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A Feast of Gilbert & Sullivan – Huddersfield Town Hall

Soloists: Victoria Joyce (soprano), Louise Crane (mezzo-soprano), Joseph Shovelton (tenor), Jeremy Peaker (baritone), Richard Woodall (bass) Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Conductor: Anthony Kraus The Kirklees Concert Season with the Orchestra of Opera North is anything but an orthodox series of symphony concerts. The opener, admittedly, was a conventional Beethoven and Schubert programme, but soon there is the challenging one-act opera by Bartok, ...

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Thoughts & Prayers – TADA! Youth Theater, New York City

Director/Creator/Choreographer: Lauren Hlubny  Composer: Thomas Giles  Book: Alexis Roblan  Reviewer: Adrienne Sowers  It seems the state of the world of late is foisting outrage fatigue among humans across the globe.  With the twenty-four-seven news cycle, covering everything from environmental devastation to political unrest to local and national tragedies, there is always something out there to break our hearts or ignite ...

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The Emperor – Huddersfield Town Hall

Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Conductor: Ruth Reinhardt Soloist: Marc-Andre Hamelin (piano) Reviewer: Ron Simpson The first concert of the Orchestra of Opera North’s Kirklees season was titled The Emperor. No wonder – Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, his Piano Concerto No. 5, dominated the evening. The customary arrangement of overture (or other shortish work), concerto and symphony was wisely abandoned in ...

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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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