Grimethorpe Colliery Band and the Orchestra of Opera North are preparing to make history with the Band’s first ever live soundtrack performance of Brassed Off in Yorkshire, part of the Opera North in the City festival on Millennium Square, Leeds on Sunday 29 July.

The much-loved 1996 film, starring Ewan McGregor, Tara Fitzgerald, Pete Postlethwaite and Stephen Tompkinson, follows the struggles of a colliery band after the closure of their pit. Its bittersweet story is loosely based on Grimethorpe’s own: in 1992, just five days before the Band was due to compete in the national championships at the Royal Albert Hall, Grimethorpe Colliery was earmarked for closure. They battled on to triumph at the contest, and returned to the Royal Albert Hall last year to celebrate their centenary with the first performance of Brassed Off Live.

The Orchestra of Opera North will begin the afternoon in Millennium Square with two of those unforgettable tunes in fully orchestrated form: Rossini’s William Tell Overture and of course, Rodrigo’s “Concierto d’Orange Juice”, featuring the brilliant guitarist Craig Ogden – who has recorded all three solo Rodrigo guitar concertos with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

For the first time ever in Yorkshire and by special arrangement with the Royal Albert Hall, Grimethorpe Colliery Band will then take the stage to accompany the film, joined by members of the Orchestra.

Brassed Off Live will close the Opera North in the City festival, which is organised in partnership with Leeds City Council as part of the annual Millennium Square Summer Series. The Orchestra of Opera North will demonstrate its incredible versatility over the course of the long weekend of music in the heart of Leeds, which begins with expanded adaptations of club anthems featuring original guest artists in The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics on Friday 27 July.

Saturday 28 July finds the Orchestra on more familiar ground with A Classic Summer’s Evening, a sparkling programme of symphonic showpieces and favourite operatic arias featuring acclaimed Mexican tenor Rafael Rojas, an Opera North favourite who is no stranger to the city centre, having stunned shoppers in Trinity Leeds with a surprise rendition of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma last summer.

Bookings can be made through Opera North Box Office on 0844 848 2727, online at


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