What’s On

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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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