What's On

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Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Little Voices: Opera North’s Early Years Programme

Cropped_little_voices_428 Synopsis

Sing songs, explore instruments, play games and have fun with music in our weekly sessions.

Weekly starting Monday 11 May
10am – 10.45am & 11.15am – 12.00pm during term time
£6 per session, per child
Suitable for ages 0-4

For more information call 01132233520 or email littlevoices@operanorth.co.uk

Supported by the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation

Next Performances
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Carousel

Musicals

13 May - 13 June 2015

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Carousel

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

Audio-described performance
Tue 19 May, 7pm. Call 0113 223 3700 to book.

Signed performance (Signer: Paul Whittaker OBE)
Thursday 21 May, 7pm. To book call the box office on 0844 848 2720.

Captioned performance
Friday 22nd May, 7pm. To book call the box office on 0844 848 2720.

A co-production with the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris

Carousel: rehearsal recording

*Performance split for role of Louise: 

Alex Newton: 13, 14 (x2), 15, 16 (x2), 17 (4pm), 19, 20 May (Leeds); 28 (mat); 29, 30 (eve) May (Norwich); 3, 4 (eve), 6 (mat) June (Edinburgh); 10, 11 (eve), 12, 13 (eve) June (Dublin)

Beverley Grant: 21 (x2), 22, 23 May (Leeds); 28 (eve), 30 (mat) May (Norwich); 2, 4 (mat), 5, 6 (eve) June (Edinburgh); 11 (mat), 13 (mat) June (Dublin) 

Next Performances
Sat 23rd May
Thu 28th May
Thu 28th May
Fri 29th May
There are a total of 19 upcoming performances for this production
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Tariq Ali

Spoken Word/Talks

28 May 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Tariq Ali

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Between Past and Future

‘Since the beginning of the Arab Spring there has been much talk of revolutions. Not from me. I’ve argued against the position that mass uprisings on their own constitute a revolution, i.e. a transfer of power from one social class … to another that leads to fundamental change’. Tariq Ali.

Acclaimed commentator, author and broadcaster Tariq Ali investigates the deep currents of change sweeping across the Eastern Mediterranean, from IS, Assad and the rise in old tensions between Sunni and Shia Muslims to the role of the West. Acute analysis, provocative analogy and a lifetime of activism come together in this fascinating lecture.

Ali remains an outlier and intellectual bomb-thrower; an urbane, Oxford-educated polemicist. The Observer

Part of Liberty Lectures in association with the University of Leeds.

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 28th May
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Casablanca

Film

30 May 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Casablanca

Synopsis

Live piano by Joseph Wistow

Released in 1942, Casablanca has only improved with age, remaining Hollywood’s quintessential evocation of love. This blockbuster has it all: silver screen royalty, quotable lines, and a heart-breaking love story.

...a rich, detailed screenplay studded with an indecent number of sparklingly quotable lines. It is a movie to play again, and again. The Daily Telegraph

The film is set in a highly fictionalised WWII Morocco, under the control of the French Vichy Regime, where desperate refugees plead for transit papers to escape the stucco-walled coastal city of Casablanca. There, nightclub owner Rick Blaine (the thrilling Humphrey Bogart) has his world shaken as his lost love (Ingrid Bergman) and her anti-Nazi rebel husband arrive.

With live piano to transport you back to the ‘40s on arrival.

Dir. Michael Curtiz; 1942; 103 mins; cert PG; USA

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 30th May
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Heritage Blues Orchestra

Music

4 June 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Heritage Blues Orchestra

Synopsis

Support: The Sentimentalists (trio)

Like fellow neo-traditionalists the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Grammy-nominated Heritage Blues Orchestra draw their lifeblood from African-American musical traditions: from juke joint country blues to chain gang songs. Performing here as a quintet, their sound harnesses the grit of low-down Mississippi blues, urban R&B, gospel and bold New Orleans brass.

A welcome new sound bringing a sense of urgency to the Blues All About Jazz

Lead guitarist Junior Mack, singer/guitarist Bill Sims Jr and vocalist Chaney Sims perform classics from the likes of Son House, Muddy Waters and Leadbelly: all driven along by drummer Kenny ‘Beedy Eyes’ Smith, and harmonica ace Vincent Butcher. An unmissable show!

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 4th Jun
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Le Trio Joubran

Music

5 June 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Le Trio Joubran

Synopsis

A rare opportunity to catch the pre-eminent Palestinian oud trio, formed by three brothers – Samir, Wissam Adnan Joubran – perform with master percussionist Youssef Hbeisch. The Joubran brothers come from a family steeped in Palestine’s rich musical history. Their father, Hatem Mbadda Joubran, is a great oud maker, and their mother, Ibtisam Hanna Joubran, is an acclaimed singer.

a style that brings a new dimension to the traditional Arabic lute, thanks to the almost intuitive way they work together, and the emotional range of their improvisations. The Guardian

The brothers have a glittering international career. Their repertoire pays homage to their 4,000-year old instrument and takes inspiration from jazz and flamenco. Only hearing is believing these rich, subtle melodies and magnificent improvisations.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before. | 85minutes, no interval
Next Performances
Fri 5th Jun
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Çigdem Aslan: Mortissa

Folk

6 June 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Çigdem Aslan: Mortissa

Synopsis

With support

Just occasionally, a new artist emerges to throw old music styles into an intriguing contemporary perspective.

Turkish-Kurdish vocalist Çigdem Aslan has been described by The Guardian as ‘one of the best British-based discoveries of the year… [whose] success is down to her reworking old songs with a blend of delicate soulful vocals, subtle theatrics and a stage persona that could switch from stately to slinky and flirtatious.’

Absolutely stunning stuff...it is so infectious Cerys Matthews, BBC Radio 6

With her band, she sings Rebetiko - the bravely outspoken Greek urban folk blending Byzantine, Turkish and Balkan influences – bringing to life the smoky bars and cafes of 1920s Athens and Smyrna.

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 6th Jun
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Reem Kelani

Music

11 June 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Reem Kelani

Synopsis
With support: ENCORE! (Maggi Stratford & Daniel Bowater)

British-Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster Reem Kelani returns to the Howard Assembly Room following a show-stopping sell-out performance in 2012. With repertoire that criss-crosses the Mediterranean, from Palestine and Syria, Egypt and Tunisia, Turkey and Spain, these are songs she not only sings, but truly inhabits.

…searingly beautiful. The Financial Times

A staggeringly powerful voice and joyful stage presence make for a live performance that is quite simply unforgettable.  The concert includes songs from her forthcoming album based on the music of great Egyptian composer Sayyid Darwish (1892 – 1925) accompanied by Bruno Heinen on piano.

Due to popularity max. 2 tickets per booking.

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 11th Jun
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Hisham Matar

Spoken Word/Talks

12 June 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Hisham Matar

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The Temptations of the Sea

Hisham Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents and spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo. His father, a political dissident, was kidnapped from Cairo in 1990 and remains among Libya’s ‘disappeared’. 

Matar suffuses Nuri’s education in love and loss with an erotic frisson and fragile grace that lend the book an inner radiance The Independent

As part of the Mediterranean series, he reads from his novels Anatomy of a Disappearance and Man Booker Prize-nominated In the Country of Men. Interlacing fiction, autobiography and reflection he explores what it is to be a wanderer and the nature of displacement. Live music from pianist Ian Buckle and soprano Bibi Heal weaves through this specially concieved talk.

Part of Liberty Lectures in association with the University of Leeds.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.
Next Performances
Fri 12th Jun
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Vashti Bunyan: Heartleap

Music

13 June 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Vashti Bunyan: Heartleap

Synopsis

Support: Gary Stewart

Nine years after Lookaftering, her last album of new material, legendary British singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan performs songs from her new LP, a unique and entrancing collection of ten songs forming what she is adamant will be her final album. Vashti re-emerged after 30 years in the wilderness with the 2000 re-release of her 1970 album Just Another Diamond Day (a bona fide cult-classic that made number 53 in The Observer Music Monthly’s Top 100 British Albums of All Time). Her new songs reveal an artist at her peak, masterfully marrying content and form to sparkling effect.

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.
Next Performances
Sat 13th Jun
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The Flying Dutchman

Opera

27 Jun - 11 July 2015

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Flying Dutchman

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Richard Wagner 1843

Having performed all four instalments of the Ring cycle in successive years, Opera North continues its Wagnerian voyage with the work that the composer himself regarded as the true beginning of his career as a musical dramatist.

Perhaps one reason for this assessment is that the myth of the Dutchman, doomed to wander the seas eternally unless he finds redemption through a woman’s faithful love, treats of themes that were to recur throughout the rest of Wagner’s career. From this material, he constructed a thrillingly taut music drama that grips from the first storm-tossed notes of the famous overture, to the work’s resplendent final moments of transfiguration.

Like Opera North’s highly acclaimed Ring, The Flying Dutchman will be presented in a concert staging by Peter Mumford, and conducted by the Company’s Music Director Richard Farnes. The principal singers all made their mark in the Opera North Ring: Béla Perencz (Wotan) and Alwyn Mellor (Sieglinde) in Die Walküre, and Mats Almgren (Fafner) and Mati Turi (title role) in Siegfried.

Sung in German with English titles
Performance lasts approximately 2 hours 30 minutes with no interval

Inside Opera Special: The Flying Dutchman

Howard Assembly Room at Opera North
Tue 30 June 5.00pm – 6.30pm
Tickets: FREE, but must be booked in advance

In this special pre-performance event we explore the origins, creation and nature of Wagner's first true musical and dramatic masterpiece. Read more...

Book online or call box office on 0844 848 2700

Financially supported by the Opera North Future Fund

Next Performances
Sat 27th Jun
Tue 30th Jun
Fri 3rd Jul
Sun 5th Jul
There are a total of 6 upcoming performances for this production
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Inside Opera Special: The Flying Dutchman

Spoken Word/Talks

30 June 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Inside Opera Special: The Flying Dutchman

Cropped_dutchman_428 Synopsis
In this special pre-performance event we explore the origins, creation and nature of Wagner's first true musical and dramatic masterpiece.

Martin Pickard, Assistant Conductor of Opera North's new concert staging of The Flying Dutchman, plunges us deep into the score in the company of singers Sarah Estill and Paul Rendall of the Chorus of Opera North, who will provide live musical illustrations. Martin will also be in conversation with Kara McKechnie of the University of Leeds in a discussion of the work chaired by Opera North Editor Stuart Leeks. It’s the perfect prelude to the performance of The Flying Dutchman at Leeds Town Hall later the same evening, and requires no specialist musical knowledge on the part of the audience.

Howard Assembly Room at Opera North
Tue 30 June 5.00pm – 6.30pm
Tickets: FREE, but must be booked in advance

Next Performances
Tue 30th Jun
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Sacred Sounds

Music

1 July 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Sacred Sounds

Cropped_sacred_sounds_428 Synopsis

More then 877,000 Indian soldiers, many of them Punjabi Sikhs, fought in WWI. Their involvement has only recently been fully acknowledged in remembrance of the Great War. Inspired by the discovery of a single photograph held by the British Library, this special concert uncovers the music the soldiers took with them to the camp and battlefield.

Interspersed by readings of Sikh soldiers’ letters, the concert explores the songs of the Great War, from ‘Shabads’, sacred Sikh hymns sung before battle, to a mother’s lament for a departing son. With Keertan Rehal, Kirpal Singh Panesar, Christella Litras and band.

Produced by Alchemy in association with SAA UK and The Network of Sikh Organisations.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.
Next Performances
Wed 1st Jul
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Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Tell me what yo’ singin’ for: Soul of Calypso

Synopsis

A concert of calypsos celebrating the pioneer of Caribbean music in 1950s Britain: Edric Connor. Connor collected, catalogued and recorded Trinidadian music, as well as being an acclaimed singer, broadcaster and actor in his own right. The evening features calypsos and Trinidadian folk music from his songbooks, performed by Nigel Wong and Simone Sauphanor, who both played with Edric.

In the second half, the electrified beats of Trinidad’s most popular contemporary musical form, Soca ‘the soul of calypso’, bring us bang up to date and are performed by Sheldon Blackman and members of the legendary Breakfast Band.

Produced by the Geraldine Connor Foundation.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.
Next Performances
Fri 3rd Jul
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The Selfish Giant

Family

12 July 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

The Selfish Giant

Synopsis

Opera North’s Children Chorus present a new semi-staged production of The Selfish Giant, based on the story by Oscar Wilde, with music by Handel.

Join the 80 strong Children’s Chorus for the music loved tale of the giant who builds a wall around his beautiful garden to keep the world out.

Graeme Danby (Policeman in Opera North’s 2013 Albert Herring) plays the giant, Justin Doyle conducts and James Hurley directs.

Supported by the Opera North Future Fund.

Please note the time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 15 minutes before.
Next Performances
Sun 12th Jul
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Opera Bingo

Family

18 July 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Opera Bingo

Synopsis

Opera North Youth Company present…Opera Bingo

Charge your glasses, cards at the ready... it's Bingo Life! Bingo NEVER stops...

Eyes down and play… look at the world around you, the people you see on the streets, in the corner of a room, sitting alone at a table. Do you know their names? Who’s deceiving whom? And what are the secret desires of Miss Leeds Twinkletoes 1963?

Based on Leeds city centre social observations, this brand new piece of music theatre invites the audience to take part in a highly irregular game of Bingo.

With over fifty members aged 13-19, the Opera North Youth Company have been meeting weekly with a team of professional artists since September to explore, devise and create Opera Bingo.

Please note seating for this performance is unreserved – immersive bingo table seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis on the night. The time indicated is the actual start of the performance. Doors to the event will open approximately 30 minutes before.

The Opera North Youth Company is supported by the Opera North Future Fund and The Bernarr Rainbow Trust.

Next Performances
Sat 18th Jul
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Norton

Saint Peter's Church

Orchestra of Opera North: Heavenly Sounds

Synopsis

Richard Farnes conducts the Orchestra of Opera North at Ryedale Festival, bringing to life Bartók’s unearthly Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. Written in 1936, its powerful rhythms and amazing instrumental effects fuse to create a piece both haunting and profound. Mahler’s Fourth Symphony is a grand orchestral work complete with sleighbells and solo soprano. This vibrant symphony is full of folk-like colour and glorious melodies and makes an ideal introduction to Mahler’s work. The finale, based on an exquisite song depicting a child’s vision of heaven, is sure to lift both body and soul.

Bartók Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Mahler Symphony No. 4

Conductor Richard Farnes
Soprano TBA

Next Performances
Fri 24th Jul
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Borodin Quartet

Classical

19 September 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Borodin Quartet

Synopsis

When four students assembled at the Moscow Conservatory to play string quartets one afternoon in 1945, they unknowingly set the foundations for what soon became one of the world’s finest chamber music ensembles. The Borodin Quartet ranks today among the great names in music-making, universally acclaimed for the richness of its sound, the profound insights of its interpretations and its enduring pursuit of artistic truth. The group’s current members are ready to celebrate its 70th anniversary year with a packed schedule of international performances, including its first appearance at the Howard Assembly Room.

Here we have not four individual players, but a single sixteen-stringed instrument of great virtuosity’ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Gerhard Rohde, October 2013

 

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 19th Sep
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Kiss Me, Kate

Musicals

24 Sep - 21 November 2015

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Kiss Me, Kate

Cropped_behindthecurtain-tomarber-39-428-use-for-kiss-me-kate Synopsis

Cole Porter (1948)

New production

'Another Op'nin, Another Show' . Opera North's momentous 2015/16 kicks off to a dazzling start with a classic American musical comedy.

Set both on and off-stage during the production of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, the plot revolves around the tangled love lives of actor-manager Fred Graham, his leading lady (but ex-wife) Lilli Vanessi, ingénue Lois Lane and her boyfriend Bill - not to mention a couple of gangsters who somehow get caught up in the show.  Studded with gems as various as 'So in Love', 'Wunderbar', 'Always True to You in My Fashion' and 'Too Darn Hot', Kiss Me, Kate is a deliciously witty confection graced by what is probably Cole Porter's richest, most accomplished theatrical score.

Opera North's new production is conducted by David Charles Abell, who has prepared a new critical edition of the score, and directed by Jo Davies, who is responsible for a string a recent Opera North successes, including RuddigoreCarousel and The Marriage of Figaro.  

There is surely no more enjoyable way to brush up your Shakespeare than with this show.     

Sung in English

Kiss Me, Kate is a co-production with Welsh National Opera

Next Performances
Thu 24th Sep
Fri 25th Sep
Sat 3rd Oct
Wed 21st Oct
There are a total of 15 upcoming performances for this production
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The Barber of Seville

Opera

7 Oct - 19 November 2015

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

The Barber of Seville

Cropped_barber_of_seville_428 Synopsis

Gioachino Rossini (1816)

Rosina is rich, beautiful and in love with a dashing young Count. However, her elderly guardian, Doctor Bartolo, has designs on her himself, and does everything he can to put obstacles in the way of their happiness. But with the help of the sharp-witted Figaro, true love finally triumphs.

Tuneful and vivacious, Rossini’s score contains one irresistibly catchy number after another, ranging from the fireworks of Figaro’s ‘Largo al factotum’ to the seductive beauty of the Count’s ‘Ecco, ridente’.

Giles Havergal’s handsome period production delivers pure enjoyment with bags of style. This revival features three exceptionally engaging young singers in Nicholas Watts (Count), Katie Bray (Rosina) and Gavan Ring (Figaro). They are joined by one of the UK’s most distinguished operatic basses, Alastair Miles, as Basilio, and this classic production wouldn’t be complete without the comic genius of Eric Roberts as Bartolo.

Sung in English

Next Performances
Wed 7th Oct
Sat 17th Oct
Fri 23rd Oct
Tue 27th Oct
There are a total of 11 upcoming performances for this production
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Jenůfa

Autumn 2015

22 Oct - 18 November 2015

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Jenůfa

Cropped_jenufa_428 Synopsis

Leoš Janáček (1904)

This intense story of love, jealousy and sacrifice is by turns harrowing, heart-wrenching and starkly tragic.  It took Janáček ten years to complete his first great opera, and in the final year of its composition he witnessed his own daughter’s painful illness and early death.  His soul-piercing score is laced with the suffering caused by this event.

Tom Cairns returns to direct a production acclaimed for its beautifully simple staging and sheer emotional power.  A world-class cast includes Susan Bickley (Waltraute, Götterdämmerung) as the Kostelnička and Elizabeth Sikora (Salud’s Grandmother, La vida breve) as Grandmother Buryjkova.  In the title role is the Swedish soprano Ylva Kihlberg, who gave a memorably powerful performance as Emilia Marty in The Makropolus Case for the Company in 2012. 

 

Sung in English with English titles

Next Performances
Thu 22nd Oct
Sat 24th Oct
Mon 26th Oct
Wed 28th Oct
There are a total of 7 upcoming performances for this production
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Vox Luminis

Classical

24 October 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Vox Luminis

Synopsis

Purcell: Night and Day

Vox Luminis, founded in 2004, is a Gramophone Award winning, first-class European ensemble specialising in 16th – 18th century vocal music that are particularly noted for its seamless blend of exceptional individual voices, exquisite tuning and clarity of sound.

For this Autumnal concert, the programme centres on the sublime songs of English composer Henry Purcell. Turning a traditional liturgy of the hours on its head, a beautifully chosen selection of sacred and secular songs begins in the evening, and ends with the uplifting brightness of morning. The programme is completed with pieces by John Blow and Matthew Locke.

 

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 24th Oct
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Freddy Kempf

Classical

4 November 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Freddy Kempf

Synopsis

Freddy Kempf is one of today’s most successful pianists, performing to sell-out audiences all over the world. A first-class musician, Kempf has built a unique reputation as an explosive and physical performer not afraid to take risks as well as a serious, sensitive and profoundly musical artist.

'Kempf shaped lines with delicacy and insight, yet it was the balance with an impetuous Beethovian fire that lifted the performance of the third concerto on to a higher level' - The Guardian

Marking a long-awaited return to the Howard Assembly Room following his 2011 concert, early booking is highly recommended.

'The delicacy of his touch was almost excruciating… His right-hand twinkled like a music box… The subtle, refined tenderness of Kempf’s musicianship keeps you leaning in… Kempf has the ability to turn his hand to every mood and style necessary.' - Time Out

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

 

Next Performances
Wed 4th Nov
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Kate Royal & Joseph Middleton

Classical

7 November 2015

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Kate Royal & Joseph Middleton

Synopsis

In collaboration with Leeds Lieder

If there was ever a more obviously fitting adjective to describe young British soprano Kate Royal, one suspects it would be “regal” as she has the sort of luminously lyric voice that comes from the same realm as Renée Fleming or Felicity Lott.

As part of Leeds Lieder Plus, she is joined by the organisation’s new Artistic Director, pianist Joseph Middleton in a programme that includes Mahler’s tender and direct Rückert Lieder, based on poems by Friedrich Rückert of whom Mahler wrote ‘I could not compose anything but Rückert – this is lyric poetry from the source, all else is lyric poetry of a derivative kind’

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 7th Nov
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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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