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The Orchestra of Opera North – CAST, Doncaster

Conductor: Howard Shelley Soloists:      Andrew Long (violin)                     Kevin Gowland (flute)                     Richard Hewitt (oboe) Reviewer:   Ron Simpson The first appearance of the Orchestra of Opera North at CAST in Doncaster was supposed to be an occasion, but initially, it ...

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PREVIEW: Swinging back in time for the Swinging 60s Experience media launch

They say that, if you remember the Swinging 60s, you weren’t really there. However, perhaps the more pertinent question is whether the era itself, as it has been mythologised, was ever really there. Now, 37 years after Liverpool introduced its highly successful Magical Mystery Tour, London has its own bus tour, Swinging 60s Experience, setting out to find some answers, ...

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Leeds Piano Festival: Sunwook Kim – Howard Assembly Room, Leeds

Soloist: Sunwook Kim (piano) Reviewer: Ron Simpson The first Leeds Piano Festival runs from May 14th to 23rd, celebrating the famous Leeds International Piano Competition with concerts at the Wigmore Hall, London, and the Howard Assembly Room, Leeds. Sunwook Kim, who won the “Leeds” in 2006 at the age of 18, presented a varied programme at the Howard, technically spectacular ...

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Friday Night Classics: First Ladies of Swing – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Guy Barker Reviewer: Selwyn Knight With a wry smile, Clare Teal explains that this concert, First Ladies of Swing, has been two years in the planning.  Since its genesis, there was the Swing Jazz Prom in 2017 that featured tonight’s guest vocalists – all of whom are male. Later, conductor Guy Barker leads a tribute that he arranged to ‘that ...

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The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety – The HOUSE, Birmingham REP

Creator and Director: Calixto Bieito Reviewer: Selwyn Knight Creator and Director, Calixto Bieito, says that he has suffered from an anxiety disorder since childhood but didn’t know until 20 years ago, explaining the choice of subject matter in The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety. In creating the piece, he’s taken writing from a range of writers from Robert ...

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The Albert Lee Band: Live – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Dave Cunningham Albert Lee opens his set at The Lowry with something of a mission statement – a blistering cover of I’m Ready that confirms his willingness and ability to rock’n’roll all night.  Lee has played sideman / lead guitar for some of the greatest acts in popular music, which gives him legitimate access to a superb back catalogue. ...

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The Damnation of Faust – Leeds Town Hall

Composer: Hector Berlioz Conductor: Simon Wright Reviewer: Dawn Smallwood Opera North is reputed for their variety of operas and other works which are hosted season after season.  Their orchestra and choirs, however, are a success in their own right and are regular features in the Leeds International Concert Seasons.  On this occasion Orchestra of Opera North plays Hector Berlioz’s The ...

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MAYFEST: The Nature of Why – Bristol Old Vic

Director: Caroline Bowditch & Charles Hazlewood Composer: Will Gregory Choreographer: Caroline Bowditch Reviewer: Leah Tozer Imagine two magnets: pushed together one way, opposites attract, but pull them apart and attempt to put the other poles together, and it’s impossible. Why? A theoretical physicist, like the famed Richard Feynman, might find reason in forces and motion, but many of us will fail to ...

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