Announced today, the 2019-20 Kirklees Concert Season will mark the 17th year of a unique partnership between Opera North and Kirklees Council, and the first step on the journey towards the region’s Year of Music 2023. Concerts by the Orchestra of Opera North return to Huddersfield Town Hall, with programmes ranging from a one-act opera, symphonic rarities and the world premiere of a new concerto for sitar and orchestra, to popular classics and film music.
One of today’s most exciting young talents, the German-born, US-based conductor Ruth Reinhardt opens the Orchestral Season on 19 September with a trio of brilliant showpieces: Webern’s Passacaglia, Schubert’s Symphony No. 5 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, with Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin joining the ensemble for the virtuosic solo 🎧 »
On 6 October, ex-d’Oyly Carte baritone and Chorus of Opera North mainstay Jeremy Peaker sees his popular ‘bite-size’ Lunchtime Concerts upgraded to a main course with the addition of the full Orchestra of Opera North and friends including mainstage favourite Joseph Shovelton (Trouble in Tahiti; Kiss Me Kate). A Feast of Gilbert and Sullivan features gems from HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and more 🎧 »
Legendary bass-baritone Christopher Purves returns to Opera North for a concert performance of Bartòk’s one-act opera Bluebeard’s Castle on 28 November, opposite renowned Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill as the Duke’s wife Judith. Following her triumphant company debut conducting Janáček’s Katya Kabanova earlier this year, Sian Edwards returns to the podium for the concert, which opens with the Czech composer’s blazing late Sinfonietta.
Once again the Concert Season provides the soundtrack to Christmas celebrations in Kirklees, with The Nutcracker and The Snowman (11 December) telling the spellbinding tale of Tchaikovsky’s ballet score through music, hand-drawn illustrations, and narration from CBeebies favourite Pui Fan Lee. Raymond Briggs’ classic festive animation completes the evening, screened with live soundtrack from the Orchestra. Opera North’s Christmas Concert unites the Company’s Orchestra, Chorus and Youth Chorus for seasonal orchestral selections and much-loved hymns in Dewsbury Town Hall on 12 December, led by conductor Garry Walker.
The University of Huddersfield Brass Band brings festive favourites to Lunchtime Concerts in Huddersfield (9 December) and Dewsbury (11 December), and Borough Organist Dr Gordon Stewart is joined by the Huddersfield Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs in a programme of Christmas music from around the world on 23 December. Viennese Whirl marks the end of the decade in traditional style on 30 December, as well as the Opera North debut of Gavan Ring as a tenor, following his celebrated performances as a baritone in the Company’s Magic Flute, The Barber of Seville and more.
Rising star Kristïne Balanas makes her Kirklees debut in Korngold’s Violin Concerto on 23 January 2020, at the heart of an enthralling programme of drama, romance and legend completed by Max Steiner’s Casablanca Suite, Prokofiev’s Winter Bonfire and Stravinsky’s Firebird 🎧 »
On 23 February the world premiere of Arya, a new concerto for sitar and orchestra composed and performed by the award-winning young sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun, is accompanied by more works that fuse the western symphonic tradition with other cultures. Ulvi Cemal Erkin’s Köçekçe Suite opens the evening with dance themes from the composer’s native Turkey, and a trio of Sibelius’ best loved works is suffused with the mysterious atmosphere of Finnish folklore.
Familiar to many from the opening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Richard Strauss’ gigantic tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra begins the season finale with a blazing fanfare to a new dawn on 26 March. Full of nostalgic melancholy, the indelible melodies of Rachmaninov’s tender Vocalise and his Symphony No. 3 draw the Orchestral Season to a memorable conclusion 🎧 »
Wednesday Lunchtime Chamber Concerts in Dewsbury focus on soloists and ensembles from the Orchestra of Opera North, beginning on 11 September with Principal Trumpet Murray Greig, ranging all the way from Donizetti to Gershwin. Leader of the Orchestra David Greed makes two appearances, joined by pianist Ian Buckle and Opera North Chorister Sarah Estill for an expedition through Ivor Novello’s musicals on 9 October, and Alexander Hamilton (French horn) and Annette Saunders (piano) for Brahms’ Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano and more on 19 February 2020.
Dr Gordon Stewart returns to the console of Huddersfield Town Hall’s historic instrument for his imaginatively curated programmes of old favourites and rarities at the hugely popular Monday Lunchtime Organ Concerts.
Anyone aged 16 and under can still see evening orchestral concerts for just £1.00, and for ages 17 to 29 tickets are £4.00 (excluding Christmas and New Year events). Tickets for all Lunchtime Concerts are still only £5.00.
Opera North’s popular programme of music and singing activity for over 55s, Sing ON, continues in Batley and Huddersfield until 18 July.
Subscription packages are available to book now via Kirklees Town Halls Box Office on 01484 225 755, and single tickets can be booked from Tuesday 25 June via Kirklees or Opera North Box Offices, or by following the links above.