What’s On

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Classical

Leila Josefowicz and John Novacek

30 Sep 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Leila Josefowicz and John Novacek

Synopsis

American violinist Leila Josefowicz’s partnership with John Novacek has been praised for its daring spontaneity and flair.

Gramophone called the duo “an outstanding collaboration… Their rapport is stunning".

They perform a programme of works marked by dark introspection and powerful emotion, including reflective pieces by Sibelius and Mahler, Prokofiev’s wildly beautiful Sonata in F minor and the mystical Calices from contemporary composer Kaija Saariaho.

Panache and supreme technical assurance… her virtuosity is breathtaking

BBC Music Magazine on Leila Josefowicz

Next Performances
Sat 30th Sep
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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

Janáček’s score for this hidden gem has an expansive lyricism that glows with 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...

Season Ticket Packages are available.

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 Pre-performance Talk
Pagliacci / Osud Wed 18 October Leeds Pre-performance Talk
Osud / L'enfant et les sortilèges Fri 20 October Leeds  
L'enfant et les sortilèges​ / Osud From Thu 2 November On Tour  

2017-18 Season Guide

When booking for The Little Greats in Leeds, we recommend you refer to the full performance schedule.

 
Next Performances
Wed 11th Oct
Sat 14th Oct
Wed 18th Oct
Fri 20th Oct
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Opera and The Little Greats

The Little Greats: Trouble in Tahiti

11 Oct - 17 Nov 2017

Nationwide

Touring 5 theatres

The Little Greats: Trouble in Tahiti

Synopsis

Trouble in Tahiti 
Leonard Bernstein
 
Part of The Little Greats

The American Dream turns suffocatingly sour in Bernstein’s unsparing examination of a marriage falling apart in 1950s suburbia. 

Sam and Dinah appear to have the perfect life in their ‘little white house’. But their growing failure to connect exposes a mutual feeling that they are trapped in a life that has turned into a lie. Sam escapes to the hyper-masculine, win-or-lose world of work and handball tournaments at the gym, while Dinah loses herself in the movies, where the hit picture of the day is the ominously titled Trouble in Tahiti.

A jazz trio provides an ironic gloss on the story, pointing up the stark contrast between the unreal fantasy of domestic bliss peddled by the ad-men and the painful truth of Sam and Dinah’s lives.

Bernstein’s score for this, his deeply touching first opera, is heavily influenced by the syncopated rhythms of jazz and by the distinctive American vernacular of Hollywood and Broadway.

Season Ticket Packages are available.

Running Time

Approximately 45 minutes

Language

Sung in English

Audio described / Captioned performances are available.

See Trouble in Tahiti in a double bill with...

Osud / Trouble in Tahiti Wed 11 October Leeds   
Trouble in Tahiti / Trial by Jury Fri 13 October Leeds Pre-performance Talk
Trouble in Tahiti (Matinee) Sat 14 October Leeds  
Cavalleria rusticana / Trouble in Tahiti Thu 19 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  

2017-18 Season Guide

When booking for The Little Greats in Leeds, we recommend you refer to the full performance schedule.

 
Next Performances
Wed 11th Oct
Fri 13th Oct
Sat 14th Oct
Thu 19th Oct
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Classical

Nothing Like The Sun: The Gavin Bryars Ensemble

25 Oct 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Nothing Like The Sun: The Gavin Bryars Ensemble

Synopsis

In this haunting, dramatic piece for chamber ensemble and voices, Gavin Bryars weaves his beautiful music through and around eight of Shakespeare's most meditative sonnets.

Led by Bryars himself, the ensemble includes tenor John Potter (ex Hilliard Ensemble), with narration by multi-talented Dublin singer, Gavin Friday (Virgin Prunes). Influenced by early music but unmistakably modern, this is a fresh way to experience Shakespeare’s words. 

Commissioned by Opera North and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Nothing Like The Sun has been performed at festivals around the world, and comes home to the Howard Assembly Room for the first time.

"Extraordinary…sublime"

Real Time Arts magazine

Next Performances
Wed 25th Oct
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Classical

Messaien: Harawi

26 Oct 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Messaien: Harawi

Synopsis

Messiaen’s Harawi evokes a beautiful world of Andean mythology, cosmic mystery and birdsong through lush, pliant lyricism. 

While reminiscent of Debussy, Stravinsky and Wagner, Harawi is unmistakeably by Messiaen: a twelve song cycle on love and death characteristic of his 1940s style. 

Soprano Gweneth-Ann Rand is possibly the most experienced Messiaen singer of her generation and has performed this cycle with Simon Lepper all over the UK, including at the BBC Proms.

Her performance has a “brooding, animal-like intensity...her notes seemed to grow effortlessly from deep within, quite a feat as the breath control and vocal dexterity needed in this piece is truly formidable.” (Seen and Heard International). 

For this special concert, projected imagery and surtitles draw you into a journey deep inside Messiaen’s myriad influences and musical world.

Next Performances
Thu 26th Oct
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Classical

Dichterliebe

22 Nov 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Dichterliebe

Synopsis

Baritone Benjamin Appl (Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year 2016) performs Schumann's Romantic masterpiece Dichterliebe (The Poet's Love), with Leeds Lieder Director and pianist Joseph Middleton.

The best-known song cycle by Schumann, Dichterliebe takes you on a musical journey from the most delicate descriptions of nature to heart-breaking cries of longing; from a joyful wedding dance to twelve giants casting a coffin into the sea.

The programme also includes Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte (To the distant beloved) and three settings of Yeats by Ivor Gurney and Marian Ingoldsby.

“the most promising of today’s up-and-coming song recitalists”

Financial Times

In association with Leeds Lieder

Next Performances
Wed 22nd Nov
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Folk

Lau: Decade

25 Nov 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Lau: Decade

Synopsis

Lau is the pioneering contemporary folk trio made up of three of the UK’s finest traditional musicians: Kris Drever (vocals, guitar), Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics) and Aidan O'Rourke (fiddle). 

Both extraordinary musicians and creative visionaries, Lau’s music is rooted in gorgeous melody, but explores folk music in every direction, with virtuosic playing, rich electronics and ideas that constantly leap and dip in unexpected contours. 

Decade celebrates 10 years of incredible stage performances from this multiple award-winning band.  

The U.K’s best live band, Lau are remarkable – the most musically adventurous trio in British folk: exquisite and hypnotic, musicianship at its best.

The Guardian 

Next Performances
Sat 25th Nov
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Classical

Imogen Cooper: Beethoven, Haydn and Adès

30 Nov 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Imogen Cooper: Beethoven, Haydn and Adès

Synopsis

Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, pianist Imogen Cooper reveals hidden depths in whatever she plays.

Renowned worldwide, her performances are praised by Gramophone for their ‘imaginative freedom’ and ‘balance of sense and sensibility’.

Her long-awaited debut at the Howard Assembly Room will travel from the classical poise of early Beethoven and the authority of Haydn’s C minor Piano Sonata, to the remarkable invention and emotional quality of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31.

The programme also includes Darknesse Visible by one of the most important composers in contemporary music, Thomas Adès (recent work includes The Exterminating Angel at the Royal Opera House).

‘an outstanding artist, one of the finest pianists now playing'

Daily Telegraph

Next Performances
Thu 30th Nov
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Classical

Choir of Clare College Cambridge

21 Dec 2017

Leeds

Howard Assembly Room

Choir of Clare College Cambridge

Synopsis

Of one that is so fair and bright

The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge and their director Graham Ross make their debut at the Howard Assembly Room with a beautiful Christmas programme in praise of the Virgin Mary and the coming of the light.

Renaissance masterpieces, including Tallis' sublime Videte miraculum and Praetorius’ Christmas Magnificat (performed with its original carols) sit alongside more recent seasonal pieces, including much-loved motets by Howells, Britten, Tavener and Rutter.

The perfect start to the festive season.

Next Performances
Thu 21st Dec
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Opera

Madama Butterfly

19 Jan - 22 Mar 2018

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Madama Butterfly

Synopsis

Madama Butterfly 
Giacomo Puccini

A tender story of innocent love crushed amidst two utterly different cultures, which resonates as strongly as ever in today’s world. 

With its exquisitely simple set and costumes, this emotionally direct and subtle production by Tim Albery is devastating in its impact, as Butterfly’s dawning realisation of the harsh reality of her circumstances leads inexorably to a final act of despair. 

French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels has won widespread praise in this production in the role of Cio-Cio San, a young Japanese woman who sacrifices everything to marry a U.S. Naval Officer, yet is cruelly discarded when he returns to his ‘real’ life in America. She is joined for this revival by Lithuanian tenor Merūnas Vitulskis, making his UK and Opera North debut as Pinkerton.

As for Anne Sophie Duprels, returning to the title role, it would be hard to find, or even imagine, a more thoroughly committed rendering of it.

 ★★★★ — The Independent (2011)

Season Ticket Packages are available.

Running Time

Approximately 2 hour 30 minutes

Language

Sung in Italian with English titles

Audio described performances are available.

The Music

2017-18 Season Guide

 
Next Performances
Fri 19th Jan
Sun 28th Jan
Wed 31st Jan
Fri 16th Feb
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Opera

Un ballo in maschera

3 Feb - 24 Mar 2018

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Un ballo in maschera

Synopsis

Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) 
Giuseppe Verdi

A timeless tale of power, passion and political plotting, at the heart of which is a tragic love triangle.

Based on an actual historical event: the assassination of King Gustavus of Sweden in 1792. Gustavo loves Amelia, wife of his most loyal ally Anckarstroem. Although the King eventually decides that duty must conquer love, it is too late to prevent Anckarstroem from joining a conspiracy against his life. 

Verdi displays all his mastery of his art in this, the most operatic of operas. Dramatic arias jostle with tense ensembles and rousing choruses, and at the heart of the piece is one of the composer's most impassioned love duets.

Former Music Director Richard Farnes returns to the Company for the first time since he led Opera North’s legendary Ring cycle in 2016 to conduct a new production by Tim Albery that promises to be a highlight of the season.

Season Ticket Packages are available.

Running Time

Approximately 2 hour 45 minutes

Language

Sung in Italian with English titles

Supported by a generous gift from the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation.

2017-18 Season Guide

 
Next Performances
Sat 3rd Feb
Sat 10th Feb
Thu 22nd Feb
Tue 27th Feb
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Opera

Don Giovanni

17 Feb - 23 Mar 2018

Nationwide

Touring 4 theatres

Don Giovanni

Synopsis

Don Giovanni
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 

As he seduces his way across Europe, this famous anti-hero's hedonism is a challenge not only to human morality, but also to God.

Broad comedy rubs up against tense drama in Da Ponte’s libretto, and the beauty and terror of Mozart’s score are evidence of a supreme musical dramatist at the height of his powers, divinely (and perhaps diabolically) inspired. 

Alessandro Talevi’s eclectic, time-travelling production brings fresh insights to this, Mozart’s darkest, craziest, opera.

Director Alessandro Talevi’s imagination, wit and audacity meant that Don Giovanni was a huge success...enthralling throughout...

★★★★★ — Bachtrack (2012)

Season Ticket Packages are available. 

Running Time

Approximately 3 hours

Language

Sung in Italian with English titles

2017-18 Season Guide

 
Next Performances
Sat 17th Feb
Wed 21st Feb
Fri 23rd Feb
Thu 1st Mar

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