What’s On

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Family

Little Singers

12 Sep 2016 - 3 Apr 2017

Nationwide

Touring 3 theatres

Little Singers

Synopsis

Opera North Early Years Programme
Suitable for 0 - 4 years

Sing songs, explore instruments, play games and have fun with music in our weekly sessions. Sessions aim to support the development and well-being of children under the age of 4 and their families through high-quality musical experiences and activities.

Led by a professional musician, all workshops introduce live singing and music-making in a fun and creative environment.

I love bringing my child; the space is beautiful and has a lovely atmosphere. It is brilliant that we have the chance to sing with a professional vocal artist. Coming to the sessions have given me more confidence to sing with my child at home.

— Little Singers parent

Follow our Little Singers playlist:

Next Performances
Thu 8th Dec
Mon 12th Dec
Wed 14th Dec
Mon 9th Jan
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Classical

Mozart Unwrapped

10 Dec 2016

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Mozart Unwrapped

Synopsis

National Opera Studio at Opera North: Words and Mozart

Opera North is thrilled to continue its long relationship with National Opera Studio, and this December their highly talented Young Artists will delight you with extracts from Mozart’s finest operas, including The Marriage of FigaroCosì fan tutte and Don Giovanni.

In an exploration of the witty and golden relationship between Mozart's music and his librettist Lorenzo da Ponte’s words, we showcase the next generation of rising stars, who will explore arias, duets and more in a semi-staged performance with sparkling direction by Giles Havergal (Opera North’s The Barber of SevilleThe Merry Widow, Albert Herring) accompanied by members of the Orchestra of Opera North and conducted by Rob Howarth.

Next Performances
Sat 10th Dec
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Orchestral

Orchestra of Opera North: The Snowman and Other Tales

13 - 18 Dec 2016

Nationwide

Touring 3 theatres

Orchestra of Opera North: The Snowman and Other Tales

Synopsis

Part of Kirklees Concert Season 2016-17
(Huddersfield Town Hall only)

Hugh Brunt, Conductor
John Savournin, Presenter

Enchanting children of all ages since 1982 and a perennial favourite of Opera North, Howard Blake’s score to Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman is brought magically to life alongside a screening of the film that no Christmas should be without.

Before that, John Savournin, a stalwart of Opera North productions (Kiss Me, Kate, La Bohème, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) delivers a captivating retelling of Paul Patterson’s settings of two classic nursery rhymes; Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs. Based on the Roald Dahl versions and complete with a big screen picture book to tell the stories, this concert is sure to enthral the whole family.

Paul Patterson Little Red Riding Hood
Paul Patterson Three Little Pigs
Howard Blake The Snowman
Next Performances
Tue 13th Dec
Fri 16th Dec
Sun 18th Dec
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Classical

Kirklees Lunchtime Concerts: Brass Band Christmas Spectacular

14 Dec 2016

Dewsbury

Dewsbury Town Hall

Kirklees Lunchtime Concerts: Brass Band Christmas Spectacular

Synopsis

Part of Kirklees Lunchtime Concert Season 2016-17

No Dewsbury Chamber Season would be complete without the annual concert from Phillip McCann and the University of Huddersfield Brass Band.

With carols to sing and old favourites to hear, this final concert of 2016 is sure to be popular.

Next Performances
Wed 14th Dec
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World Music

A Filetta

14 Dec 2016

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

A Filetta

Synopsis

In a very rare UK concert, Corsican male voice choir A Filetta performs a festive programme of traditional song drawing on religious polyphonic song, hymnals, folk songs and occasional dance numbers.

Powerfully redolent of their homeland, the six male voices blend seamlessly, with bass running underneath layered harmonies as they rise and fall.

Formed in 1978 to preserve the island’s vocal traditions, A Filetta have forged an international reputation that brings together old and new, including their own original compositions.

a stirring, gently edgy reminder that Corsica produces some of the most subtle and remarkable vocal music in Europe.

— The Guardian

Simply buy an equivalent number of tickets for two or more shows displaying the Save symbol and you will receive 20% off your tickets. 

Next Performances
Wed 14th Dec
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Orchestral

Orchestra of Opera North: Christmas Concert

15 Dec 2016

Dewsbury

Dewsbury Town Hall

Orchestra of Opera North: Christmas Concert

Synopsis

Part of Kirklees Concert Season 2016-17

David Cowan, Conductor
Chorus of Opera North
Opera North Youth Chorus
Opera North Children’s Chorus

There’s no better way to start the Christmas season than with the whole of the Opera North family. For this yuletide concert, the Orchestra of Opera North is joined by the combined voices of Opera North’s Chorus, Youth and Children’s Choruses for an evening designed to thaw the winter chill.

Before experiencing a bohemian Christmas Eve in a Parisian garret, featuring soloists from the Chorus of Opera North, we take a musical overview of the season through the eyes of J.S Bach, Vivaldi, Rutter and Sibelius.

With some old favourites and new discoveries, we will be sure to raise the roof with the audience carols.

Tickets are hotter than chestnuts around the fire so book early to avoid disappointment!

Rossini Overture La Cenerentola
Vivaldi The Four Seasons: Winter 
Rutter When Icicles Hang
Sibelius Finlandia
Audience carols 
Rutter Donkey Carol
Trad. Noël nouvelet
Puccini  La Bohème: Christmas Eve in the Latin Quarter 

Talking Music begins at 6.10pm

Next Performances
Thu 15th Dec
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Classical

Winter Wonderland

17 Dec 2016

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Winter Wonderland

Synopsis

Conjure up your Christmas spirit with an atmospheric concert of snow-laden and spellbinding music for the season.

Led by violinist David Le Page, a handpicked group of musicians play beautiful music by composers including Bach and Corelli, together with festive music from Eastern Europe and beyond, in a Howard Assembly Room transformed into a wintry candlelit world.

Banish the darkest days of the year and celebrate the yuletide season in style.

A lovely way to end December

 — Audience member

Next Performances
Sat 17th Dec
Sat 17th Dec
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Film

It's a Wonderful Life: With live music

19 Dec 2016

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

It's a Wonderful Life: With live music

Synopsis

Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most heart-warming and popular films ever made.

In the festive Victorian surroundings of the Howard Assembly Room, join James Stewart as George Bailey, a man so beset with problems that he loses all hope on Christmas Eve.

This special Christmas event will open with live music at 7.15pm, 30 minutes before the screening starts. Get fully in the mood for yule logs and glad tidings by joining us for an unmissable Christmas experience.

Dir. Frank Capra, USA 1946, 131 mins. Cert U. 

Next Performances
Mon 19th Dec
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Classical

The Tallis Scholars

20 Dec 2016

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

The Tallis Scholars

Synopsis

In the darkest month of the year, the Tallis Scholars light up the festive season with classic texts associated with Christmas from some of the lesser known master composers of the Renaissance.

The first half pairs one of the most influential motets of its time: Josquin's motet Praeter rerum seriem, with de Rore’s elaborate mass on the birth of Christ Missa Praetum rerum seriem.

The second half continues the Christmas theme, proceeding through remarkable pieces by Victoria, de Sermisy (a Franco-Flemish composer in the generation after Josquin) and Mexican composer Hernando Franco. The evening culminates with John Taverner's most intricate and splendid antiphon in praise of the virgin, O splendor gloriae. 

…if the herald angels would leave off their infernal harking and form an earthly choir, then this is probably how they would sound.

— The Guardian

Next Performances
Tue 20th Dec
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Orchestral

Orchestra of Opera North: Viennese Whirl

29 - 31 Dec 2016

Nationwide

Touring 2 theatres

Orchestra of Opera North: Viennese Whirl

Synopsis

Part of Kirklees Concert Season 2016-17
(Huddersfield Town Hall only)

Aleksandar Markovic, Conductor
Ellie Laugharne, Soprano
​Heather Lowe, Mezzo Soprano 

Having lived in Vienna for the past twenty years, Aleksandar is the perfect host for Opera North’s ever popular Viennese Whirl.

With two soloists and an orchestra at his disposal, he will waltz you through all-time favourites, delight with hand-picked gems and march us all into the New Year in true style.

Huddersfield Examiner said after last year’s concert ‘Few orchestras anywhere can pull off the full range of this music with the panache and skill of the Opera North Orchestra’ – early booking is highly recommended.

Programme

Johann Strauss II Indigo and the forty thieves, Overture
Robert Stolz Der Favorit: Du sollst Kaiser meiner Seele sein
Emmerich Kálmán Gräfin Mariza: Hör ich Zigeunergeigen
Josef Strauss Delirien waltz
Johann Strauss II Freikugeln, polka schnell 
Jacques Offenbach Tales of Hoffmann: Barcarolle
Orpheus in the Underworld: Overture
Johann Strauss II Künstlerleben waltz
Richard Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos: Ein Augenblick ist wenig
Ariadne auf Naxos: Seien wir wieder gut 
Émile Waldteufel The Skater’s waltz
Josef Strauss Sport- Polka
Johann Strauss II Tänzerin Fanny Elssler: Draussen in Sievering blüht schon der Flieder 
Franz Lehár Zigeunerliebe: Hör ich Zymbalklänge
Johann Strauss II The Blue Danube waltz

Total duration: 1 hour 50 minutes (includes 20-minute interval)

Next Performances
Thu 29th Dec
Sat 31st Dec
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Film

Labyrinth

17 Jan 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Labyrinth

Synopsis

A 16 year-old girl is given 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King. 

Unappreciated on its release, Labyrinth’s mix of spectacle and David Bowie rock opera has now made it a beloved cult favourite.

Glam, trippy and occasionally absurd, Labyrinth also reacquaints audiences with the truth of the fairy tale: that childhood is a scary and dangerous place, an inherently strange time filled with dead-ends and ambiguity.

Screened to mark a year since David Bowie’s death, Labyrinth celebrates one of the strangest chapters in his long and glorious career.

Next Performances
Tue 17th Jan
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World Music

Aziza Brahim

18 Jan 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Aziza Brahim

Synopsis

Aziza Brahim is a Western Saharan musician, brought up in a Sahrawi refugee camp in the Algerian desert, who has lived in exile for more than two decades (first in Cuba and currently in Barcelona).  

Her music is dominated by her incredible voice: effortlessly compelling, richly textured, by turns haunting, languid and intensely emotional. Her songs of Sahrawi resistance and both the hurt and optimism of living as a refugee are informed by her varied upbringing, with fluid Spanish guitar licks mixing with the harder edged hooky grooves of West African desert rock.

And then there’s that voice….. Often Brahim’s one voice almost seems choral as it floats and echoes.

— The Independent

Next Performances
Wed 18th Jan
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Classical

Anne Schwanewilms and Malcolm Martineau

19 Jan 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Anne Schwanewilms and Malcolm Martineau

Synopsis

Meadows in the Dusk

Praised by the New York Times for her ‘vocal refinement’ and ‘pliant lyricism’, Anne Schwanewilms ranks among today’s finest lyric sopranos.

She is a supremely gifted Straussian and one of the foremost interpreters of late Romantic opera and song.

In partnership with pianist Malcolm Martineau she showcases her soaring, crystalline voice with a compellingly beautiful and varied programme of Strauss and Wolf songs.

Part of an exclusive tour of the finest recital halls that include London's Wigmore Hall and New York's Alice Tully Hall.

Her voice is ideally suited to the demands of Strauss, capable of transparent lightness at the top, but with enough weight to power through a long phrase.

— Washington Post

...unfailing instinct for the finest details of phrasing and timing.

— The Guardian

Performance Programme

Richard Strauss Traum durch die Dämmerung  op.29 No.1
Nachtgang op.29 No.3
Richard Strauss Du meines Herzens Krönelein  op.21 No.2
Ach Lieb, ich muss nun scheiden op. 21 No.3
Hugo Wolf Das verlassene Mägdlein
Wo find ich Trost
Der Genesene an die Hoffnung
Richard Strauss In goldener Fülle op.49 No.2
Wer lieben will, muss leiden op.49 No.7
Ach was Kummer,Qual und Schmerzen op.49 No.8
Interval  
Richard Strauss Blauer Sommer op.31 No.1
Weisser Jasmin op.31 No.3
Das Rosenband op.36 No.1
Richard Strauss Drei Lieder der Ophelia:
Wie erkenn ich mein Treulieb vor andern nun op.67 No1
Guten Morgen ess ist St.Valentinstag op.67 No. 2
Sie trugen ihn auf der Bahre bloss op.67 No.3
Hugo Wolf Hier lieg ich auf dem Frühlingshügel
Gesang Wellas: Du bist Orplid, mein Land
Verborgenheit: Lass, o Welt, o lass mich sein
Richard Strauss Die Nacht op.10 No.3
Geduld op. 10 No.5

In association with Leeds Leider

Next Performances
Thu 19th Jan
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Family

Happily Ever After

21 Jan - 11 Feb 2017

Nationwide

Touring 2 theatres

Happily Ever After

Synopsis

Suitable for ages 4 – 7

This enchanting storytelling experience is inspired by Opera North’s season of fairy tales.

Led by an actor and a musician, children and families meet wonderful fairy-tale characters, explore their adventures and experience live music in our magical indoor tent.

Next Performances
Sat 21st Jan
Sat 21st Jan
Sat 11th Feb
Sat 11th Feb
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Opera

The Snow Maiden

21 Jan - 24 Mar 2017

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Snow Maiden

Synopsis

Opera North's first ever staging of Rimsky-Korsakov's delightful Russian opera The Snow Maiden opens our fairy tale season.

The Snow Maiden is warm and beautiful, but she hides a tragic secret, her heart is made of ice. If warmed by human love, her heart will melt and she will die. Enchanted by the shepherd boy Lel, she yearns to experience life with humans. Her parents relent, with tragic consequences.

A gorgeous and lyrical evocation of the natural world, Rimsky Korsakov’s delightfully colourful, folk-inspired opera is based on a well-loved Russian fairy tale. With an inventive use of video imagery, the piece imaginatively blends and contrasts worlds of fantasy and reality. 

Running Time

Approximately 3 hours

Language

Sung in English with English titles

 

Next Performances
Sat 21st Jan
Sat 28th Jan
Fri 3rd Feb
Fri 17th Feb
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World Music

Tanya Tagaq: Nanook of the North

23 Jan 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Tanya Tagaq: Nanook of the North

Synopsis

In this live concert with film, Inuit throat singer and tour-de-force vocalist Tanya Tagaq creates a mesmerising, improvisatory soundscape for the controversial silent film Nanook of the North

Robert J. Flaherty's 1922 film chronicled a year in the life of an Inuit family in the harsh landscape near the Arctic Circle. Widely acknowledged as the forerunner of the modern documentary, the film drew controversy for its clichéd and sometimes fictional images. 

Tanya Tagaq reclaims, through explosive sound, this portrayal of an early 20th Century Inuit community. Known for her work with Björk and the Kronos Quartet, Tanya Tagaq’s music is rooted in tradition aligned with improvisatory and electronica influences.

One of the avant-garde's most dynamic performers

— Rolling Stone

 In association with Superfriendz.

Next Performances
Mon 23rd Jan
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Classical

Kirklees Lunchtime Concerts: A Bite Size Feast of Gilbert and Sullivan

25 Jan 2017

Dewsbury

Dewsbury Town Hall

Kirklees Lunchtime Concerts: A Bite Size Feast of Gilbert and Sullivan

Synopsis

Part of Kirklees Lunchtime Concert Season 2016-17

Victoria Joyce, Soprano
Nicholas Sales, Tenor
Jeremy Peaker, Baritone
Annette Saunders, Piano

A selection of favourites from the Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

Led by Jeremy Peaker, a member of the Chorus of Opera North who regularly appears in roles within the company and former singer of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, the concert will include excerpts from The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore and The Yeomen of the Guard amongst others.

Next Performances
Wed 25th Jan
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Spoken Word/Talks

Sir Christopher Frayling: Inside The Bloody Chamber

26 Jan 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Sir Christopher Frayling: Inside The Bloody Chamber

Synopsis

Followed by a screening of La Belle et la Bête

To coincide with Opera North’s season of dark fairy tales, broadcaster and author Sir Christopher Frayling visits the Howard Assembly Room to talk about Angela Carter, her book The Bloody Chamber and her influence on 'the contemporary Gothic'.

Frayling knew Carter very well, sharing conversations, ideas and inspiration when she lived in Bath in the 1970s, and when her key works - The Bloody Chamber, The Sadeian Woman, and The Passion of New Eve - were being written. In this talk, he meshes these memories with the subjects and themes of the stories of The Bloody Chamber.

The talk will be followed by a screening of La Belle et la Bête, Jean Cocteau’s 1946 adaptation of the classic fairy tale, introduced by Sir Christopher.

Next Performances
Thu 26th Jan
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Orchestral

Orchestra of Opera North: The Music of James Bond

26 Jan - 2 Apr 2017

Nationwide

Touring 2 theatres

Orchestra of Opera North: The Music of James Bond

Synopsis

Part of Kirklees Concert Season 2016-17

Gareth Hudson, Conductor
Mary Carewe, Vocalist
Simon Bowman, Vocalist

Shaken and Stirred — the ultimate Bond concert with excerpts from all 24 films from Dr. No to Spectre.

With classic songs made famous by great artists such as Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Matt Monro, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, Tina Turner, Adele, Sam Smith and more, this evening is dedicated to the world’s most famous spy.

Led by Gareth Hudson and joined by two of the leading vocal artists of the Bond repertoire, Mary Carewe and Simon Bowman, from the moment the Orchestra of Opera North strike up the iconic James Bond Theme you will realise that ‘Nobody Does It Better’ as you’re immersed in an evening of classic Bond music which will leave you shaken AND stirred.  

Channel your inner spy or become a Bond-girl for the evening as we encourage bookers to dress to impress. 

See below for related event. 

Next Performances
Thu 26th Jan
Sun 2nd Apr
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Jazz

Douglas - Ribot - Ibarra: New Sanctuary

27 Jan 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Douglas - Ribot - Ibarra: New Sanctuary

Synopsis

High energy improvisation meets instrumental ingenuity. 

New Sanctuary brings together three of New York’s most protean improvisers: Dave Douglas on trumpet, Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, John Zorn) on guitar and Susie Ibarra on drums and electronics.

The group plays an energetic and lyrical new composition by the relentlessly inventive Douglas, improvising with new sounds and approaches.

Both Douglas and Ribot make a very welcome return to the Howard Assembly Room with this show, and their collaboration is sure to be electrifying.

Despite its range, Mr. Douglas's music sounds of one piece, connected most clearly by his trumpet playing, which can be sweet and pure or crackling and pungent, precisely stated or smeared toward wildness.

— Wall Street Journal

Next Performances
Fri 27th Jan
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Opera

Hansel and Gretel

2 Feb - 25 Mar 2017

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

Hansel and Gretel

Synopsis

A classic fairy tale, told by the music of Humperdinck and explored in an inventive new production by Edward Dick.

Perhaps the most popular operatic fairy tale of them all, Hansel and Gretel is also one of the darkest. From a poor home in which hunger is an ever-present threat, brother and sister escape to the world of the forest, both idyllic and dangerous. There, they encounter supernatural forces such as the Sandman, the Dew Fairy and, most frightening of all, the Witch.

In the dizzying excitement of the Witch's Ride and the serene beauty of the children’s evening prayer, Humperdinck’s music magically evokes the contrasting worlds of the story, whilst this contemporary take on a classic story reveals the perils of growing up!

Running Time

Approximately 2 hours

Language

Sung in English with English titles

Schools' matinees will take place at each venue. Find out more

Discover more about Access Performances

Next Performances
Thu 2nd Feb
Sat 4th Feb
Wed 15th Feb
Sat 18th Feb
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World Music

Orchestra Baobab

4 Feb 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Orchestra Baobab

Synopsis

One of the best-known groups in Africa, Orchestra Baobab formed in 1970, taking their name from the Dakar night-club where they were resident. They drew musicians from all over Senegal, Togo and Nigeria, playing multi-lingual, multi-ethnic music with a strong Cuban flavour. 

After a split in 1987, Orchestra Baobab reformed in 2001 with the encouragement of Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour.

Since then, their worldwide touring has continually demonstrated that 'as a live experience, few can beat Orchestra Baobab in terms of old-fashioned musical ability and riveting stage presence.' (The Independent).

No flash. No artifice. Just spell-binding rhythms and relaxed late-night grooves.

— Uncut

Next Performances
Sat 4th Feb
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Family

Little Listeners

6 Feb 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Little Listeners

Synopsis

Players from Opera North’s renowned symphony orchestra create a specially designed concert for parents, carers and children.

Relaxed and full of energy, this interactive concert will give you and your child the chance to hear wonderful music close up, move around with the music and even join in with songs. 

Suitable for 0-5 years

Next Performances
Mon 6th Feb
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Film

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

14 Feb 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Synopsis

With live music on arrival

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with one of the great romantic films, bitter-sweet The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

Angelically beautiful Catherine Deneuve plays an umbrella shop owner’s delicate daughter, glowing with first love for a handsome garage mechanic. When the boy is shipped off to fight in Algeria, the two lovers must grow up quickly.  

Exquisitely designed in a kaleidoscope of colour, and told entirely through the lilting songs of the great composer Michel Legrand, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is one of the most revered and unorthodox movie musicals of all time.

my favourite musical, my favourite love story, my favourite soundtrack

— Maddie Costa, The Guardian

Next Performances
Tue 14th Feb
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Opera

Cinderella (La Cenerentola)

16 Feb - 25 Mar 2017

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

Cinderella (La Cenerentola)

Synopsis

A new production of Rossini's sparkling comedy performed by an exciting international cast. 

A much-loved fairy tale, but not quite as you know it. Cinderella scrubs the floor of a dance school and dreams of a better life. A prince arrives seeking a companion and so this sparkling romcom is set in motion.

Cinderella’s stepfather Don Magnifico and the Prince’s servant Dandini are marvellous comic creations. Cinderella herself emerges as a true romantic heroine whose transformation is achieved through the power of music.

An evening of pure magic is in store, uniting the fun, fire and brilliance of Rossini’s music with a fresh and witty production. 

Running Time

Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes

Language

Sung in Italian with English titles

Next Performances
Thu 16th Feb
Sat 18th Feb
Tue 21st Feb
Thu 23rd Feb
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Music

HEXA: David Lynch’s The Factory Photographs

17 Feb 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

HEXA: David Lynch’s The Factory Photographs

Synopsis

HEXA is a sonic response to David Lynch’s The Factory Photographs, a collection of images Lynch took of disused factories and the ruins of industry in the USA, Poland, Germany and the UK.

The sound is created by Lynch collaborator Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and Australian composer Lawrence English.

Their performance draws from the texture of Lynch’s images, their imagined spaces, and the spectral histories contained within them.

The effect is like “cascading low frequency pulses and tectonic plates of sound, suspended in cavernous cathedral-like spaces".

Premiered at the David Lynch: Between Two Worlds retrospective in Australia, HEXA explores the ability of sound to infiltrate, abrade and occupy the body.

Next Performances
Fri 17th Feb
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Jazz

Kirklees Lunchtime Concerts: George King

22 Feb 2017

Batley

Batley Town Hall

Kirklees Lunchtime Concerts: George King

Synopsis

Part of Kirklees Lunchtime Concert Season 2016-17

Having become a popular fixture of the Chamber Concert Season, George King is set to bring his inimitable style of programme back for another year.

As acclaimed as a jazz pianist and improviser as with more traditional piano repertoire, George will dazzle once again in this final lunchtime concert. Please note the venue due to refurbishment work in Dewsbury.

Next Performances
Wed 22nd Feb
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Music

Lubomyr Melnyk

24 Feb 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Lubomyr Melnyk

Synopsis

At 67 years of age, Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk is enjoying a renaissance that began three years ago with the release of his album Corollaries by Erased Tapes. 

In the age of the ambient, classically inflected music of Nils Frahm and Ludovico Einaudi, Melnyk’s astounding technique - continuous piano - and supernatural skill resonate with a new generation of audiences.

Deeply influenced by the minimalist movement of the 1970s, Melnyk is considered to be the fastest pianist in the world, his fingers darting across the piano keys at lightning speed to create a cloud of sound, a performance that manages to be dizzying, chaotic and serene all at once.

This is not machine music…. It's very human — serenity delivered through sustained concentration and ecstatic energy, via a lifetime of practice and perfection rather than the twist of a knob.

— Pitchfork
 

Next Performances
Fri 24th Feb
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Music

múm: People on Sunday

3 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

múm: People on Sunday

Synopsis

Playful electronica, ambient sounds, experimental indie pop: the prolific and globally fêted Icelandic band múm has never fit into conventional categories.

Fresh from a collaboration with the Kronos Quartet, the founding members of múm, Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar þóreyjarson Smárason, perform an improvised live score to People on Sunday, a masterpiece of silent film.

A vivid portrait of Berlin and its young inhabitants at the end of the 1920s, the film is rarely screened nowadays yet it served as a springboard into Hollywood for its makers Billy Wilder, Edgar Ulmer, Fred Zinnemann and the Siodmak brothers.

Don’t miss the UK premiere of this unique project.

Like a more intimate answer to their country's definitive post-rock band [Sigur Ros], with a bigger soft spot for Aphex Twin.

— Pitchfork

(Menschen am Sonntag) 
Dir. Robert Siodmak & Edgar G. Ulmer, Germany 1930, 73 minutes. 

Next Performances
Fri 3rd Mar
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Music

Bill Laurance

6 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Bill Laurance

Synopsis

Bill Laurance is a British pianist and composer; a world-renowned multi instrumentalist, composer and producer dubbed a ‘jazz maestro’ by The Guardian.

Bill has released four albums to date as a leader and has travelled across the globe and through a myriad of award-winning musical projects including his quartet, project, duo and as a solo pianist. He is a two time Grammy winning artist and in 2015, and won the Breakthrough award at the JazzFM Awards, and has been nominated this year as a MOBO Best jazz act.

On his own, Laurance, a professional musician since the age of 14 has performed with an array of musical talents, including Morcheeba, David Crosby, Salif Keita, Bobby McFerrin, Susana Baca, Laura Mvula, Musiq Soul Child, the Metropole Orchestra and of course is known the world over as a founding member of the phenomenon that is Snarky Puppy.

Bill’s latest studio album is Aftersun, a tribute to space exploration and life in the cosmos. With flavours of dance music and African percussion, it combines deep world grooves with Laurance’s signature genre-bending exploration.

Laurance creates music that’s dramatic and immediate and even at its most reflective, has drive and sparkle.

— Herald Scotland

In association with Band on the Wall

Next Performances
Mon 6th Mar
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World Music

Arve Henriksen and Trio Mediaeval: Rímur

8 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Arve Henriksen and Trio Mediaeval: Rímur

Synopsis

The mesmerising vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval return to their collaboration with innovative Norwegian trumpet player Arve Henriksen.

Trio Mediaeval continuously re-interpret the ancient music of religious orders and the folk music of Nordic lands. Their shimmering luminous sound joins with Arve Henriksen’s hushed trumpet and live electronics to unforgettable and spine-tingling effect.

Their new programme Rímur explores the mediaeval musical line between Norway and Iceland, with chants and folk songs from both countries including 14th Century vespers and ancient folk songs.

Something very special: a sense of being a privileged participant in a timeless, numinous ritual, enveloped by voices that seem like some celestial exhalation yet brim with real human warmth and sensuousness.

— BBC Music Magazine

Next Performances
Wed 8th Mar
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Jazz

Roberto Fonseca: ABUC

10 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Roberto Fonseca: ABUC

Synopsis

Pianist and charismatic band leader Roberto Fonseca extends his take on his Cuban roots, performing his new album ABUC. 

​Pulsing percussion and bolshie brass revolve around Fonseca's exuberant piano in an exhilarating extension of the music of his homeland. 

Not since Orlando López’s ground-breaking 2001 release Cachaíto has Cuban music been made to sound so fresh as in Fonseca’s ‘Electro Cha’, ‘Son Beat’ and ‘Mambo Afro’.

Part of the renaissance in Cuban music over the past two decades, Roberto Fonseca toured with Buena Vista Social Club before releasing solo material, cementing himself as one of the most inventive and creative Latin jazz musicians of this new generation.

A dazzling performer who can match Cuban jazz with a remarkable variety of other styles

— The Guardian

Next Performances
Fri 10th Mar
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Jazz

Penguin Cafe

12 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Penguin Cafe

Synopsis

Penguin Cafe brings together a group of ace musicians from the likes of Suede and Gorillaz, led by Arthur Jeffes, the son of Penguin Cafe Orchestra founder Simon Jeffes.

Combining minimalist compositions with the freeform structure of jazz and Latin, African and American world sounds, their sound combines acoustic power and the inventive charm of Jeffes himself. 

Arthur and the Penguins play classic Penguin Cafe tunes together with music from new album The Imperfect Sea, a collection of dance music made on real instruments.

often mysterious but usually playful

— The Telegraph

​In association with Serious

Next Performances
Sun 12th Mar
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Classical

Christopher Purves and Simon Lepper

16 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Christopher Purves and Simon Lepper

Synopsis

Fine baritone, fearless performer and Opera North favourite Christopher Purves returns to the Howard Assembly Room for the first time since 2010, with a programme that shows his range and dramatic power.

The intense storytelling of Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death is at the heart of the programme, with Schubert’s settings of Heine from his last collection of songs, Schwanengesang.

The evening is completed by songs from Handel’s gorgeous ‘mini opera’ Acis and Galatea and Finzi’s Let Us Garlands Bring.

Possessing in effect two voices in one – a ringing, incisive high baritone with a sonorous bass extension… Purves’s flair for specific characterisation enlivens every number on the disc

 — Gramophone Magazine

Next Performances
Thu 16th Mar
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Folk

Leveret

17 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Leveret

Synopsis

Leveret brings together a golden combination of folk’s finest instrumentalists.

The band is comprised of Sam Sweeney, Bellowhead’s fiddle-player, concertina player Rob Harbron and melodeon and accordion star Andy Cutting, who has collaborated with Martin Simpson, Chris Wood, June Tabor and many more.

Leveret's music is firmly rooted in the English folk tradition but is not arranged in the conventional sense: instead it is played entirely in the moment with consummate musicianship, resulting in ‘a rich, sinewy immersion, guided by a mutual sense of exploration, space and a very English kind of swing. It’s an intimate, contemporary reinvention of the source material’ (The Guardian).

Next Performances
Fri 17th Mar
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Classical

Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe

23 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe

Synopsis

Four hands, one piano. Long term collaborators Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe draw out the orchestral qualities of the piano to the full, in this joy-filled programme of Classical and Late Romantic music.

The programme is dominated by pieces that also have orchestral versions, including three of Dvořák’s richest Slavonic Dances, Ravel’s lush Rapsodie espagnole and Debussy’s Petite Suite and Six épigraphes antiques.

The programme also includes Mozart’s Andante and Variations K.501 and the Schubert Fantasy in F minor D.940.

With spirited playing and not much room to spare, this will be an evening to remember.

Next Performances
Thu 23rd Mar
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Spoken Word/Talks

Stefan Collini: Speaking of Universities

24 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Stefan Collini: Speaking of Universities

Synopsis

In recent decades, there has been an immense surge in the numbers of universities and students.

This, together with new technology, globalization and governmental imposed procedures is forcing universities to behave more like business enterprises in a marketplace. 

In Speaking of Universities, academic and English literary critic Stefan Collini analyses these changes and challenges the assumptions of policy-makers and commentators. He asks: does ‘marketisation’ threaten to destroy what we most value about education; does this new era of ‘accountability’ distort what it purports to measure; and who does the modern university belong to? 

Collini is astute, analytical, and often killingly funny

— Daily Telegraph

Next Performances
Fri 24th Mar
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World Music

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali

25 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali

Synopsis

Rizwan-Muazzam is a Qawwali group headed by the internationally acclaimed Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's nephews, Rizwan and Muazzam.

The two lead singers come from a direct family line of spiritual Qawwali music that spans five centuries.

They have continued their uncle's pioneering efforts to bring the vibrant Qawwali vocal music of the Sufi mystics to the world. They sing in Farsi (Persian), Punjabi, and Urdu with an intensity that has led one commentator to call them, only half in jest, ‘the Qawwali Clash’.

The brothers’ live performances are majestic, using hypnotic vocal repetition to induce a state of ecstasy. They are accompanied by an eight-strong ensemble of gharana, harmonium and tabla. 

Intoxicating and entrancing: 

...Rizwan and Muazzam’s voices climb and swoop as if riding air currents; the harmonium seeks a similar undulating flight path while fingertips flutter like hummingbirds across the tablas

— BBC

Electrifying ★★★★★

— Financial Times

Next Performances
Sat 25th Mar
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Classical

Spring: A Twilight Concert

30 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Spring: A Twilight Concert

Synopsis

An early evening concert of songs dedicated to the joys of Spring.

 The concert brings together a plethora of songs and duets by composers including Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mahler, Fauré, Finzi, Rachmaninov and Wolf, in the perfect bite size introduction to the rich and expressive world of classical song.  

Current Associate Artists at Opera North, soprano Ellie Laugharne (Barbarina, The Marriage of Figaro), and mezzo-soprano Heather Lowe (Lel, The Snow Maiden), perform in this opportunity to hear two exciting young singers up close, talking about the music they love. 

With Opera North Head of Music David Cowan on piano. 

Next Performances
Thu 30th Mar
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Orchestral

Orchestra of Opera North: Nature and Spirit

30 Mar - 1 Apr 2017

Nationwide

Touring 2 theatres

Orchestra of Opera North: Nature and Spirit

Synopsis

Part of Kirklees Concert Season 2016-17
(Huddersfield Town Hall only)

Aleksandar Markovic, Conductor
Jack Liebeck, Violin

Aleksandar Markovic returns to close the Kirklees Concert Season with an epic concert showcasing music at its most descriptive to paint landscapes of three different countries.

From the woodlands of Finland and the realm of Tapiola, we travel across the water for Bruch’s evocative Scottish Fantasy. With its roots firmly embedded in folk music the heritage of the work is clear and Jack Liebeck, who recently recorded all Bruch’s violin works for Hyperion, is the perfect person to return to Huddersfield to bring the music to life.

Strauss’ tone poem Eine Alpensinfonie begins at daybreak in the mountains and we can vividly imagine the crevasses and rock formations as we trek ever upwards towards the summit. The contrast between the outward vistas and the inner reflection of the climber is poignantly juggled throughout this monumental work.

Sibelius Tapiola Op. 112
Bruch Scottish Fantasy
Strauss Alpine Symphony

Talking Music begins at 6.40pm

Next Performances
Thu 30th Mar
Sat 1st Apr
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Folk

John Smith

31 Mar 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

John Smith

Synopsis

Ben Howard calls singer, songwriter and guitarist John Smith ‘a magician’.

His guitar work, honey-on-gravel vocals and uniquely intimate approach to song-writing and live performance have brought crowds everywhere to pin-drop silence and a rapturous response. 

John has played to audiences all over the world, in living rooms, festival tents and sold-out concert halls.

He performs songs from his eagerly awaited new album, due for release in Spring 2017. 

Spellbinding

— Time Out
 

Next Performances
Fri 31st Mar
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World Music

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

7 Apr 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars

Synopsis

Formed in refugee camps, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars have risen from the ashes of civil war and destruction to create their glowing brand of Afro-pop inflected with baskeda (Sierra Leonian reggae) and defined by a jubilant spirit of resistance.

After a decade-long adventure that has taken them from the squalor of the camps to the world’s biggest stages, this most inspirational band has evolved to become one of Africa’s most recognised.

Their live shows radiate the joy, passion for music and love for their fellow man that have made Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Next Performances
Fri 7th Apr
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Film

The Great Beauty: Film

8 Apr 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

The Great Beauty: Film

Synopsis

Dir Paolo Sorrentino, Italy/France 2013, 142 mins. Cert 15. In Italian with English subtitles. 

Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, Jep looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. 

A swooning love letter to the decadence of Rome, Sorrentino’s film overflows with operatic opulence, satire and an exquisite melancholy, all set to an unforgettable soundtrack of Arvo Pärt, Górecki and Italian electro-pop.

a shimmering coup de cinema to make your heart burst

— The Telegraph 

Celebrating 10 years of DARE

Next Performances
Sat 8th Apr
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Film and Music

The Great Beauty: Concert

13 Apr 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

The Great Beauty: Concert

Synopsis

Music by Arvo Pärt, John Tavener and William Byrd 

For Eastertime this year, the string section and soloists of the Orchestra of Opera North perform a concert of music inspired by the composers that feature on the soundtrack to Paolo Sorrentino’s love letter to the Eternal City, Rome.  

The Great Beauty soundtrack includes pieces by Arvo Pärt, John Tavener, and William Byrd, and for this concert a hand-picked programme of pieces by these composers will fill the Howard Assembly Room. The programme includes Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten and Festina Lente by Arvo Pärt, John Tavener’s superlative The Protecting Veil and William Byrd’s Fantasia a 6. 

Next Performances
Thu 13th Apr
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Jazz

Courtney Pine featuring Omar

20 Apr 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Courtney Pine featuring Omar

Synopsis

Jazz giant Courtney Pine’s style integrates modern British sounds like drum ‘n’ bass with soul, hip-hop and deep-rooted influences from across the Caribbean.

For his latest project, he returns to the tenor saxophone for the first time in a decade. Alongside him is UK soul vocalist Omar, whose 1992 hit single 'There’s Nothing Like This' established his truly unique sound, earning him widespread critical acclaim and seeing him collaborate with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Erykah Badu. This very special project brings two of the finest jazz and soul talents together to perform original material for the first time.

Courtney Pine was once hailed as the saviour of British Jazz...he still is

— The Independent 

Next Performances
Thu 20th Apr
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Spoken Word/Talks

Tariq Ali: The Dilemmas of Lenin

21 Apr 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Tariq Ali: The Dilemmas of Lenin

Synopsis

At the end of his life, Lenin wrote ‘we didn’t know everything’, acknowledging the dilemmas he faced on the road to revolution and beyond. 

From the first stirrings of revolutionary fervour, Lenin sought the answer to dilemmas that still resonate today: is terrorism ever a useful tactic? Can imperial wars ever be supported? What is the moral justification for seizing power? What role does friendship or love play in revolution? 

Broadcaster and author Tariq Ali creates an insightful portrait of a leader grappling with terrorism, war, empire, and love. He asks what the significance of Lenin’s ideas is now, in this centenary year of the Russian Revolution.

An outlier and intellectual bomb-thrower.

— The Observer

Celebrating 10 years of DARE

Next Performances
Fri 21st Apr
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World Music

AfroCubism revisited 

22 Apr 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

AfroCubism revisited 

Synopsis

Finally released to critical acclaim in 2010, AfroCubism was due to be recorded in 1997.

However, Visa issues prevented the Malian musicians from recording in Cuba with the group that became The Buena Vista Social Club. In fact, the history of the album stretches back much further, across a century of cultural exchange and collaboration between West Africa and the Caribbean. 

This newly developed show explores both the music of the seminal album itself and the musical influences and roots that fed into its making. A handpicked ensemble of musicians revisit a legendary recording and bring it to new life.  

Produced by Opera North Projects

Next Performances
Sat 22nd Apr
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Opera

Turandot

28 Apr 2017 - 16 May 2016

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Turandot

Synopsis

Puccini's thrilling final opera performed as the latest of our acclaimed concert stagings. 

In ancient Beijing, Princess Turandot decrees that she will marry the prince who can solve three riddles. Those who fail are put to death. Prince Calaf, dazzled by her beauty, determines to win her despite the pleas of the servant girl Liu who is secretly in love with him.

Puccini’s last opera includes music of exotic colour and overwhelming power, including the famous and instantly recognisable ‘Nessun Dorma’.

Following in the wake of its world-beating Ring cycle, Turandot is the latest in Opera North’s celebrated series of concert stagings of epic operas.

Running Time

Approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes

Language

Sung in Italian with English titles

Next Performances
Fri 28th Apr
Sun 30th Apr
Fri 5th May
Fri 12th May
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Exhibitions

Fragmented Light Orchestra (FLO)

1 Jun - 3 Jun 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Fragmented Light Orchestra (FLO)

Synopsis

The Fragmented Light Orchestra (FLO) is a multi-disciplinary sculptural installation based on the 3,500 year old design of the Harp.

FLO transforms its environment and surrounding buildings into an awe-inspiring interactive light and sound instrument.

It offers the audience an unprecedented hands-on opportunity to interact with the musical sculpture through touch responsive technology, and creates a playful environment for the public to experience the work together.

Produced by Omni Studio, conceived by artist William Simpson in collaboration with composer Toby Wiltshire, FLO will open to the public with partners Opera North at the Howard Assembly Room.

More details on opening times will be available soon.

Next Performances
Thu 1st Jun

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