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Opera North returns to Latitude Festival

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I Am Yours, Yours Am I, Opera North's performance at Latitude Festival 2015. Photograph: Victor Frankowski

For the second year, we'll be taking to the road from Leeds to Henham Park in Suffolk for Latitude Festival, to present a live performance of non-stop music in an otherworldly setting on the evening of Thursday 14 July.

The One Who Loves and Lets Go takes place in the Faraway Forest alongside an impressive line-up of art, theatre, cabaret, poetry and dance, bringing the company’s innovative work to new audiences far beyond its home stages. The performance will transport festival-goers back in time to a glowing summer night, with love, longing and sweet music in the air. A non-stop, four-hour whirl of European music, from ferocious Transylvanian fiddling to Janáček, Kodály and Brahms, is punctuated by haunting Romanian café songs, all in the atmospheric outdoor setting of Latitude’s fringe venue.

Adapted from the Howard Assembly Room’s Park Life event at last winter’s Light Night in Leeds, the programme will feature soprano Gabriela Iştoc, who is currently singing the role of Adina in the company’s acclaimed revival of L’elisir d’amore, but who for this concert inhabits the music of her compatriot Maria Tănase, Romania’s national diva.


Park Life, The Howard Assembly Room, Light Night 2015. Photograph: Tom Arber

She will be accompanied by a band including musicians from the CHROMA chamber ensemble, with folk violinist Joe Townsend and the cimbalom of Opera North’s Principal Percussionist Chris Bradley articulating both the fierce intensity of Maria Tănase and the sensitivity of Kodály and Bartók, whose early 20th century compositions helped to make the sound of the instrument, a variety of hammered dulcimer, so instantly redolent of Central and Eastern Europe.

Jo Nockels, Producer and Opera North Projects Manager, comments:

“We are delighted to be heading back to the Faraway Forest in the middle of Latitude Festival with a second non-stop performance by incredible musicians. This year's performance is inspired by the lost worlds of pre-war Romanian terrace cafes, where bands of musicians played into the early hours on warm nights. The programme ranges across classical and folk music, from Janáček and Brahms, to the earthy, heartbreaking songs made famous by Maria Tănase.

One of Opera North's greatest aims is to take extraordinary music on adventures, stepping off the stage and bringing exceptional playing and singing into the audience, up close and personal. Latitude Festival is the perfect opportunity for us to do this and we are so glad to be taking over the forest again - for one night only.”

Opera North presents The One Who Loves and Lets Go at Latitude Festival’s Faraway Forest on Thursday 14 July. To book tickets or to find out more about the festival, visit the Latitude website, or call the See Tickets booking line on 0871 220 0260.

Generously supported by The Emerald Foundation.

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