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Opera North’s The Greek Passion – Leeds Grand Theatre, Leeds

Composer: Bohuslav Martinů Director: Christopher Alden Conductor: Garry Walker Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Martinů’s The Greek Passion, a new production, marks the opening of Opera North’s autumn season.  Based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ text, it was written over 60 years ago and its score, albeit heavily revised, made its debut in Switzerland in 1961.  However, due to the themes’ relevance, Aleš Březina’s ...

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Much Ado about Nothing – Morley Town Hall

Composer: Charles Villiers Stanford Libretto: Julian Sturgis (after Shakespeare) Director: David Ward Conductor: Christopher Pelly Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Northern Opera Group deserves enormous credit for giving two performances of Charles Villiers Stanford’s Much Ado about Nothing as the major work in its imaginative five-day Leeds Opera Festival, themed around Shakespeare in opera. There has probably been only one professional ...

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The Pirates of Penzance – Royal Hall, Harrogate

Libretto: William Schwenk Gilbert Composer: Arthur Sullivan Director: Richard Gauntlett Musical Director: Andrew Nicklin Choreographer: Jackie O’Brien Reviewer: Ron Simpson The International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival follows up six days at Buxton Opera House with nearly two weeks at Harrogate’s Royal Hall, with a comprehensive fringe programme in Harrogate International Centre, one of the halls converted into a social centre ...

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The Yeomen of the Guard – Royal Hall, Harrogate

Libretto: William Schwenk Gilbert Composer: Arthur Sullivan Director: Andrew Nicklin Musical Director: Timothy Burke Reviewer: Ron Simpson The Yeomen of the Guard is an oddity in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon and, partly because of that, has enjoyed a fluctuating reputation, at times over-rated (perhaps by Sullivan himself), at others unreasonably neglected. Often thought of a G&S take on grand ...

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Songs in the Key of Cree – CanadaHub, Edinburgh

Composer/Pianist: Tomson Highway Vocals: Patricia Cano Saxophone: Marcus Ali Reviewer: Gareth Davies The Cree language and culture belongs to one of the Indigenous populations of Canada, and playwright Tomson Highway focuses his work and his songs in the people, places and themes of this community. Last appearing at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1988, Highway now brings a short song ...

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Trevor Horn – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: C L Delft Before he became the defining producer of the 80s, Trevor Horn had served an apprenticeship as a performer, topping the charts in 1979 as part of The Buggles with Video Killed The Radio Star and going on from there to front a later incarnation of the progressive rock band Yes, before settling for a life mostly ...

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Lea Salonga – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: Gemma Fincher Theatrical powerhouse and Broadway icon Lea Salonga is currently headlining her first set of UK concerts, bringing her one-woman show to the beautiful Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of her tour. The concert was rescheduled from February due to Salonga breaking her leg on a family skiing holiday; however, the postponement scarcely matters as she delivers a ...

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Langa Methodist Choir – St Just Miners’ Chapel, Cornwall

Reviewer: John Kennedy From Cape Town to Cape Cornwall - courtesy of a personal invitation and introduction by Glastonbury beard-confused guru, Michael Eavis, together with Reverend Mbuso Kubone and St Just Methodist Miners’ Chapel’s David James, Cornwall hosts the most deliriously stealth-Christian evangelism ever set in song - possibly. Or at least since the hypnotic 1958 recording of Missa Luba ...

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