Partnership between Opera North and S.A.A UK


Running for its sixth year, South Asian Arts-uk (SAA-uk) will host its musically mesmerising Summer Solstice festival in collaboration with Opera North for the first time.

To mark the longest day of the year, this year’s festival will take place in Leeds on Wednesday 21st June in the Howard Assembly Room at Opera North on New Briggate.

The captivating performance will bring together critically acclaimed musical artists from around the world, including the UK’s most famous female sitarist, Roopa Panesar, but it will adopt a different format to previous years.

Keranjeet Kaur Virdee, SAA-uk CEO explains; “It’s a real pleasure and privilege to be working alongside the world renowned Opera North once again. It’s partly because of this new partnership that we’ve decided to give our existing Solstice fans and new music lovers an exciting and diverse evening. The music will be as sensational as ever, but we’ve also incorporated a factual element so people can fully understand the remarkable heritage and beautiful dynamics of classic South Asian music and dance.”

The evening will begin with an enlightening talk from leading Indian classical music experts from The University of Durham. Ustad Dharambir Singh MBE and Professor Martin Clayton will invite the audience into an interactive discussion that explores the intricacies of Indian classical music through the ‘Art of listening’.

The evening will showcase the very best music from an Indian Classical repertoire.  Split into two sections, the audience will first be captivated by the magical melodies from South India. International artist, Vijay Venkat, will play the rarely heardVichitra Veena; an ancient plucked instrument whose name means ‘peculiar or rare’.  Vijay will be accompanied by Pirashanna Thevarajah on the Carnatic percussion instrument, the mridangam.

The audience will then be invited to soak up a summer evening raga listening to the UK’s leading female sitarist, Roopa Panesar. Fresh from recent international performances in India, Switzerland and Ireland, her soothing melodies of a mid-summer’s night will be will be accompanied by rhythm from Shahbaz Hussain on tabla.

Jo Nockels, Opera North Project Manager adds: ““SAA-uk’s annual event celebrating the summer solstice is one of Leeds’ most distinctive and special musical events: a glowing evening of soulful music, in good company and atmospheric surroundings.  As part of our long-standing artistic partnership with SAA-UK, we are delighted to play host in the Howard Assembly Room for the first time.”

This year, the Solstice festival will begin at 5.45pm and finish at 11pm. Traditional refreshments will be available throughout the night and guests will have the option to soak up the atmosphere while relaxing on comfy floor cushions as well as traditional seating.

Tickets available now via the Opera North Box Office on 0844 848 2727



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