Production Archive

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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.

This 50 minute concert is the perfect introduction to classical song. Inspired by the love and awakening Springtime traditionally inspires, it includes songs and duets by Mozart, Schubert (including the famous 'Shepherd on the Rock'), Schumann, Brahms, Strauss, Faure, Rachmaninov and Wolf.

Current Associate Artists at Opera North, soprano Ellie Laugharne (Despina, Cosi Fan Tutte), 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. 

Mozart Komm’, lieber Mai
Faure Mai
Schumann Im wunderschoenen Monat Mai
Erstes Gruen
Fruehlingsnacht
Wolf  Im Fruehling
Mendelssohn Maigloeckchen und die Bluemelein
Brahms Boten der Liebe
Meine Liebe ist gruen
Die Mainacht
Strauss Das Rosenband
Rachmaninov Spring Waters
Argento Spring (from 6 Elizabethan Songs)
Quilter When daffodils begin to peer
It was a lover and his lass
Schubert Der Hirt auf dem Felsen
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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

Presented in association with Asian Arts Agency. Part of a UK tour produced and managed by Asian Arts Agency.

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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

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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.

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Music

Whistle Stop Opera at Burton Constable Hall

20 Mar 2017

East Yorkshire

Burton Constable Hall

Whistle Stop Opera at Burton Constable Hall

Synopsis

Burton Constable Hall celebrates opening for the 2017 season with a unique evening of music and heritage: a performance of Whistle Stop Opera Hansel and Gretel and exclusive preview tour of the Hall.

Discover the enchanting world of Hansel and Gretel with this brand new condensed version of Engelbert Humperdinck's bewitching masterpiece. Performed by a team of professional artists from Opera North, journey through the woods and gorge yourself on the exciting twists and turns of the plot, meeting the characters along the way. But remember, beware of the evil Witch, and don't stray too far from your tour guide — you never know what trickery you may encounter...

After the performance, take an exclusive preview tour of the Hall before it opens to the general public (on Saturday 15 April). Discover impressive interiors and fine collections, including the remarkable 18th Century 'Cabinet of Curiosities', or take a peek into the newly restored Carved Room, on display for the first time following twenty years of research and incorporating exquisite original and recreated wood carving.

Schedule: 

6.30pm Doors open
7.00pm Whistle Stop Opera performance
7.30pm Q&A session with the artists
8.00pm Exclusive preview tour of the Hall

Ticket includes a complimentary drink on arrival. 

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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).

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

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