

"I played the part of Tessa and Dave was Giuseppe. We were married every night on stage for a week, and then a few weeks later we started going out for real. We were married in 1990, and our friend who played the role of Maroc was Dave’s best man. We still remain in touch with many of our old opera friends and every few years we organise a reunion G&S show in Askham Bryan Village Hall."

Jo and Dave's story in not unique.

"Many have fallen under love’s spell through their shared appreciation of music," says Hilary. "To celebrate this, York Opera are looking for other love stories from people who met through opera or indeed any kind of music. These stories will be put on display for people to read before and during the Tales Of Love run.

"The story we judge to be the best will win a pair of complimentary tickets for a night of the winner's choosing. "

If you wish to share your love story with York Opera, please send it by email to secretary@yorkopera.org by May 31.

Next month's production of Tales Of Love is being put together by four directors, experienced hands Hilary Dyson and John Soper and two young directing talents new to York Opera, James Wood and Lucy Thomson-Smith. Lucy is the daughter of baritone Ian Thomson-Smith, who has played many principal roles for York Opera since 1995, and she will be directing her father in the Carmen piece.

Tickets for the 7.30pm performances can be booked on 01904 623568 or at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk