Production Archive

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Performance: Love Beyond Measure

Spring 2014

20 June 2014

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Performance: Love Beyond Measure

Synopsis

The Legend of Sohni and Mahiwal 

‘This is such an exciting project, and a real meeting of minds. The love story at its centre is ancient, but still hits home’. Daniel Hadley, Co-Director of Wafer Hadley

A rich textured exploration of the love story between Sohni and Mahiwal, whose passionate and illicit midnight rendezvous on the banks of the river Chenab in the Punjab are celebrated in Indian painting, literature and Bollywood film alike.

In this evening of music, dance and image, the Sufi-influenced poetry of Qadir Yaar is interwoven with images drawn from the paintings of Arpana Caur, specially commissioned music by David Wilson and Inder Matharu, and dance sequences by Rashmi Sudhir.

Conceived and curated by Alchemy in partnership with Wafer Hadley

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Götterdämmerung

Summer 2014

14 Jun - 12 July 2014

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Götterdämmerung

Synopsis

Twilight of the Gods

Opera North’s four-year traversal of Der Ring des Nibelungen reaches the cycle’s overwhelming conclusion. The all-consuming love of Siegfried and Brünnhilde is broken in bitter betrayal; the machinations of Hagen, son of Alberich, seal Siegfried’s doom; and Brünnhilde’s self-immolation precipitates the end of the old world order and the beginning of a new era.

The musical and dramatic power of Götterdämmerung is awe-inspiring – from Siegfried’s Rhine Journey, to the mighty chorus of the Gibichung vassals, to Siegfried’s Funeral March, and – above all – to Brünnhilde’s immolation and the work’s titanic orchestral climax.

Alwyn Mellor, widely praised for her radiant portrayal of Sieglinde in Opera North’s Die Walküre in 2012, sings the role of Brünnhilde in these performances. She is joined by a cast that also includes the Estonian tenor Mati Turi as Siegfried and Susan Bickley as Waltraute. All are under the guidance of Opera North’s Music Director Richard Farnes, whose conducting of the previous instalments of this cycle has been universally acclaimed.

Sung in German with English titles

Inside Opera Special: The Music of Götterdämmerung
Join Martin Pickard, Opera North's Head of Music, for a unique exploration of Wagner's monumental musical achievement in the final instalment of the Ring cycle.

Howard Assembly Room at Opera North
Saturday 12 July 1.45pm - 2.45pm
Tickets: FREE, but must be booked in advance

Free pre-performance talk
Opera North's Head of Music Martin Pickard in conversation with Stuart Leeks about the final instalment of Wagner's epic Ring cycle. The talk takes place in the auditorium and is free to all ticket-holders for the following performances.

Wed 18 June 2.30pm - 3.00pm Leeds Town Hall
Sat 21 June 2.15pm - 2.45pm Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Sat 28 June 2.30pm - 3.00pm Sage Gateshead
Sat 5 July 2.30pm - 3.00pm The Lowry

Opera North's pre-performance talks are made possible by the generous support of the Friends of Opera North.

Performance time (approx): 6 hours 21mins 
Please note: performance time includes two intervals.

Running time for Leeds Town Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and The Lowry: 

I Act approx 2 hrs 5 mins, 3.30pm - 5.35pm
Interval 75 mins, 5.35pm - 6.50pm
II Act approx 70 mins, 6.50pm - 7.58pm
Interval 30 mins, 7.58pm - 8.28pm
III. Act approx 83 mins, 8.28pm - 9.51pm

Running time for Sage Gateshead:

I Act approx 2 hrs 5 mins, 3.30pm - 5.35pm
Interval 85 mins, 5.35pm - 7pm
II Act approx 70 mins, 7pm - 8.10pm
Interval 20 mins, 8.10pm - 8.30pm
III. Act approx 80 mins, 8.30pm - 9.50pm

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Music: Toumani Diabaté

Spring 2014

6 June 2014

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Music: Toumani Diabaté

Cropped_toumani-colouryouri-lenquette Synopsis

With Sidiki Diabaté

[the] ‘…finest Toumani collaboration I have heard since his classic work with Ali Farka Touré’.

The Guardian

Toumani Diabaté is one of Africa's greatest musicians and a visionary of the potential of his ancient instrument, the Kora a 21 string bridge-harp. From a line of 71 generations of griot musicians, he returns to the Howard Assembly Room in an exquisite new duo format, with his son Sidiki.

Whether responding to his father’s themes with bright grooves or effortlessly taking the lead with flights of skimming notes, Sidiki Diabaté is a rich new collaborative voice for Toumani. Featuring both classic favourites like Kaira and fresh material, their remarkable duets see a new era in Toumani Diabaté’s fine career.

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FILMusic: Grouper and Paul Clipson

Winter 2014

5 June 2014

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

FILMusic: Grouper and Paul Clipson

Synopsis

American Routes

HYPNOSIS DISPLAY

‘The music of grouper creates a feeling that can only be defined as awe, an uncanny mixture of wonder and dread that nobody does better’ Pitchfork

A new FILMusic commission by Opera North, HYPNOSIS DISPLAY is a meditation on contemporary America in sound and image. Portland based musician Grouper (Liz Harris) juxtaposes layers of processed field recording, choral vocal harmony and keyboard in a resonant framework that moves behind and through Paul Clipson’s 16mm film. Clipson’s densely rhythmical images in turn traverse Grouper’s musical language to create startling, revelatory, and critical associations.

Together they invite the audience to participate in a collective mind’s-eye trip through landscapes of American myth making, including: the west coast, the worker, the city and the street.

Commissioned by Opera North Projects in association with Qu Junktions
Supported by the Opera North Future Fund

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Words: Paul Mason - Beyond Resistance

Spring 2014

4 June 2014

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Words: Paul Mason - Beyond Resistance

Cropped_paul_mason Synopsis

'Compact, urgent, present-tense, declarative, and addictive.’ The Guardian

Not shy of tackling tear gas, poverty or power from across the political spectrum; Paul Mason’s first-hand reportage has established him as an important journalist and commentator on social change.

For this special talk, Mason looks at how the economic crisis, social networking and a new political consciousness have come together to ignite a new generation of radicals and what the future holds.  What now for an alternative to capitalism that lies beyond resistance?

Part of Liberty Lectures 2014, in association with DARE.

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Performance: Monday’s Child

Winter 2014

24 May 2014

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Performance: Monday’s Child

Synopsis

SOLD OUT

A fun family play by Brendan Murray

Presented by tutti frutti productions and York Theatre Royal

At five years old, Tuesday Wild delights in discovering her world. She revels in days spent with her eccentric Great Gran and loves learning new things – how to count, the different colours and the pleasures of abc and 123.

With live music and dance, this imaginative dream-like, yet funny story explores how we learn, grow old and cope with new challenges. Join us for a discovery of worlds old & new. Perfect for children aged 3 to 7 and their families.

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Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Words: Seumas Milne - The Enemy Within, the Secret War Against the Miners

Cropped_seumas-milne-010 Synopsis

'The most important exposé of contemporary political Britain I have read.’ John Pilger

Margaret Thatcher branded the leaders of the 1984–85 miners' strike as ‘the enemy within’. In this special talk, Guardian journalist Seumas Milne explores the astonishing lengths to which the government and its intelligence machine were prepared to go to destroy the power of Britain's National Union of Miners (NUM). 

On the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the strike, Milne updates his blistering account to include recently declassified state papers that reveal the extent of NUM infiltration and surveillance, and how much of MI5's 'counter-subversion' work has now been absorbed by the police. 

Part of Liberty Lectures 2014, in association with DARE.

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Royal Northern Sinfonia: Glorious Bach

Spring 2014

22 May 2014

Dewsbury

Dewsbury Town Hall

Royal Northern Sinfonia: Glorious Bach

Synopsis

The final concert of the season is dedicated to one of music’s all-time greats, J S Bach. He wrote over 1100 works that capture the very essence of music and which have inspired musicians of all kinds, from classical to jazz to pop. This concert includes The Musical Offering, a splendid collection of pieces all based on a single theme given to Bach by Frederick the Great. The famous Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 is a work of joyous celebration, often heard in films, on television and of course at weddings. A traditional French dance inspired the Suite No. 2, guaranteeing that you will leave the concert hall with a spring in your step – especially when played by Royal Northern Sinfonia under the effervescent direction of Leader Bradley Creswick and soloist Juliette Bausor.

JS Bach The Musical Offering
JS Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major
JS Bach Suite No. 2 in B minor

Director Bradley Creswick
Flute Juliette Bausor

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Film: La Haine

Spring 2014

17 May 2014

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Film: La Haine

Synopsis

Myth of Paris

‘One of the most blisteringly effective pieces of urban cinema ever made’ The Times

Mathieu Kassovitz took the film world by storm with La Haine, an unsettling and visually explosive attempt to explore the racial and cultural instability of late 20th century France, specifically in the low-income districts on Paris’ outskirts.

Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd’s (Saïd Taghmaoui) bristling resentment at their marginalization slowly simmers to a climactic boiling point. A landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping entry into the cultural analysis of the country’s ongoing identity crisis.

Introduced by Max Silverman, Professor of Modern French Studies at the University of Leeds. 

Cert 15; France; 1995; Dir. Mathieu Kassovitz; in French with English Subtitles; 96 mins

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Film: Les Enfants du Paradis

Spring 2014

17 May 2014

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Film: Les Enfants du Paradis

Cropped_les_enfants Synopsis

Myth of Paris

‘The film’s final scene … is among the finest in cinema’ The Times *****

A vibrant epic, set in the glittering Parisian theatre world of the 1830s. The film was made during the German occupation of France during WW2. Banned from directly raising contemporary issues, Director Marcel Carné and Writer Jacques Prevert instead created a film of dazzling social scope.

The story revolves around the free-spirited courtesan, Garance, and the four men who compete for her affections: a mime-artist, an actor, an aristocrat and a criminal. The melodrama unfolds into one of cinema's great love stories, which became a focus of renewed national French pride following its premiere in March 1946.

Shown in two parts with a 20 minute interval with live music and refreshments.

Cert PG; France; 1945; Dir. Marcel Carné; in French with English subtitles; 190 mins

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Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Performance: National Opera Studio at Opera North

Cropped_nos Synopsis

'a great opportunity to sample the … UK’s most advanced opera students.' The Stage

Opera North throws open its door to welcome back the National Opera Studio (NOS) to showcase some of the finest singers of the next generation of opera. The residency gives the NOS Students the opportunity to become a professional member of the company for a week and culminates in a vibrant, semi-staged concert.

The programme features snippets from some of Britten’s finest opera’s including Albert Herring, Lucretia and the Turn of The Screw.

The National Opera Studio residency is supported by a grant for Arts Scholarships from the Leverhulme Trust.

Director Giles Havergal
Conductor Jac van Steen
Runtime 
1hr 25 mins

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Music: Hauschka

Spring 2014

10 May 2014

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Music: Hauschka

Synopsis

Inspired by innovators from John Cage to Aphex Twin, Hauschka aka Volker Bertelmann is known for compelling live performances that re-imagine the possibilities of the piano by carrying out an array of imaginative 'preparations to reveal its internal mechanisms.

Recorded in a ten day burst of creative energy following the birth of his first son, his newly released album Abandoned City evokes the ghostly romance of the ruin via his trademark piano preparations and – for the first time –electronic processing. An array of delays, reverbs and pitch-shifting effects bend to his will to create a shimmering world of layers that emanate from the piano.

Satie feather-drops, gorgeous string plucks, transfixing rattles. Stillness is the move.Rolling Stone

The sounds that Volker Bertelmann creates with(in) a piano are nothing short of astonishing… a triumphMojo ****

A rapturous exercise in acoustic ‘electronica’Uncut ****

ingenious and exquisiteNew York Times

Support: Ashley Paul

"Paul folds such urgent, primitive sounds and phrases into her
Compositions, in a way that alludes to songwriting, but
feels somehow simpler". The Wire

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