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Brodsky Quartet

Classical

14 November 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Brodsky Quartet

Synopsis

The Last Quartets: Beethoven and Shostakovich

Beethoven concluded his final quartet with enigmatic phrase ‘Must it Be? It must be!’. Since then, there have been numerous interpretations of his final motto both prosaic and profound by other composers. The only certainty gleaned from Beethoven’s phrase is that the words describe the essence of the music, and its stark, hymn-like and humble final movement.

Shostakovich's answer to Beethoven’s question in his own final quartet is both moving and intimate. If there is a season for all things, then this, Shostakovich's 15th quartet, lives in the intensity of mid-winter.

This specially conceived collaboration between the Brodsky Quartet and Opera North brings together these last quartets with beautifully atmospheric and restrained lighting that reflects and responds to the Brodsky’s exceptional interpretation of these jewel-like final works.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Sat 14th Nov
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Mark Padmore & Simon Lepper

Classical

3 December 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Mark Padmore & Simon Lepper

Cropped_mark_padmore_and_simon_lepper_cropped_website Synopsis

Songs by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Wolf

British tenor Mark Padmore makes a welcome return to Leeds following his 2010 performance of Dichterliebe, with another of Schumann’s great songs, this time set to poet Henirich Heine: Liederkreis Op. 24. Written in 1840, Schumann’s ‘year of song’, Liederkreis is a meditation of lost love and longing.

The evening journeys though the great Lieder composers, in which Padmore also brings his ‘starling purity of tone’ (The Guardian) and clarion way with words, to selections of songs by Schubert, Wolf and more.

For this concert Mark Padmore is accompanied by celebrated pianist Simon Lepper who has been described by Opera Magazine as ‘one of the most gifted and enterprising accompanists of his generation’. 

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.

Next Performances
Thu 3rd Dec
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Andrea Chenier

Opera

19 Jan - 19 March 2016

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Andrea Chenier

Cropped_behindthecurtain-tomarber-60-428-use-for-andrea-chenier Synopsis

Umberto Giordano (1896)

New production

Based (very loosely) on the life of the French poet André Chénier (1762 – 94) and set at the time of the French Revolution and the ensuing Terror, Giordano’s stirring opera has always been warmly embraced by audiences for its open-hearted emotionalism and ardent dramatic lyricism. 

For many, Andrea Chénier encapsulates the very essence of Italian opera and the title role is one of the most prized in the tenor repertoire.  It’s not hard to hear why when you listen to arias such as ‘Un di all’azzuro spazio’, ‘Come un bel dì di maggio’ and the closing duet for Chénier and the opera’s heroine Maddalena, whose love endures even in the face of death.  In the best verismo tradition, Giordano also colours his score with tunes associated with the French Revolution, such as ‘Ça ira’ and the ‘Marseillaise’.

Annabel Arden’s new production for Opera North explores the chaos of revolution and examines the role of the artist in a time of political turmoil.  Her cast includes Rafael Rojas (Chénier) and Robert Hayward (Carlo Gérard), who last squared up to each other at Opera North in The Girl of the Golden West, and Annemarie Kremer (Maddalena), who gave an unforgettable performance in the title role of Norma for the Company in 2012. 

Sung in Italian with English titles

Next Performances
Tue 19th Jan
Sat 23rd Jan
Tue 2nd Feb
Sat 20th Feb
There are a total of 9 upcoming performances for this production
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Così fan tutte

Opera

3 Feb - 18 March 2016

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Così fan tutte

Cropped_cos__fan_tutte_v2_428 Synopsis

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1790)

It starts with a casual bet. The wily old cynic Don Alfonso wagers that the fiancées of two young men, complacent in their romantic notions of love, won’t stay faithful for a minute if put to the test. It sounds harmless enough and, anyway, the lovers are entirely sure of themselves. But cruelty is inherent in this game of love and chance.

It’s difficult to think of an opera that contains more music of sheer beauty than Così fan tutte – or that has a libretto that is more unsettling. The plot is a work of supreme artifice, yet the opera charts the boundaries of real and feigned emotion, trust and deception, loyalty and desire, with unsparing accuracy and truthfulness.

Tim Albery, whose recent work at Opera North includes The Coronation of Poppea (2014), directs a fresh young cast in a production set firmly in the Age of Reason.

Sung in English

Next Performances
Wed 3rd Feb
Wed 10th Feb
Sat 13th Feb
Thu 18th Feb
There are a total of 11 upcoming performances for this production
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L’elisir d’amore

Opera

17 Feb - 17 March 2016

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

L’elisir d’amore

Cropped_l_elisir_d_amore_428 Synopsis

Gaetano Donizetti (1832)

L’elisir d’amore is the ‘male Cinderella’ tale of Nemorino, ineffectual but good-hearted, and his love for the very self-assured Adina, who fancies the experienced charmer Belcore. When the quack Dr. Dulcamara comes to town touting a miraculous ‘love potion’, Nemorino thinks his prayers have been answered. But is it really the potion that makes him suddenly irresistible to all the girls in the village?

Daniel Slater’s sunny 1950s-style production, complete with hot-air balloon and Vespas, is a perfect fit for Donizetti’s irrepressibly fresh comedy. Funny and moving, the opera includes one of the best-loved of tenor arias, ‘Una furtiva lagrima’. The cast is headed by four singers who’ve each made a strong impression in recent Opera North productions: Gabriela Iştoc and Duncan Rock as, respectively, Mimì and Marcello in La Bohème (2014); Jung Soo Yun, Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth (2014); and Richard Burkhard in the title role of The Marriage of Figaro (2015).

Sung in Italian with English titles

Next Performances
Wed 17th Feb
Fri 19th Feb
Thu 25th Feb
Sat 27th Feb
There are a total of 7 upcoming performances for this production
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The Ring Cycle

Opera

23 Apr - 10 July 2016

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Ring Cycle

Synopsis

Der Ring des Nibelungen

Richard Wagner (1876)

Wagner's epic masterpiece: unforgettable music and passion in a dramatic performance for the concert hall.

The Orchestra of Opera North is placed at the heart of a concert staging that makes Wagner’s narrative enthralling for both experienced Wagnerians and newcomers alike.

The culminative power of The Ring Cycle is all the more palpable when experienced in such a concentrated burst, offering the rare opportunity for total immersion in this unique, all-encompassing music drama.

The Ring Cycle is conducted by Richard Farnes, one of today’s leading interpreters of Wagner. The unrivalled power and vividness of Wagner’s music is translated into evocative and atmospheric lighting and film projections by Peter Mumford, bringing alive the full scale and splendour of Wagner’s magnificent conception.

A company of top British and international singers includes Giselle Allen, Mats Almgren, Susan Bickley, Lee Bisset, Michael Druiett, Robert Hayward, Kelly Cae Hogan, Yvonne Howard, Alwyn Mellor, Béla Perencz,  Mati Turi and Michael Weinius.

Please note that tickets for The Ring Cycle will be sold as full cycles per venue in the first instance. Single tickets may become available at a later date.

Next Performances
Sat 23rd Apr
Sat 30th Apr
Sat 14th May
Sat 21st May
There are a total of 24 upcoming performances for this production
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Pleasure

Opera

28th - 29 April 2016

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Pleasure

Cropped_behindthecurtain-tomarber-18-428-use-for-pleasure Synopsis

Val works the toilets in “Pleasure”, a hedonistic gay club in the north of England. For years, she’s been a shoulder to cry on and a confidante. She is much-loved but viewed as an enigma. Why is she still there? Why does she never leave? When a young man, both beautiful and unpredictable, arrives from the city and leaves a gift for Val, it marks the beginning of a passionate and violent night…

Born in Liverpool in 1988, composer Mark Simpson won BBC Young Musician of the Year as a clarinettist in 2006 and also, that same year, received the accolade of BBC Young Composer of the year – the only individual to have won both competitions. In 2010 he won the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award. With a growing catalogue of works to his credit, his orchestral scores A Mirror-Fragment and Threads (both 2008) as well as Sparks (2012) have all been well received. Here he turns to opera for the first time; his librettist is Melanie Challenger, whose poetry and prose have both been widely admired.

Pleasure marks the third collaborative project Opera North, Aldeburgh Music and Royal Opera House giving opportunities to emerging opera writers.

Supported by the Opera North Future Fund, the Emerald Foundation and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Next Performances
Thu 28th Apr
Fri 29th Apr
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