Music for mid-summer nights
This summer the Orchestra of Opera North ventures out of the theatre and into the sunshine in the heart of Leeds for Opera North in the City, an open-air long weekend of club classics, legendary arias, songs from the shows, and a screening of Back to the Future with live symphonic score.
In partnership with Leeds City Council, Opera North in the City opens the annual Summer Series in Millennium Square on Friday 28 July with The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics, a collaboration with the award-winning Leeds club that will see huge dancefloor anthems reworked and performed live by the city’s acclaimed orchestra. It marks the first collaboration between these two very different Leeds institutions, celebrating the full range of the city’s eclectic musical life, as well as 25 years of founder Dave Beer’s trailblazing Back to Basics brand. Further details and special guest appearances to be announced.
From electro house to the opera house, the orchestra demonstrates its unparalleled range the following day (Saturday 29 July) with an evening of the finest operatic arias and show-stopping songs from the musicals. Joining the ensemble for A Night at the Opera are Opera North luminaries Quirijn de Lang (Kiss, Me Kate, The Marriage of Figaro) and Jeni Bern (Kiss, Me Kate, La Bohème), performing arias from Puccini’s heartbreaking Madama Butterfly and Mozart’s towering Don Giovanni, among other greats from the operatic canon. The Golden Age of musicals is represented by sparkling selections from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much-loved Carousel, Cole Porter’s sizzling comedy Kiss Me, Kate and more.
Opera North in the City closes with a 1.21-gigawatt bang on Sunday 30 July when Back to the Future comes back to the big screen, with Opera North’s full symphony orchestra performing Alan Silvestri’s stunning musical score live. The 1985 box office smash-turned-cultural phenomenon follows time-travelling teenager Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) back to 1955, where he struggles to change the destiny of his parents (Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover), rescue an eccentric friend (Christopher Lloyd), and solve an alternative-plutonium crisis. Fans old and new can experience this much-loved coming-of-age story as never before, with around twenty minutes of brand new music added to the score by award-winning composer Silvestri.
With a quality selection of street food and drinks complementing world-class music for all tastes, Opera North in the City promises to bring a festival atmosphere to Leeds’ most iconic events space this summer. Tickets for all three events go on sale at 10am on Friday 21 April.
Back for the third year, the Millennium Square Summer Series will continue into August, hosting film screenings, live music concerts and the Parade Stage for Leeds Pride (Sunday 6 August).