Revel in the arrival of Spring this year with a jam-packed and unrestrained programme in the Howard Assembly Room. As Rodgers and Hammerstein’s hit Broadway musical Carousel comes to the Opera North mainstage this May, the Howard Assembly Room delves deeper into the history of Dancing on Broadway, with Carousel choreographer Kim Brandstrup (30 April). Dame Felicity Lott performs songs by Richard Rodgers in an intimate cabaret-style show, The Carousel Waltz (21 April), featuring music from The King and I, State Fair, and Carousel itself.
Two films about troubled marriages from 1956, the same year as Carousel was released on film, also feature in the programme. Douglas Sirk’s masterpiece of melodrama Written on the Wind (27 April), and the elegant MGM musical, High Society (28 April).
The festivities continue as performers from across the globe travel to the UK. The distinctive Honduran sound of Aurelio Martinez and the Garifuna Soul Band lights up Leeds, playing the breezy but heartfelt music of the Caribbean coastlines of Central America (25 May).
Meanwhile, Dutch baritone Thomas Oliemans performs a selection of French (and nearly French) music in Mélodies and Chansons, including songs by Jacques Brel as well as Debussy, Fauré and Poulenc (11 May).
BBC World Music Award winners Warsaw Village Band perform an exclusive UK date on 21 June, as their hardcore Polish folk takes on a new Scandinavian flavour in new album, Nord. Violinist Tcha Limberger returns to the Howard Assembly Room with his Kalotaszeg Trio, bringing together traditional laments, dances and szaporas with Hungarian, Romanian and gypsy influences.
There is a rare chance to see one of the finest contemporary Indian dance companies, as Adishakti presents three performances, as part of Ludus Festival Leeds, with a piece exploring the myths of Ganapati, the elephant-headed god and the cycle of creation, celebration and destruction (28, 29, 30 June).
The Spring season also features jazz performance from Trio Libero (10 May). Meanwhile, young Houston-born pianist Robert Glasper stakes out new musical territory, blending jazz with the dance floor beats of hip hop and R&B in the Robert Glasper Experiment (23 May).
June will also see the Howard Assembly Room host The Opera Group’s Babur in London, following its world premiere in Zurich in March. This new opera by composer Edward Rushton is set to a libretto by Indian poet and novelist Jeet Thayil. Babur in London is a haunting, poetic portrait of four young people grappling with their beliefs.
Find out more about what’s coming up in the Howard Assembly Room here.