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Brush up your Shakespeare this spring with the ON After Hours Chorus as they explore some varied Shakespearean repertoire in celebration of the return to the stage of Kiss Me, Kate, Cole Porter’s witty retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.
Rehearsals will be led by friendly professional artists who will help you to learn operatic and choral pieces inspired by the Bard’s works, in preparation for a relaxed performance in front of family and friends on Monday 23 July.
To take part, you will need some experience of singing and be able to follow a music score.
Grammy Award-winning pianist Chilly Gonzales is known both for the subtlety and poise of his best-selling Solo Piano albums and his charismatic showmanship.
‘Gonzo’ is a man of his time, approaching the piano with classical and jazz training but with the attitude of a rapper – meshing tradition with pop, electro and rap. He performs and writes songs with Jarvis Cocker, Feist and Drake and holds the Guinness world record for the longest solo concert at over 27 hours.
In a rare intimate show, Chilly Gonzales takes to the stage of the Howard Assembly Room with pieces from his Solo Piano album cycle, after which he is joined by Stella Le Page on cello and Joe Flory on drums to perform hits and hidden surprises from the rest of his repertoire, interspersed with his playful explanations about how his music works.
Dir Roberto Rossellini; in Italian with English subtitles; 102 mins; Italy; 1945
Roberto Rossellini's post-war portrait of life under the Nazi occupation is often named as one of the greatest films ever made. Immediate, tense and powerful, Rome, Open City is a landmark of Italian neorealism, made in extraordinarily difficult circumstances in the immediate aftermath of the liberation of Rome.
The film follows partisan leader Manfredi (Marcello Pagliero) as he attempts to evade the Gestapo by enlisting the help of Pina (Anna Magnani), fiancée of a fellow member of the underground resistance, and priest Don Pietro (Aldo Fabrizi).
Shot partly on the ravaged streets of the city, Rome, Open City blends the immediacy of documentary with high drama and affectingly naturalistic performances.
Since emerging in 2014 with his self-released cassette EP, Mid-City Island, Moses Sumney has ridden a wave of word-of-mouth praise, hushed recordings, and dynamic live performances.
With his smooth, haunting voice, Sumney makes music that transforms classic styles, as though a moon-colony choir had got hold of old jazz gems. His lyrics narrate a personal journey through universal loneliness with otherworldly compositional backdrops.
In 2017, the California and Ghana-raised troubadour released his debut album Aromanticism. Released to great critical acclaim, Aromanticism was regarded by NPR, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, as one of 2017's best albums. Following its critical success, Sumney has performed the album to sold out headline shows across North America, Europe, and at the Sydney Opera House.
The Guardian on Aromanticism
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The music of multi-instrumentalist, producer, string-arranger and composer Bill Ryder-Jones has an overarching sense of authenticity, intimacy and wryness, drawing listeners close.
In a career spanning 15 years, he has ever been a musical explorer, with projects ranging from a musical interpretation of Italian Calvino’s If On A Winters Night A Traveller (2011's If..) to the top ten MOJO album of the year in 2016, West Kirby County Primary.
Musicians including as Courtney Barnett and Richard Hawley champion him, while the Guardian describes him ‘A magical, colossal talent (….) that spills melody and emotion’.
In association with Superfriendz
Maya Youssef: Syrian Dreams
Born in Damascus, Maya Youssef is a virtuoso on the magnificent qanun, the 78-string zither at the heart of Arabic music. Accompanied by percussion and cello, she performs music lamenting the war in her homeland and celebrating its rich cultural and architectural heritage.
Following the release of her highly-praised debut album Syrian Dreams last November, she performs her own compositions, tunes from the Syrian folk tradition and the wider Arabic repertoire in what the Guardian describes as: ‘an often exquisite, emotional set that constantly changes mood, from sorrow to hope’.
Accompanied by Elizabeth Nott on percussion and Barney Morse-Brown on cello.
Benjamin Zephaniah says ‘I can’t take my ears off her’, Kate Tempest describes her poetry as ‘welcoming, galvanising and beautiful’. With over ten million YouTube views for her online poetry performances, Ted Hughes Award winner Hollie McNish is a poet whose readings are not to be missed.
Here, she will be joining us to perform poems and talk about her latest poetry collection, Plum: a wise, sometimes rude and piercingly candid collection about growing up. She talks fruit and flesh, guilt, sex, politics and breasts, together with the urgent need to find a voice for poems that will somehow do the whole glorious riot justice.
Books will be available to purchase at the event. There will be a book signing afterwards.
Her rhymes have a driving quality, urgent words pinning down fleeting feelings
Schubert’s magnificent ‘Trout’ Quintet, possibly the best-known chamber piece in the world, comes to joyful life under the bows and fingers of the Opera North String Quartet, joined by pianist Ian Buckle.
The Quartet is led by the leader of the Orchestra of Opera North David Greed, joined by the string section principals Katherine New, David Aspin and Jessica Burroughs.
The line-up is completed by Paul Miller (principal double bass) for Dvořák’s String Quintet No.2, a piece that marries a crystal-clear sonata opening with lively folk dance, lyrical songlike sections, and a final groundswell of melody that gives full voice to the bass.
|Antonín Dvořák||String Quintet in G Major No.2, Op 77|
|Franz Schubert||Piano Quintet in A Major ‘The Trout’, D. 667|
Described as ‘one of today’s most exciting new operatic voices’ (The Independent), South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza released her debut album Voice of Hope in 2014 followed by Arias, with pieces by Puccini, Catalani, Ravel, Mozart and Fauré in May 2016.
She brings her exquisite lyric voice and emotional sensitivity to bear on Schumann’s vividly emotional Frauenliebe und leben, together with Strauss’s sublimely beautiful Four Last Songs.
I think I've found the new Maria Callas . . . What initially arrested me, and went on fascinating me, was not only the beauty of her singing, one of the loveliest lightish lyric sopranos I have heard in the flesh, but also her commitment to the role she was performing.
Anglo-Scandinavian piano trio Phronesis is described by the Guardian as ‘a killer live band’.
Their reputation for spell-binding, roller-coaster live performances comes from an extraordinary democracy of expression and sorcery-like empathy between members Ivo Neame, Jasper Høiby and Anton Eger.
Together since 2005, they have cemented their world-wide reputation with the critically acclaimed release of their sixth album Parallax in 2016 (recorded at Abbey Road studios, London).
Tight, eloquent and thrilling, this Danish/British/Swedish trio serve up everything from volcanic sprints to brooding jazz meditations
Australian pianist Piers Lane demonstrates his versatility and poetic best in a programme all about connections: Chopin idolised Bach and in turn inspired the Russian composers Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.
Opening with Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in F sharp minor and a selection of Chopin’s best piano works, their probing and moving nature are mirrored in the forms used in Tchaikovsky’s rarely heard Six Pieces On A Single Theme. Stravinsky’s colourful Trois mouvements de Petrouchka bring the recital to a dazzling climax.
Lane is equally at home in solo, chamber and concerto repertoire. His concerto repertoire alone exceeds ninety-five works and has led to engagements with many of the world’s great orchestras and conductors, including five performances at the BBC Proms.
‘He dazzled us throughout not only with his virtuoso response but also with the poetry he found in the quieter variants’.
Classical Source on his performance of Rachmaninoff: Variations on a Theme of Chopin Op. 22
|Johann Sebastian Bach||Prelude and Fugue in F sharp minor, BWV 883|
|Frédéric Chopin||Impromptu No 2 in F sharp major
Mazurka in F minor, Op 68 No 4
Piano Sonata No. 2 in B♭ minor
|Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky||Six Pieces on a Single Theme, Op 21|
|Igor Stravinsky||Trois mouvements de Petrouchka|
Evelyn Glennie and Trio HLK: Standard Time
Pioneering solo percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie plays with Trio HLK. The Scottish improvising ensemble comprises Richard Harrold (piano and composer), Ant Law (guitar) and Richard Kass (drums).
Their music pulls apart jazz standards into fragments that are at times shimmering and cerebral, at others thunderous and visceral. Intricate and harmonious rhythms meet with a veritable battery of percussion instruments played by Glennie to deliver a performance that is an interactive tour de force.