Opera North Blog

Corinne Bailey Rae to join the Orchestra of Opera North

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Leeds’ own Grammy, Brit and MOBO Award-winning singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae will make her debut with the Orchestra of Opera North at The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics in Millennium Square, Leeds this Friday 28 July.

Corinne will join the 50-piece Orchestra and more special guest artists for the collaboration with Leeds’ legendary Back to Basics club, performing expanded versions of dancefloor classics in an open-air extravaganza at the heart of the city.

Born and raised in Leeds, Corinne found her voice singing in church choirs as a child, before forming an indie band in her teens and learning her chops on Leeds’ renowned live music circuit. Her first solo album debuted at number one in 2006, and the following year brought three Grammy Award nominations, three Brit Awards, and two MOBO Award wins. In 2012 she won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance, and her most recent album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers, debuted at no. 2 on Billboard's R&B chart last year.

Performing a brand new arrangement of a seminal disco classic, Corinne will join a stellar line-up of guest artists including Basement Jaxx’s founder member Felix Buxton, original vocalists Sharlene Hector and Vula Malinga, and Groove Armada’s MC M.A.D.

Iconic Republica singer Saffron will perform a unique mash-up of her UK Club Chart number 1 Ready to Go and her earlier cult hit with N-Joi, Anthem, and acid house pioneer Adamski will be bringing back memories of the heady summer of 1990 with his chart-topping Killer.

A talented trio of vocalists, Adetoun Rattenbury, Sabrina Ramikie and The Voice’s Jaz Ellington, has been assembled to perform more old school club classics including Such a Good Feeling, A Deeper Love, Music Sounds Better with You, and a special version of the late Robert Miles’ hit Children. There’ll also be a chance to relive one of Back to Basics’ greatest coups with an orchestral reboot of Daft Punk’s One More Time. Always ahead of the game, the club’s founder Dave Beer brought the then-unknown French duo to Leeds in the early 90s after seeing them play in a Paris bar. 

Celebrating a quarter century of Back to Basics, Dave Beer will be hosting the event and taking to the decks alongside resident DJs Ralph Lawson, James Holroyd and Tristan Da Cunha.

Dave comments:

We’ve been rehearsing with the Orchestra of Opera North over the past couple of weeks and it’s sounding absolutely unbelievable. For a lad from a council estate in Pontefract, to be there in Millennium Square with the Back to Basics extended family, the Orchestra, and the golden owls looking down… it’s going to be very, very emotional!

Gates open at 6.30pm, with DJ sets starting from 7.15pm and live performances from 8.30pm. Entry is strictly by ticket only and full bag and body searches will be in operation.

In association with Leeds City Council, Opera North in the City continues on Saturday 29 July when baritone Quirijn de Lang and soprano Jeni Bern join the Orchestra for an evening of heart-stopping operatic arias and show-stopping songs from the musicals in A Night at the Opera. A special screening of the 1980s blockbuster Back to the Future accompanied by Opera North’s full symphony orchestra brings the weekend to a close on Sunday 30 July.

To book your tickets for any of the three events, click on the links above or call Box Office on 0844 848 2720.

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