What’s On

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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

Although separated by an ocean, centuries of shared cultural heritage connect Cuba and West Africa, and the same irrepressible rhythms are crucial to the music of both.

Hence AfroCubism, an album recorded in 2010 (although originally planned – and thwarted, by visa problems – back in the 1990s) by a loose-knit collection of Malian musicians who travelled to Cuba.

This new project, AfroCubism Revisited, revisits both some of the music of the album itself and the rich historical vein of exchange and collaboration in the music lives of Cuba and West Africa.

The unique project brings together one veteran from the original sessions – N’goni master Bassekou Kouyaté – with a whole new ensemble of collaborators to explore once more the wealth of possibilities offered by the union of these two traditions.

He’s joined by the Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita and a trio of Cuban virtuosos – Yelfris Valdés (trumpet), Piki Bosh (guitar) and Hammadi Valdés (percussion) – to revisit and reimagine their shared, captivating, musical roots.

Produced by Opera North Projects

Next Performances
Sat 22nd Apr
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Opera

Turandot

28 Apr 2017 - 16 May 2016

Nationwide

Touring 5 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
Tue 9th May
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Spoken Word/Talks

China Miéville: October: The Story of the Russian Revolution

10 May 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

China Miéville: October: The Story of the Russian Revolution

Synopsis

The renowned fantasy and science fiction writer China Miéville talks about the Russian revolution, both as a political event of profound and ongoing consequence and as a breathtaking story. 

It is the story of the extraordinary months between February and October 1917, of the forces and individuals who helped define it, of their intrigues, and catastrophes.

Miéville ranges from familiar names like Lenin and Trotsky to their opponents Kornilov and Kerensky; from the squabbles of urban activists to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire.

China Miéville is the multi-award-winning author of many works of fiction and non-fiction. His fiction includes The City & the City, Embassytown and This Census-Taker, and has won the Hugo, World Fantasy and Arthur C. Clarke awards; his non-fiction includes the photo-illustrated essay London’s Overthrow

In partnership with Verso
Liberty Lecture, in association with the University of Leeds

Next Performances
Wed 10th May
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Jazz

Brad Mehldau Trio

16 May 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Brad Mehldau Trio

Synopsis

Following his sold-out show at the 2016 EFG London Jazz Festival with Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau returns to the up close and personal surroundings of the Howard Assembly Room.

Over the last two decades, this American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger has transformed the paradigm of jazz and classical performance.

Mehldau’s intellect feeds an inspired range of expression and intensity, showing his genius for taking predictable materials to unpredictable destinations. 

The Trio will be playing music from their latest album Blues and Ballads, released on Nonesuch Records.

Next Performances
Tue 16th May
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Music

This Is Not This Heat

27 May 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

This Is Not This Heat

Synopsis

On 13 February 1976, experimental rock band This Heat played its first show. Now, 40 years later, founding members Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward reunite to perform new interpretations of their music. 

Arguably the most inventive band to emerge from the UK’s fruitful DIY scene in the 70s, This Heat’s career may have been short-lived, but its legacy continues to grow in stature and relevance. Still sounding as wild and original as when it was written, their music has as much in common with modern composers like John Cage as their art-rock contemporaries Gang of Four and The Pop Group

Matching jagged post-punk guitar sounds with hard rhythms, dub production techniques and tape loops, here the band’s twisting, freeform songs are fully realised live.

...this doesn’t feel like nostalgia, but a new beginning.

— The Guardian

This is not This Heat at Cafe OTO from Dawid Laskowski on Vimeo.

In assocation with Room 237 

Next Performances
Sat 27th 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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Opera and The Little Greats

The Little Greats: Pagliacci

16 Sep - 18 Nov 2017

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Little Greats: Pagliacci

Synopsis

Part of The Little Greats: Short operas. Huge emotions.

The immediacy of the characters and the intensity of their emotions packed into such a short space of time make Pagliacci an elementally exciting experience. 


This unashamedly over the top masterpiece marks the point in Leoncavallo’s career when his talents as both librettist and composer fully matched each other. In Pagliacci, he carves ‘a bleeding slice of life’ out of the unlikely story of a jealous husband, his unfaithful wife, her young lover, and a troupe of theatrical players. 

It includes some of the most justly famous music ever written for an Italian opera, including the heartbroken Canio’s ‘show must go on’ aria ‘Vesti la giubba’. 

This brand new production, conducted by Music Director Aleksandar Markovic, is directed and designed by Charles Edwards as the curtainraiser for Opera North’s The Little Greats. 

On sale dates for Leeds: 

Full Season Packages: Tuesday 28 February
Create Your Own Package: Thursday 9 March
Public booking: Monday 27 March

Tour venue booking dates may vary.

Running Time

Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes

Language

Sung in Italian with English titles

See Pagliacci in a double bill with...

Pagliacci / L'enfant et les sortileges Sat 16 September Leeds 
Pagliacci / L'enfant et les sortileges Sat 23 September Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana Sat 30 September Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana Thu 12 October Leeds
Pagliacci / Osud Wed 18 October Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana Sat 21 October Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana From Thu 26 October On Tour
 
Next Performances
Sat 16th Sep
Sat 23rd Sep
Sat 30th Sep
Thu 12th Oct
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Opera and The Little Greats

The Little Greats: L´enfant et les sortilèges

16 Sep - 18 Nov 2017

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Little Greats: L´enfant et les sortilèges

Synopsis

Part of The Little Greats: Short operas. Huge emotions.

Ravel’s darkly brilliant opera sets Colette’s magical words to an extraordinary, bewitching musical score to create a haunting lyric fantasy.

A naughty child assaults everything in his room (including the cat) after he is told off by his mother for not doing his homework. Gradually, the objects – furniture, clocks, crockery – come to life around him.

Out in the garden, events take an even more disturbing turn, when all the trees and animals rebuke him for the injuries he has done them in the past. Can the child redeem himself?

Colette’s text celebrates the wonders of childhood, but doesn’t shy away from its tensions and anxieties. Ravel’s music is eclectic in its influences, yet sewn together by a master craftsman to create a seamless whole. Together, words and music create a work that is enchanting, amusing, and, in its final moments, deeply touching. 

On sale dates for Leeds: 

Full Season Packages: Tuesday 28 February
Create Your Own Package: Thursday 9 March
Public booking: Monday 27 March

Tour venue booking dates may vary.

Running Time

Approximately 45 minutes

Language

Sung in French with English titles

See L'enfant et les sortilèges in a double bill with...

Pagliacci / L'enfant et les sortilèges Sat 16 September Leeds 
Pagliacci / L'enfant et les sortilèges Sat 23 September Leeds
Trial by Jury / L'enfant et les sortilèges Fri 29 September Leeds
L'enfant et les sortilèges (Matinee) Sat 7 October Leeds
Osud / L'enfant et les sortilèges Fri 20 October Leeds
L'enfant et les sortilèges / Osud From Sat 28 October On Tour
Next Performances
Sat 16th Sep
Sat 23rd Sep
Fri 29th Sep
Sat 7th Oct
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Opera and The Little Greats

The Little Greats: Cavalleria rusticana

27 Sep - 18 Nov 2017

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Little Greats: Cavalleria rusticana

Synopsis

Part of The Little Greats: Short operas. Huge emotions.

With a score that includes the famous Easter Hymn and Intermezzo, Cavalleria rusticana remains for many the very essence of Italian opera.

Opera’s most celebrated overnight success, Cavalleria rusticana spearheaded the verismo movement (whose leading lights included Leoncavallo and Puccini) which demonstrated that ordinary people can have opera-sized emotions too.

Turiddù and Lola were once lovers; but when he left to join the army, Lola married another man. Although Turridù finds consolation in the arms of Santuzza, his obsessive passion for Lola still burns fiercely.

Thus the stage is set for a tale of faithlessness, jealousy and violence, set in a rural community where the church maintains an iron grip on the souls of its people.

Mascagni displays a masterly control of pacing in this, his first opera, conveying a taut, gritty drama through a succession of gorgeously lyrical melodies.

On sale dates for Leeds: 

Full Season Packages: Tuesday 28 February
Create Your Own Package: Thursday 9 March
Public booking: Monday 27 March

Tour venue booking dates may vary.

Running Time

Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes

Language

Sung in Italian with English titles

See Cavalleria rusticana in a double bill with...

Cavalleria rusticana / Trial by Jury Wed 27 September Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana Sat 30 September Leeds
Cavalleria rusticana / Trial by Jury Sat 7 October Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana Thu 12 October Leeds
Osud / Cavalleria rusticana Sat 14 October Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana Thurs 19 October Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana Sat 21 October Leeds
Pagliacci / Cavalleria rusticana From Thu 26 October On Tour
Next Performances
Wed 27th Sep
Sat 30th Sep
Sat 7th Oct
Thu 12th Oct
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Opera and The Little Greats

The Little Greats: Trial by Jury

27 Sep - 17 Nov 2017

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Little Greats: Trial by Jury

Synopsis

Part of The Little Greats: Short operas. Huge emotions.

An instant hit, Gilbert & Sullivan’s first operetta launched the partnership that was to take British musical theatre by storm.

Trial by Jury centres on a legal case brought by the glamorous Angelina against her intended husband Edwin, who jilts her when he comes to the ghastly realization before their wedding that she bores him intensely.

Every ounce of comic potential is mined from a ludicrous plot which is taken perfectly seriously by everyone caught up in it. With its brilliantly witty comedy numbers and a superb mock-operatic ensemble, Trial by Jury pokes fun at the British establishment, in the shape of the legal system, and gently mocks English manners and mores.

It is a distillation of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic genius, bearing all the hallmarks of the great run of Savoy Operas that was to follow.

On sale dates for Leeds: 

Full Season Packages: Tuesday 28 February
Create Your Own Package: Thursday 9 March
Public booking: Monday 27 March

Tour venue booking dates may vary.

Running Time

Approximately 45 minutes

Language

Sung in English

See Trial by Jury in a double bill with...

Cavalleria rusticana / Trial by Jury Wed 27 September Leeds 
Trial by Jury / L'enfant et les sortileges Fri 29 September Leeds
Cavalleria rusticana / Trial by Jury Sat 7 October Leeds
Trouble in Tahiti / Trial by Jury Fri 13 October Leeds
Trouble in Tahiti / Trial by Jury (Matinee) Sat 21 October Leeds
Trouble in Tahiti / Trial by Jury​ From Fri 27 October On Tour
Next Performances
Wed 27th Sep
Fri 29th Sep
Sat 7th Oct
Fri 13th Oct
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Opera and The Little Greats

The Little Greats: Osud

11 Oct - 16 Nov 2017

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

The Little Greats: Osud

Synopsis

Osud (Destiny) 
Leos Janáček
 

Part of The Little Greats: Short operas. Huge emotions.

The score of Osud has an expansive lyricism that glows with what Janáček’s biographer John Tyrrell describes as ‘some of his most incandescent music’.

Osud was spurred by a chance meeting in a Moravian spa town in 1903 between Janáček and a woman who complained to him that she had been unflatteringly portrayed in an opera by another composer a few years earlier.

Infatuated with the woman, and determined to present her in a rosier light, Janáček set to work on his own opera.

Janáček’s original outline for Osud subsequently underwent many adjustments. What finally emerged was the story of a composer, Živný, who has written an autobiographical opera about his obsessive, tormented love for Míla, with whom he has a young son. The last act is unfinished, however: Živný’s opera cannot be concluded until its story has been lived.

On sale dates for Leeds: 

Full Season Packages: Tuesday 28 February
Create Your Own Package: Thursday 9 March
Public booking: Monday 27 March

Tour venue booking dates may vary.

Running Time

Approximately 1 hour 20 minutes

Language

Sung in English with English titles

See Osud in a double bill with...

Osud / Trouble in Tahiti Wed 11 October Leeds 
Osud / Cavalleria rusticana Sat 14 October Leeds
Pagliacci / Osud Wed 18 October Leeds
Osud / L'enfant et les sortilèges Thu 12 October Leeds
L'enfant et les sortilèges​ / Osud From Thu 2 November On Tour
Next Performances
Wed 11th Oct
Sat 14th Oct
Wed 18th Oct
Fri 20th Oct

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