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The Sixteen: Glory to the Christ Child – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Harry Christophers CBE Reviewer: John Kennedy The bleak mid-winter snow-blitz has taken its toll on audience attendance this evening. Nevertheless, evening-gowned, white dickie-bowed and tuxedoed, The Sixteen elegantly complement the grandeur of the Symphony Hall. Matching solemnity with panache and dash it’s evident they’re up for tugging and teasing at Harry Christopher’s guiding reins to celebrate a Hodie rodeo choral sleigh-ride across the ...

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Festive Box of Delights – Leeds Town Hall

Choir: Leeds Festival Chorus Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Soloists: Lorna James (soprano), Victoria Sharp (mezzo-soprano), Stuart Laing (tenor) Reviewer: Ron Simpson The ever-busy Orchestra of Opera North has any number of festive concerts on its schedule – The Snowman, three Vienna-style New Year concerts and the always popular Dewsbury Christmas celebration – but this time the hosts were Leeds ...

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Aladdin – City Varieties, Leeds

Writer: Peter Rowe Director: Matt Aston Musical Director: Greg Palmer Reviewer: Holly Spanner The City Varieties Rock n’ Roll Panto is one that should be in everyone’s calendar. This seemingly modest production which has graced the Victorian stage since reopening after the £9.9m refurbishment in 2011, has quickly worked its way into the hearts of Loiners and the general public ...

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Monteverdi Vespers (1610) – Town Hall, Birmingham

Composer: Claudio Monteverdi Conductor: Jeffrey Skidmore Reviewer: John Kennedy Hipsters take note - none of this refers to an artisan revival of that ersatz 60s waspy Vespa scooter no self-respecting Rocker would ever be seen dead on. Sources indicate that Monteverdi submitted his apotheosis of sacred music in a successful application for the post of maestro di cappella at St Marks, Venice in 1613. ...

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Trapped in the Closet – Feinstein’s 54 Below, New York

Writer: Sarah Naughton Director: Jake Weinstein & Sarah Naughton Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers New York City is full of talented performers doing odd jobs to make ends meet before acting starts paying the bills. Some wait tables, work retail, or temp in corporate offices, while some, like Sarah Naughton, lend their talents to the audiobook industry. In Trapped in the Closet, Naughton ...

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Friday Night Classics: Abba Symphonic Spectacular – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Stephen Bell Reviewer: Selwyn Knight The 1970s: the decade that taste forgot as we are reminded by Conductor Stephen Bell as he stands in front of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) with many players resplendent in seventies gear. It’s also the decade that brought us Glam Rock, Punk, the first woman Prime Minister, and, of course, some ...

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert – Echo Arena, Liverpool

Reviewer: John Roberts Having already won millions of fans through the books and the record-smashing film franchise the Harry Potter series and world’s just keep getting bigger and bigger, so it is no surprise that following the recent trend of live orchestral concerts of blockbuster movies that the wizarding world of Harry Potter shouldn’t follow suit. Last year across the ...

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Navarra String Quartet – The Venue, Leeds

Musicians: Navarra String Quartet, David Adams (viola), Alice Neary (cello) Reviewer: Ron Simpson This excellent concert by the Navarra String Quartet was the second in the monthly series of six making up the Leeds International Chamber Season on the theme of Russia in Revolution. The season places Russian chamber music in its historical and artistic context, in the case of ...

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