This Autumn, the Howard Assembly Room presents a season inspired by unusual collaborations, outstanding international voices and our upcoming productions of Janáček’s Jenůfa and Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate.
Headlining the season are The Tiger Lillies, who return to Leeds with their second commission for Opera North Projects, Love For Sale (31 Oct), based on arrangements of the songs of Cole Porter. Inspired by our new production of Cole Porter’s Tony Award-winning musical, Kiss Me, Kate, which opens in Leeds in September, The Tiger Lillies’ new alternative show brings out the power, darkness and humour of many of Porter’s other greatest songs, including ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’, ‘Love For Sale’ and ‘Miss Otis Regrets.’
On 4 October, Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch's distinctive score from the seminal Twin Peaks TV-series is brought to life in a commission from Lynch himself, in which Jamie Stewart's enigmatic band Xiu Xiu reinterpret the iconic music.
For Light Night 2015 Opera North Projects takes inspiration from our main stage production of Janáček’s Jenůfa to present Parklife (9 Oct), a five-hour durational concert of music from central and eastern Europe set in a magical bandstand where the players are fated to play on forever.
A strong series of unusual collaborations and duos for this Autumn includes the season’s opening show on 18 September, with Newcastle based experimental folk singer-songwriter Richard Dawson joined by Georgian singer-musician Aşiq Nargile as part of a select run of double-bill dates across the UK. Welsh harpist Catrin Finch (4 Dec) performs with Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita, uniting to create music that brings together their very different but equally strong bardic traditions. On 11 November singer, writer and concertina player Emily Portman combines her ethereal voice with rich arrangements for harp, concertina, banjo, strings and saw for an evening of dark musical storytelling inspired by the novels of Angela Carter.
Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan and the Yerevan State Choir perform a unique exploration of their nation's music on 16 October, in their only UK performance outside London. Meanwhile, two great banjo players with very different voices come together on stage as the world renowned Béla Fleck is joined by Abigail Washburn in their exceptional duo (13 Nov).
For film lovers, the Howard Assembly Room is screening Jirí Menzel's Closely Watched Trains set in Czechoslovakia during the German occupation about a a bumbling dispatcher’s apprentice who longs to liberate himself from his virginity (17 Oct) and Tom Berninger's hillarious and moving documentary Mistaken for Strangers which follows indie band The National on their biggest tour to date (6 Nov).
Voices 2015 roams ever more widely to find exceptional vocalists from all corners of the globe. Sufi musician, Sain Zahoor (1 Oct) embodies the cultural wealth and soul of Pakistan’s popular street culture. Here with his single-string ektara lute, Zahoor delivers Sufi Kalams with focused and flamboyant joy. Howard Assembly Room favourite, Bassekou Kouyate (23 Oct) stops off in Leeds on his way home from the USA, for a special blues-inflected set inspired by his travels.
Photo by Andy Morgan