As Opera North’s current productions of Kiss Me, Kate, The Barber of Seville and Jenůfa embark on tour this November, the Company is engaging new audiences in Newcastle, Salford and Nottingham by taking opera and classical music off the stage and into local communities, in a series of free lunchtime concerts and participatory events.
The first concert is on Thursday 5 November when Newcastle shoppers, businesspeople and students are invited to take an hour out at lunchtime to join principal musicians from the Orchestra of Opera North, David Aspin (viola) and Jessica Burroughs (cello) in The Parish Church of St Andrew’s on Newgate Street. Starting at 1.15pm, they will perform an eclectic programme ranging from the great Baroque composer Marin Marais to 20th century music from France and Hungary. Everyone is welcome and entry is free.
The following week, older residents in Salford will be given the chance to appreciate classical music on their home territory as members of the Orchestra of Opera North visit a sheltered housing project in the region. The residents will be treated to a lunchtime recital of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major (K. 581) performed by Colin Honour (clarinet), David Greed (violin), Katie New (violin), David Aspin (viola), and Jessica Burroughs (cello).
Meanwhile, Nottingham music-lovers can look forward to a lunchtime concert at 12.15pm on Thursday 19 November in the Level 4 foyer of the Royal Concert Hall as part of the free ‘Live at Lunch’ series of open recitals. Colin Honour (clarinet), Jessica Burroughs (cello) and Anthony Kraus (piano) from Opera North will play Brahms’ Trio for Clarinet, Cello & Piano (Op 114), in a double-billing with Garry Magee (baritone) and Tim Lole (piano), who will perform Schubert’s song cycle Schwanengesang.
Singing is not forgotten. While in Salford, Opera North will be holding vocal sessions with Wigan Junior Choir and Oldham Youth Choir, sharing musical experience and choral expertise with the younger singers.
In Nottingham, it is the turn of the adults with forty over 55s attending a two hour workshop with Opera North’s Head of Vocal Delivery, Matt Beckingham. They will learn a scene from Jenůfa and two of Verdi’s famous opera choruses: the ‘Anvil Chorus’ (‘Coro di zingari’ from Il trovatore) and the ‘Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves’ (‘Va, pensiero’ from Nabucco). A week later, they will have the opportunity to sing what they have mastered with members of the Chorus of Opera North.
An hour-long interactive introduction to Jenůfa will also take place at each of the three venues, especially for young people aged 14+ who might be new to opera, with additional sessions in Newcastle and Salford which are open to adults.
Join us for the free public recitals:
David Aspin (viola) and Jessica Burroughs (cello)
The Parish Church of St Andrew’s, Newcastle
Thursday 5 November, 1.15pm
‘Live at lunch’: Colin Honour (clarinet), Jessica Burroughs (cello) and Anthony Kraus (piano)
Brahms’ Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano Op 114
Followed by a free recital by Garry Magee (baritone) and Tim Lole (piano) performing Schubert’s Schwanengesang.
Level 4 Foyer
Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
Thursday 19 November, 12.15pm
Opera North’s Autumn tour visits the Theatre Royal, Newcastle (3-7 Nov), The Lowry, Salford Quays (10-14 Nov) and Theatre Royal, Nottingham (17 – 21 Nov).
Photos: Tom Arber and Jonny Walton