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Music: Viennese Whirl

Autumn 2014

28th - 30th Dec 2014

Nationwide

Touring 3 theatres

Adult ticket: £8 to £27

Music: Viennese Whirl

Synopsis

Orchestra of Opera North

Be swept off your feet and into the New Year by this afternoon of Viennese classics.  One of the season’s highlights for many, do book early as this ever-popular concert regularly sells out.

Concert includes:

Johann Strauss IIDie Fledermaus Overture

Kreisler | Viennese Rhapsody

Offenbach | Orpheus in the Underworld Overture

Josef Strauss | Jockey Polka

Johann & Josef Strauss | Pizzicato Polka

Richard Strauss | Der Rosenkavalier Waltzes

Lehár | The Land of Smiles: Dein ist mein ganzes Herz

J0hann Strauss II | On the Beautiful Blue Danube

Tobias Ringborg | Conductor/Violin

Michael Weinius | Tenor/Conductor

Mark Forrest | Presenter

Part of the Kirklees Concert Season 2014/15
 
Next Performances
Sun 28th Dec Leeds Leeds Town Hall
Mon 29th Dec Huddersfield Huddersfield Town Hall
Tue 30th Dec Harrogate Royal Hall
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Music: From Prague to the Rhine

Winter 2015

23rd Jan 2015

Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town Hall

Adult ticket: £8 to £24

Music: From Prague to the Rhine

Synopsis

Orchestra of Opera North

Mozart had a special relationship with the city of Prague – his opera The Marriage of Figaro was a triumph there and led to the commission for Don Giovanni.  His Symphony No.38 was premièred in the city in January 1787 – hence its nickname.  It’s a work full of operatic touches – the drama of Don Giovanni rubbing shoulders with the high spirits and nobility of The Magic Flute.  Schumann’s symphonies were regarded by the more discerning of his contemporaries as being the most original and important after Beethoven’s.  The ‘Rhenish’ Symphony is perhaps the most popular of the four, and its opening movement rides an adrenalin surge of energy.  Between these two masterly symphonies comes Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto, dramatic and fiendishly difficult for the soloist.  Expect fireworks this evening from the Serbian pianist Aleksander Madzar.

Mozart | Symphony no.38, K504 ‘Prague’

Prokofiev | Piano Concerto no. 2

Schumann | Symphony No.3 in EÙ ‘Rhenish’

Aleksander Markovic | Conductor

Aleksander Madzar | Piano

Part of the Kirklees Concert Season 2014/15
 
Next Performances
Fri 23rd Jan Huddersfield Huddersfield Town Hall
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The Marriage of Figaro

Winter 2015

24th Jan - 28th Mar 2015

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

Adult ticket: £15 - £68

The Marriage of Figaro

Cropped_figaro_428 Synopsis

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1786)

New production

It’s Figaro’s wedding day, and, to add to the usual worries, Figaro learns that his master, the Count, is out to bed his bride-to-be Susanna.  The Countess is heartbroken by her husband’s faithlessness – but she is the object of the adolescent desires of the page, Cherubino.  And Figaro is in trouble with the housekeeper, Marcellina, who has lent him money on the promise that, if he can’t repay her, he’ll have to marry her …

The Marriage of Figaro is aptly subtitled ‘The Follies of a Day’.  Mozart’s music bubbles along with comedic high spirits, but it plumbs the depths of emotion, too, expressing the joy and pain of love and the agony and ecstasy of desire, until all is resolved in a spirit of forgiveness.

With recent work for Opera North including a deliciously funny Ruddigore and a heart-rending Carousel, director Jo Davies is perfectly placed to hold the effervescent comedy and the serious heart of Mozart’s sublime masterpiece in ideal balance.     

Sung in English
Performance lasts approximately 3 hours

Next Performances
Sat 24th Jan Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Fri 30th Jan Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Thu 5th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Wed 11th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
There are a total of 15 upcoming performances for this production
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Music: Festive Grandeur

Winter 2015

7th Feb 2015

Dewsbury

Dewsbury Town Hall

Adult ticket: £7 to £19

Music: Festive Grandeur

Synopsis

Orchestra of Opera North

Dmitri Shostakovich may be best known for his intensely serious symphonies and string quartets, but there was a lighter, more carefree side to his musical personality, and it is given free rein in the predominantly cheerful Second Piano Concerto. The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt has, for the past few years, been the most frequently performed contemporary composer in the world, a fact which comes as no surprise when you hear a piece as beautiful as his Fratres.  This evening’s concert closes with Mozart’s last symphony, the ‘Jupiter’.  The composer could hardly have known, when he put pen to manuscript paper in the summer of 1788, that this would be his last essay in the form, but it’s hard to imagine a more fitting climax to his symphonic career than this grand and festive work.

Brahms | Tragic Overture                        

Shostakovich | Piano Concerto no.2  

Pärt Fratres  

Mozart | Symphony No.41, K551 ‘Jupiter’

Alexandre Bloch | Conductor

Ian Buckle | Piano

Part of the Kirklees Concert Season 2014/15
 
Next Performances
Sat 7th Feb Dewsbury Dewsbury Town Hall
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La vida breve

Winter 2015

18th Feb - 24th Mar 2015

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Adult ticket: £15 - £68

La vida breve

Cropped_la_vida_breve_428 Synopsis

This production is presented as part of a double-bill alongside Gianni Schicchi.

Manuel de Falla (1913)

From the composer of the orchestral showpiece Nights in the Gardens of Spain and the popular ballet The Three-Cornered Hat comes this irresistibly exuberant opera that sets violently passionate emotions amid the colourful sights and sounds of Granada.

La vida breve is an all or nothing tragedy of a woman who loves too much a worthless man who strings her along, knowing all the while that he is to marry another girl.   The atmosphere is heavy with Spanish fatalism, heightened by the influence of Andalusian folk song, lightened by Spanish dance rhythms, and the action is ferociously intense. 

Christopher Alden’s production was one of the highlights of Opera North’s groundbreaking, award-winning Eight Little Greats season in 2004, and was extravagantly praised by Germaine Greer on BBC2’s Newsnight Review:

‘It’s a staggering work and it was staggeringly presented and performed.  If you see nothing else this year, and you give a damn, see La vida breve.  Go to Salford, Nottingham, go wherever you can and see it.’  

Sung in Spanish with English titles
Performance lasts approximately 1 hour 15 minutes

Next Performances
Wed 18th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Fri 20th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Wed 25th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Sat 28th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
There are a total of 7 upcoming performances for this production
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Gianni Schicchi

Winter 2015

18th Feb - 24th Mar 2015

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Adult ticket: £15 - £68

Gianni Schicchi

Cropped_gianni_schicchi_428 Synopsis

This production is presented in a double-bill alongside La Vida Breve.

Giacomo Puccini (1918)

New production

After the dark, suicidal angst of La vida breve, Gianni Schicchi is the perfect companion piece – a satyr play played out around the death-bed of a rich man.  The scheming relatives who vie for a chunk of his fortune are all too recognizable types, revealing the greed and avarice which lies just below the thin veneer of their family loyalties.

Puccini’s only outright comedy is based on an episode in Dante’s Inferno, and Christopher Alden’s new production locates the action in the early Renaissance, at a time when medieval cobwebs were blown away by the fresh air of radical new thinking and creative innovation.  The production also nods slyly in the direction of the timeless themes which Puccini exploits to brilliantly farcical effect – after all, those scheming relatives may bear an uncanny resemblance to our own family members!

With its vivid characterization and the spontaneity of its musical invention, Gianni Schicchi is a comic masterpiece in miniature, and features one of Puccini’s best-loved arias, ‘O mio babbino caro’.

Sung in Italian with English titles
Performance lasts approximately 1 hour

Next Performances
Wed 18th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Fri 20th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Wed 25th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Sat 28th Feb Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
There are a total of 7 upcoming performances for this production
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Music: Classic FM at the Movies

Winter 2015

1st Mar 2015

Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town Hall

Adult ticket: £8 to £24

Music: Classic FM at the Movies

Synopsis

Orchestra of Opera North

Some of the best-loved – and some of the best – orchestral music of the 20th and 21st centuries has been composed for the silver screen.  This season’s Classic FM at the Movies programme pays tributes to such masters of the genre as Danny Elfman and Howard Shore, as well as celebrating the enormous contribution that the great classical composers have made to so many of our favourite films.  This concert is the perfect way to share with all the family the power and the glory of wonderful orchestral music played live – so do book soon for what is bound to be one of the most popular dates in the season!

Concert includes:

Richard Strauss | Also Sprach Zarathustra [2001: A Space Odyssey]

Wagner | Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries [Apocalypse Now]

Danny Elfman | Batman: Suite

Mahler | Symphony no.5: Adagietto [Death in Venice, Lorenzo’s Oil]

Howard Shore | The Lord of the Rings: Suite

Dukas | The Sorcerer’s Apprentice [Fantasia]

Oliver von Dohnányi | Conductor

Nick Bailey | Presenter

Part of the Kirklees Concert Season 2014/15
 

Next Performances
Sun 1st Mar Huddersfield Huddersfield Town Hall
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Music: Invitation to the Dance

Winter 2015

11th - 16th Apr 2015

Nationwide

Touring 2 theatres

Adult ticket: £8 to £31.50

Music: Invitation to the Dance

Synopsis

Orchestra of Opera North

Three works with strong associations with dance dominate this evening’s concert.  Gershwin’s musical love letter to Paris, written in 1928, was not originally intended to be danced, but it is now indelibly linked with images of Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly dancing against the backdrop of the City of Romance in the 1951 film An American in Paris.  Stravinsky’s Firebird took a journey in the opposite direction, from ballet score to orchestral suite.  Premièred in 1910 by the Ballets Russes, the ballet was an immediate sensation with audiences and critics, and the 1919 orchestral suite heard here demonstrates Stravinsky’s total mastery of orchestral colour.  In his Mother Goose suite, Ravel weaves together several French fairy tales, including Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and Tom Thumb, to make music that is a delight for adults and children alike.

Gershwin | An American in Paris

Shostakovich | Piano Concerto No.1

Ravel Mother Goose (Complete)

Stravinsky | The Firebird (1919)

Kees Bakels | Conductor

Frederico Colli | Piano

Part of the Kirklees Concert Season 2014/15
 

Next Performances
Sat 11th Apr Leeds Leeds Town Hall
Thu 16th Apr Huddersfield Huddersfield Town Hall
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Swanhunter

Spring 2015

16th - 18th Apr 2015

Swanhunter

Cropped_swanhunter_428 Synopsis

Jonathan Dove & Alasdair Middleton 2009

An Opera North / The Wrong Crowd co-production

Lemminkäinen is determined to travel to the icy north in search of a bride, against his mother’s wishes. There, impossible tasks await him: he must face the Devil’s Elk, the Swan on Death’s River – and in the shadows, an unseen danger lurks.

Based on a tale from the Finnish folk epic the Kalevala, Swanhunter is a magical chamber opera written by the composer and librettist of Opera North’s hugely successful The Adventures of Pinocchio. Scored for six singers accompanied by six instrumentalists, Swanhunter is a celebration of the power of song, designed specifically for a family audience – for adults just as much as for children.

Opera North gave the world premiere of Swanhunter in the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds in 2009. For this brand new production, Opera North collaborates for the first time with the acclaimed theatre company The Wrong Crowd to create an inventive fusion of opera, puppetry and live action.

Lasts approximately 1 hour 

Sung in English

 

Next Performances
Thu 16th Apr Leeds Howard Assembly Room
Fri 17th Apr Leeds Howard Assembly Room
Sat 18th Apr Leeds Howard Assembly Room
Sat 18th Apr Leeds Howard Assembly Room
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Music: Popular Classics for all the Family

Winter 2015

18th - 19th Apr 2015

Nationwide

Touring 2 theatres

Adult ticket: £7 to £19

Music: Popular Classics for all the Family

Synopsis

Orchestra of Opera North

Join us for an afternoon of popular classics in the intimate surroundings of Dewsbury Town Hall.  Tchaikovsky’s music for the ballet The Nutcracker and Prokofiev’s musical tale Peter and the Wolf have inspired a love of classical music in generation after generation of children, and such is the enduring quality of these scores that they are also enjoyed and enjoyed again by all those – young and old – who know and love them well.  Peter and the Wolf will be followed this afternoon by Wolf Tracks, or The Wolf and Peter, a delightful sequel to Prokofiev’s original by the French composer Jean-Pascal Beintus, and the concert is presented and narrated by Huddersfield-born BBC Radio Leeds personality Liz Green.

Tchaikovsky | Nutcracker (excerpts)

Prokofiev | Peter and the Wolf

Jean-Pascal Beintus | Wolf Tracks

Justin Doyle | Conductor  

Liz Green | Narrator and Presenter

Part of the Kirklees Concert Season 2014/15
 

Next Performances
Sat 18th Apr Dewsbury Dewsbury Town Hall
Sun 19th Apr Leeds University of Leeds Great Hall
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Carousel

Spring 2015

13th - 23rd May 2015

Leeds

Leeds Grand Theatre

Adult ticket: £15 - £50

Carousel

Cropped_carousel_428 Synopsis

Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II 1945

Carousel is a story of love, loss and the possibility of redemption. Fairground barker Billy Bigelow is quick to anger, but he is loved by a woman, Julie Jordan, who keeps faith with him despite his flaws. It is also a vivid portrait of a society: a fishing community in New England ready to celebrate the joys of living as well as to face its hardships square on.

Asked if he had ever been tempted to write an opera, Richard Rodgers replied that he had, but that Carousel was the closest that he ever came to doing so. The score is studded with classic numbers, including ‘If I Loved You’, ‘June is Bustin’ Out All Over’, ‘Soliloquy’ and, of course, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Jo Davies’s vibrant production, highly praised when it was first seen in Leeds, Salford and London in 2012, is moving and uplifting in equal measure.

‘Opera North has a fine record of presenting Broadway classics, and this new production does a rich piece of musical theatre great honour.’ Daily Telegraph

Sung in English
Performance lasts approximately 3 hours

A co-production with the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris

Next Performances
Wed 13th May Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Thu 14th May Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Thu 14th May Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
Fri 15th May Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre
There are a total of 13 upcoming performances for this production
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Music: Invitation to Dream

Spring 2015

22nd May 2015

Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town Hall

Adult ticket: £8 to £24

Music: Invitation to Dream

Synopsis

BBC Philharmonic

Brahms struggled mightily to compose his First Symphony, so weighed down was he by the expectation that he was Beethoven’s natural successor. His Second Symphony came much more quickly and is a far more relaxed work than the heroic First. Brahms jokingly wrote to his publisher that the Second Symphony ‘is so melancholy that you’ll be unable to bear it’, but it is a joke that contains a germ of truth, for although this is a predominantly warm and lyrical work, it is shot through with moments of agitation and melancholy before reaching its triumphant conclusion. The prodigiously talented Guy Johnston makes a welcome return to the Kirklees Season for the first time in four years in one of the great Romantic cello concertos, and the concert opens with a perennial favourite, Tchaikovsky’s lovely Serenade for Strings.

Tchaikovsky | Serenade for Strings

Saint-Saëns | Cello Concerto No.1

Brahms | Symphony No.2 in D

Andrew Gourlay | Conductor

Guy Johnston | Cello

Part of the Kirklees Concert Season 2014/15
 

Next Performances
Fri 22nd May Huddersfield Huddersfield Town Hall
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