Indiana Jones will provide the whip-cracking, face-melting climax to the Orchestra of Opera North’s annual long weekend in Millennium Square, Leeds this summer, with a screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark accompanied by John Williams’ immense score performed live on Sunday 26 July.
Like the film itself, the soundtrack of Raiders of the Lost Ark pays tribute to the swashbuckling thrillers of the 1930s and 40s, with its heroic theme, lacerating stabs of brass and strings and moments of sweeping romance. To make sure it all happens in the right place, conductor Ben Palmer, a specialist in conducting live to film, will return to the Millennium Square podium following last year’s concert screening of another Steven Spielberg/Williams classic, Jurassic Park.
Raiders of the Lost Ark in Concert will close this year’s Opera North in the City festival, the Company’s collaboration with Leeds City Council and a cornerstone of the Millennium Square Summer Series now in its fourth year.
The night before, a brand new event, Club Classical Anthems, will fuse the scale and colour of the symphony orchestra with the rhythms of dance music. An alumnus of Leeds College of Music who cut his teeth on the city’s live scene, Settle-born superstar John Newman returns to top the bill, performing Feel The Love, his number one with Rudimental, and his other hits including Love Me Again, Give Me Your Love and Blame. US singer, songwriter, DJ and 90s legend Ultra Naté brings floor-fillers including Free, and Italian house icons Black Box have their hits Ride On Time, Everybody Everybody and Strike It Up reworked and super-sized.
Kelli-Leigh will bring her euphoric vocals to new orchestral arrangements of the Grammy-nominated I Got U by Duke Dumont featuring Jax Jones, and her top ten collaboration with James Hype, More Than Friends. Their talented ensemble of backing vocalists will step forward for nonstop symphonic reboots of Alison Limerick, Calvin Harris, Clean Bandit, David Guetta, Livin’ Joy, Robin S, Rudimental, Sigala, Swedish House Mafia and more.
The weekend begins on Friday 24 July with the return of 80s Classical, featuring Jimmy Somerville, Belinda Carlisle, Go West, T’Pau’s Carol Decker, and John Parr backed by the Orchestra for symphonic reworkings of their greatest hits. This year’s concert boasts the first ever live orchestral performances by American superstar Belinda, whose hits including Heaven is a Place on Earth and Leave a Light On are set for the symphonic makeover. “I am absolutely thrilled to be able to perform some of my best loved songs in front of a 60-piece symphony orchestra and to be involved in such a fresh and exciting event”, says Belinda. “I always get a great reaction from my fans in the UK and I know this is going to be a really special occasion”.
A highlight of last year’s show, founder and lead vocalist of Bronski Beat and The Communards Jimmy Somerville will perform electrifying, orchestrally-enhanced versions of some of his most iconic songs, including Never Can Say Goodbye, Don’t Leave Me This Way and Smalltown Boy. He says: “I’m so excited to be returning to Leeds and to be collaborating once again with the wonderful Orchestra of Opera North on these truly unique orchestral arrangements of my catalogue. Last year was such a memorable evening and I can’t wait to perform in Millennium Square again”.
After starting the party in style last summer, T’Pau singer and songwriter Carol Decker returns with pure 80s pop gold Heart and Soul and China In Your Hand. Go West join the bill to perform their unforgettable hit from the Pretty Woman soundtrack, King of Wishful Thinking, and other earworms including top ten smash We Close Our Eyes. In another live orchestral debut, John Parr will take the stage for Man in Motion, his title song for the cult Brat Pack movie St Elmo’s Fire, and a trio of backing vocalists will perform more crowd-pleasing 80s favourites.
Both the 80s Classical event – back in its spiritual home following its world premiere in Leeds last year – and Club Classical Anthems have been put together by composer, arranger and conductor Cliff Masterson and musical director Steve Anderson. The duo’s credits include Kylie Minogue, Emeli Sandé and Leona Lewis – not to mention Leeds legend Dave Beer, their collaborator on the Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics concerts over the last three summers.
All three events are on sale now.