French-Canadian pianist Louis Lortie's interpretative voice extends across a broad range of repertoire in playing that is ‘ever immaculate, ever imaginative’, with the ‘combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have' (The Times).
His intriguing Italian-inspired programme moves from the clear spring-water of Fauré's Barcarolles to depictions of Italian cities from Poulenc and Liszt. Poulenc's pianistic vision of Naples manages to be light-hearted and dazzling at the same time. Liszt was intrigued and inspired by the city's furious traditional dance, the tarantella. He used that and the gondola songs of Venice in the broad emotional canvas that is his Venezia e Napoli.
Louis Lortie has performed complete Beethoven sonata cycles at London's Wigmore Hall and Berlin's Philharmonie. As pianist and conductor with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, he has performed all five Beethoven concertos and all of the Mozart concertos.
He performed the complete works of Ravel in London and Montreal for the BBC and CBC, and is renowned all over the world for his performances of the complete Chopin etudes.
|Rossini (arr. Liszt)||Soirées musicales - La regata veneziana (notturno), La danza (tarantella)|
|Fauré||Barcarolle No 5 in F sharp minor and No 7 in D minor|
|Liszt||Années de pèlerinage, 2nd book: Italy|
With live flute introduction
The last major epic from legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) is a monumental achievement in film making.
An adaptation of King Lear, it tells the story of an elderly warlord who entrusts his domain to his three sons. Immense battle sequences and scenes of stylised violence are juxtaposed with moments of poetic delicacy, all set to an iconic Mahler inflected orchestral score.
Before the film starts, sink into Ran’s atmosphere with a live 10 minute mini-concert of haunting music for flute by Toru Takemitsu, the film’s composer.
Screened to complement Opera North’s Madama Butterfly.
Dir Akira Kurosawa; Japan; in Japanese with English subtitles; 2hrs 42; 1985; cert 15.
When Hisham Matar was a nineteen year old university student in England, his father went missing under mysterious circumstances. Hisham would never see him again, but he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive.
Twenty-two years later, he returned to his native Libya in search of the truth behind his father’s disappearance. Pulitzer prize winning memoir The Return is the story of what he found there.
The Pulitzer Prize citation hailed The Return as 'a first-person elegy for home and father'. In this unique event, he talks about the book and how he came to write it.
Hisham Matar will be introduced by Professor Bridget Bennett. Professor of American Literature & Culture
Liberty Lecture, in association with the University of Leeds
Part of the Kirklees Lunchtime Concert Season 2017-18
Chris Bradley, Percussion
Charlie Ashby, Percussion
Elsa Bradley, Percussion
Chris Bradley, percussionist at Opera North, will present an array of percussion instruments from around the world. Chris is joined by two of his percussion colleagues to play a collection of exciting pieces with lots of different sounds and sensations. Manchester-based Charlie Ashby who plays with the Orchestra of Opera North and recently performed as part of the 'Dirty Dancing' ensemble and Elsa Bradley is a freelance percussion/timpanist based in London who regularly plays with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Abstruckt ensemble and the Orchestra of Opera North.
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Howard Assembly Room favourites the Brodsky Quartet return with an Italian flavoured programme.
At its heart is Verdi’s only significant chamber work, written at the height of his fame. It will also feature Puccini’s Crisantemi, composed as an emotionally charged elegy for string quartet, and Wolf’s Italian Serenade.
The second half of the programme is dedicated to Beethoven, comprising his String Quartet No. 16 in F major, op. 135, the last major work he completed, written in October 1826, and At the grave of Beethoven commissioned by the Brodsky Quartet in 1999 from Karen Tanaka. This gentle and lyrical piece was commissioned for the bicentenary anniversary of Beethoven's string quartet opus 18, and is based on no.3.
The Brodskys' achingly beautiful performance reached deep into the heart
— The Guardian
|Tanaka||At the Grave of Beethoven|
The slow dive of the sun, enormous bugs awakening in thorny yards, sirens, and coyotes that cry out to the purple sky: the music of The Handsome Family captures things beyond our everyday view.
Brought to the attention of the wider world when TV show True Detective used their song, 'Far From Any Road’ as its opening theme in 2014, their most recent album Unseen is an epic western gothic masterpiece.
It explores the unseen stories, people, and places of the American West, where Brett and Rennie Sparks live (Albuquerque, NM). With their unique mix of country instrumentation and intriguing surrealist lyricism, they shine a light on the obscure and forgotten.
This is music that moves forward by turning the clock back— haunting, primal and
— The Times
Opera North's Youth Ensembles from across the North come together to tell a story of love and loss through the seasons of the year based on traditional folk songs and tales.
The young singers from the Opera North Children’s Choruses in Leeds, Newcastle and Hull, will be joined by members from Opera North Young Voices and the Opera North Youth Chorus.
They will be accompanied by Cream Tees, a youth folk band formed in 2012 as part of the Music at the Heart of Teesdale project.
Taking inspiration from the setting of Opera North’s production of Don Giovanni, we take a trip to Spain – don’t forget your bucket and spade!
With live instrumental music, lights and projections and a whole heap of holiday fun.
Suitable for ages 0-5 with their grown-ups.
English tenor and pianist James Gilchrist and Anna Tilbrook have been exploring the richness of Romantic song together for many years.
Their programme includes Schubert’s first song cycle Einsamkeit whose great span Schubert seems to master without effort, spinning glorious melodies, transfixing us with almost visual imagery, together with Purcell’s miraculous O Solitude, Clara Schumann’s Six Songs, a new work by Jonathan Dove and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ archetypically romantic Songs of Travel.
“To be alone, to wander out into the world, severing the bonds of homeland, seeking a direction and a goal as yet unknown. Two important themes of Romanticism, both in the German and the English tradition. These themes pervade our programme, as a thread weaving through the whole.” - James Gilchrist
No one tells a musical story with more wonder, more delicacy than James Gilchrist.
— The Arts Desk
|Henry Purcell (arr Britten)
Katherine Phillips, after Antoine Girard de Saint-Amant
|O solitude Z406|
Heine, Geibel, Rückert
|Six songs op 13|
|Die Einsamkeit D620|
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
|Under Alter’d Skies (2017)|
|Ralph Vaughan Williams
Robert Louis Stephenson
|Songs of Travel|
24 Mar 2018
Howard Assembly Room
The legendary French accordionist Richard Galliano returns to the Howard Assembly Room to bring the spirit of Paris’ wartime nightclubs into the heart of Leeds.
One of the great accordionists of the modern era, Galliano is joined by the peerless jazz guitarist Sylvain Luc. The two musicians reunite their talents for a performance dedicated to the grande dame of French chanson: Edith Piaf.
In his 30-year career, French accordion virtuoso Richard Galliano has done what Astor Piazzolla did for the tango – rescued a traditional music – in this case the French musette – from the grip of nostalgic cliche…placing it at the heart of modern, jazz-influenced European music.
— The Guardian
Musicals Rock! takes you on a journey through the highlights of some of the world’s most-loved musicals.
Orchestra of Opera North
Michael England — Conductor
Jenna Lee James
As the rock world comes crashing into stage musicals the result is wonderful, spectacular and sometimes off the wall.
Featuring music from We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia!, Fame, Rent, Wicked, Evita and many more, never before have these excerpts been put together in one concert.
The result is a feast of thrilling music together with exceptional performances from a vibrant cast, backed by the power and energy of an orchestra and rock group.
|Mamma Mia!||Overture Orchestra|
|What a Feeling||Flashdance|
|I Will Always Love You||The Bodyguard|
|One Song Glory||Rent|
|My Eyes Adored You||Jersey Boys|
|Beauty School Dropout||Grease|
|Man in the Mirror||Thiller, Live on Stage|
|I Will Survive||Priscilla, Queen of the Desert|
|Go West||Priscilla, Queen of the Desert|
|One Night in Bangkok||Chess|
|I Know Him So Well||Chess|
|Pity the Child||Chess|
|Jesus Christ Superstar Overture||Jesus Christ Superstar|
|Heaven on their Minds||Jesus Christ Superstar|
|I Don't Know How to Love Him||Jesus Christ Superstar|
|Don’t Stop Me Now||We Will Rock You|
|Somebody to Love||We Will Rock You|
|Radio Ga Ga||We Will Rock You|
|Save Me||We Will Rock You|
|We Are the Champions||We Will Rock You|
Produced in association with West End International
British vocal ensemble I Fagiolini provide a passionate Easter offering with a varied programme revolving around the themes of love and loss.
One of the UK’s most highly regarded vocal groups, they inject ‘vitality, freshness and immediacy’ (The Telegraph) into pieces old and new.
Including Monteverdi’s moving Lagrime d’amante al sepolcro dell’amata, Thomas Ravenscroft’s There were three Ravens, Britten’s tour de force settings of medieval texts and a new commission, Sonnet by Adrian Williams, expect ‘bags of style, energy and dramatic excitement’ (International Record Review) as they bring these masterpieces to life.
|Claudio Monteverdi||Lagrime d'amante al sepolcro dell'amata|
|Thomas Ravenscroft||There were three ravens|
|Thomas Tomkins||Too much I once lamented|
|Clément Janequin||La Chasse|
|Benjamin Britten||Eight medieval lyrics, sacred and profane|
|Janet Wheeler||Music to Hear|
|William Brooks||Oooh Will|
|Adrian Williams||Sonnet (new commission)|
There is nothing ordinary about a performance by I Fagiolini. These singers have made their reputation by turning their backs on convention.
— The Guardian