Hammerson, the developer behind Leed’s Victoria Gate scheme, has celebrated its status as a founding Business Partner with Opera North and its sponsorship of the Company’s forthcoming Schools Matinee performance with an exclusive evening event at the city’s prestigious Victoria Quarter.
Artists Daisy Brown and Nick Watts, accompanied by pianist Tony Kraus, treated guests to an excerpt from Donizetti’s comic opera L’elisir d’amore, providing a taster of the music teachers and schoolchildren can look forward to experiencing early next year.
The Schools Matinee performance is being held at 2.30pm on Tuesday 23 February. It will give up to 700 children from schools across Yorkshire the opportunity to come to the Leeds Grand Theatre and watch L'elisir d'amore for just £5. School workshops will be held to complement the performance and a resource pack is being prepared to help teachers explore Donizetti’s work, and opera more generally, with their older pupils.
James Hepburn, Development Manager at Victoria Gate, said: “Opera North is playing a hugely important role in inspiring communities and younger people to appreciate opera in Leeds and beyond. This investment in the community is one that we are always looking to support, and reflects our own commitment to Leeds as a cultural city centre and local employer. When Opera North launched their membership scheme for business leaders, we were delighted to join as a founding partner and we welcome the opportunity to build a closer relationship with them by sponsoring the Schools Matinee performance in February.”
Jacqui Cameron, Opera North Education Director, commented: “Young people have a much more instinctive response to opera, booing the villains and cheering the heroes, which gives our Schools Matinee performances a particularly special atmosphere. We are already looking forward to seeing how they react to L’elisir d’amore and are delighted that Hammerson has chosen to support us in this way. With all our initiatives, we aim to increase the accessibility of opera across the community and are very grateful for Hammerson’s continued commitment in helping us to achieve this.”
Schools wishing to come to the Schools Matinee performance of L’elisir d’amore should contact Andy Kitching at Leeds Grand theatre by email or on 0844 848 2705 The performance is suitable for Year 6 pupils and above.
Opera North Business Partners is a membership scheme for business leaders who recognise and value the role that Opera North plays in making the North an attractive place to live, study, work and invest in.
Photos: Tom Arber (schools performance) and Richard Moran (L'elisir d'amore)