Production Archive

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Lemminkäinen's Quest

Family

28 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Lemminkäinen's Quest

Cropped_lemminkainen_s_quest_main Synopsis

Opus presents…

Lemminkäinen's Quest: When the Hunter becomes the Hunted

An end of project performance, based on Jonathan Dove’s Swanhunter.

Against his mother’s wishes, Lemminkäinen travels to the icy north in search of a bride. There, impossible tasks await him: he must hunt the Devil’s elk, ride the Devil’s horse, and shoot a swan on Death’s river. But unseen dangers lie in wait for him along the way...

Inspired by Opera North’s upcoming production of Swanhunter, the Opus group presents this retelling of a traditional tale from the Finnish folk epic The Kalevala.  This performance uses music, movement, poetry and visual art to tell the story of love, bravery, adventure and magic in a unique and exciting way.

Suitable for ages 7+ | Lasts approximately 40 minutes (no interval)

To book your tickets call the Box Office on 0844 848 2727.

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Fennesz and Lillevan

Music

21 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Fennesz and Lillevan

Synopsis

Support: Dalhous

A UK premiere from one of the great electronic musicians. 

Sparing with his solo releases, electronic guitarist Christian Fennesz has constantly extended his avenues of expression through collaborations with other artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Mike Patton, and by creating music for film.

'It feels like a ride, like the music transports you bodily from one place to the next' Pitchfork

In this rare UK performance, Fennesz joins forces with visual artist Lillevan. This special project, performed for the first time in the UK, takes inspiration from Bohemian composer Gustav Mahler, who music is transformed by Fennesz’s characteristic clouds of distortion, drones and infinitely slowly evolving melody.

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

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Natalie Clein

Classical

20 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Natalie Clein

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And Mahan Esfahani

Natalie Clein is described by The Times as a ‘mesmerising’ cellist who ‘plays everything with passion’. Known for her soulful and profound approach to music making, she returns with a programme dominated by J.S Bach, in honour of his 330th birthday. The evening features two of Bach’s Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord including G Major BWV1027 and G Minor BWV 1029, as well as pieces by two of Bach's sons, Vivaldi, Ligeti and Kurtág.

‘…breathtakingly beautiful’ BBC Radio 3

Clein is accompanied by Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani whose ‘passionate engagement with the music’ (The Telegraph) is fast making him a reputation as a leading exponent of his instrument.

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

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Arve Henriksen

Jazz

12 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Arve Henriksen

Synopsis

Places of Worship tour

Norwegian jazz trumpeter Arve Henriksen’s exploration of the instrument’s possibilities shows no limits. In this special UK performance, he brings the improvising spirit of his album Places of Worship to life, alongside long-term collaborator Jan Bang and visual artist Anastasia Isachsen. 

‘Nobody plays a trumpet quite like the plaintively expressive Norwegian Arve Henriksen’ The Guardian

His improvising style is rooted both in the glorious geography of his native natural habitats and his hybrid, cosmopolitan environments of the 21st century. On Places of Worship he inhabits the space between these two worlds in a series of pieces taking inspiration from religious buildings and ruins.

Simply buy an equivalent number of tickets for two or more shows displaying the Save symbol and you will receive 20% off your tickets. Currently not available online. To book please call 0844 848 2727, Monday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm.

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

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Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Jazz

11 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Synopsis

Ravi Coltrane has followed in his father’s footsteps to become one of the finest saxophonists of his generation.  In a career spanning two decades, the Grammy-nominated performer has been a bandleader and composer, worked alongside jazz luminaries and founded a record label.

‘Great music, played with freedom, passion and respect for the past — what more could you ask for?’  5* review in the Evening Standard

His new album Spirit Fiction has been hailed as mature and commanding. The record encompasses his huge artistic legacy and distinct vision, without losing his signature tone and nimbleness of thought. For this appearance at the Howard Assembly Room he plays with his collaborators David Virelles on keyboards, Dezron Douglas on bass and Jonathan Blake on drums.

Simply buy an equivalent number of tickets for two or more shows displaying the Save symbol and you will receive 20% off your tickets. Currently not available online. To book please call 0844 848 2727, Monday – Saturday from 10am – 6pm.

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

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The White Ribbon

Film

6 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

The White Ribbon

Synopsis

Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or award-winning film is a spellbinding tale of bigotry and brutality set in a north German village immediately before the outbreak of the First World War.

‘Haneke's films always feel, once the credits have rolled, unstoppable. This one surely is. The Guardian

Shot in austere monochrome, The White Ribbon is as tense as a thriller and as unsettling as a horror film. The film shines a light onto an unjust social system that is morally and physically disintegrating, though no one is prepared to confront it.

Dir Michael Haneke; Austria/Germany 2009; in German with English subtitles; 144 mins; Cert 15

The White Ribbon will be introduced by Elizabeth Ward co-founder of the German Film Learning Initiative. Elizabeth recently received her PhD at the University of Leeds in East German Holocaust Film.

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

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Renata Pokupić and Roger Vignoles

Classical

5 March 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Renata Pokupić and Roger Vignoles

Synopsis

A diverse programme from two of the world’s leading artists in song. Croatian mezzo-soprano Renata Pokupić is in high demand from international orchestras and opera houses. This concert is a rare opportunity to hear her in a more intimate setting. She is accompanied by distinguished pianist Roger Vignoles.

“Pokupić is a serious, gifted practitioner of this endangered art form…fluidly and charmingly performed.” Opera News Magazine

The duo delights in a programme that includes Mahler’s heart-breaking Rückert Leider, Finzi’s wonderful Shakespeare Songs: O Mistress Mine, Come Away Death and pieces by Wolf and Hahn.

"... with Roger Vignoles at the piano, extraordinary things can happen" The Times

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

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Classic FM at the Movies

Orchestral

1 March 2015

Huddersfield

Huddersfield Town Hall

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
 

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Ólafur Arnalds

Music

27 February 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Ólafur Arnalds

Cropped_olafur_arnalds_main Synopsis

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Over the years, Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer Ólafur Arnalds has gained a huge following for his unique blend of lush strings and piano, juxtaposed with edgier loops and beats. His most recent album Now I am Winter, evokes the atmospheres of winter nights and crisp snowy hills. It weaves its spell slowly, over its course.

Ólafur Arnalds will also play music from the award-winning drama Broadchurch, which has recently returned to ITV for a second series.

'an exemplary suite of Icelandic music, blending American minimalist techniques with European sensibilities' The Independent

Moving between ambient electronica to pop, his tracks have been widely featured in film and TV – fans of The Hunger Games will recognise Ólafur’s song Allt Varð Hljótt, a track he penned for the film’s score and soundtrack.

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John Smith

Music

21 February 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

John Smith

Synopsis

Sat 27 November 2014 gig postponed and rescheduled to Sat 21 February 2015

November date postponed by the artist due the extension of his North American tour. We are pleased to have secured a new date of Sat 21 February 2015 at 7.45pm. If you have tickets for the original Sat 27 November date, they have been automatically transferred to the new date.

For existing ticket holders (who bought their tickets prior to Tue 7 October 2014)

If you would like to come on the new date: no action is required – just come with your current ticket/s on Sat 21 February instead.

If you would like a refund you must send back your tickets by Mon 15 December 2014: please send your ticket/s back to the Box Office and they will arrange your refund. If you paid in cash, by cheque or Theatre tokens, your refund will be issued as a cheque. This will take 2-3 weeks.

If you have any queries, please contact the Box Office:

Leeds Grand Theatre Box Office:
Open 10.00am to 8pm Monday to Saturday
46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU
0844 848 2727 (calls charged at local rate) *on performance nights, the Box Office will be busier from 6-7.30pm.
Email: boxoffice@leedsgrandtheatre.com

We share your disappointment that this event has had to be rescheduled and we hope we can welcome you back to the Howard Assembly Room soon.

Synopsis

Support: Dennis Ellsworth

John Smith has had an incredible year (culminating in a sell out show at Union Chapel in London) touring his most recent album Great Lakes. He is a dazzling and inventive guitarist and possessor of an unforgettable honeyed gravel growl of a voice that belies his age.

John Smith is a firm favourite at the Howard Assembly Room having first performed in the venue supporting Iron and Wine in 2010.

“He possesses a common name but a rare talent”  The Independent

“His performance was an object lesson in how taste and imagination always outweigh mere musical virtuosity…unexpected and daring” - The Sunday Times

Please note the time listed on your ticket/webpage is the start time for the performance. Doors open approximately 30 minutes beforehand. Where there is a support act, this will also be stated on the website/ticket. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before show time as latecomers will only be admitted during a suitable break in the performance.

 
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Angela Hewitt

Classical

19 February 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Angela Hewitt

Synopsis

Bach, Beethoven and Liszt

One of the world’s leading pianists, Angela Hewitt is particularly known for her thoughtful and commanding playing of JS Bach. In a nod to his 330th anniversary Hewitt performs his Partita No. 5 in G Major BWV829.

‘Marvellous. The variety and beauty of tone alone make compelling listening, bringing contrasts, clarity and warmth to Bach’s intellectual marvels‘ The Times

The evening is completed by Beethoven’s tender Les Adieux Sonata No.2 in E Flat Major Op. 8a and Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage, Deuxième année, Italie and Après une Lecture du Dante. Perhaps less well known as part of her repertoire, Hewitt’s interpretation of Liszt has been described as ‘exquisite in its subtlety’ and ‘admirable in its lucidity’ by The Guardian.

This concert is available on the multi-buy Save 20%. Unfortunately, the offer is  not currently available online. To book under the multi-buy please call 0844 848 2727 Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm

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

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La vida breve & Gianni Schicchi

Opera

18 Feb - 24 March 2015

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

La vida breve & Gianni Schicchi

Synopsis

Presented as a double bill

La vida breve

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 
Guidance: Contains some violence and sexual references 

Gianni Schicchi 

Giacomo Puccini (1918)

New production

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

‘If you were ever in doubt that opera could be hilarious then [...] Gianni Schicchi will convince you’
The Daily Telegraph

Inspired by an episode in Dante’s Inferno, Gianni Schicchi is Puccini’s only outright comedy. Christopher Alden’s new production 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 characterisation and the spontaneity of its musical invention, Gianni Schicchi is a comic masterpiece in miniature. Featuring one of Puccini’s best-loved arias, ‘O mio babbino caro’, it is here brought alive by a top drawer cast – starring Christopher Purves, ‘one of the great operatic artists of the present’ (The Spectator), in the title role.

Sung in Italian with English titles
Performance lasts approximately 1 hour

Double bill lasts approximately 2 hours 30 mins


Creative Team

Conductor | Jac van Steen
Conductor | Martin Pickard (24 Mar)
​Director | Christopher Alden


Free pre-show talks 

Fri 20, Wed 25 & Sat 28 February and Tue 3, Thu 12 & Tue 24 March from 6.00-6.30pm. Limited capacity, book early on 0844 848 2700.

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