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WNO Family Concert – Town Hall, Birmingham

Conductor: Frederick Brown  Reviewer: Tim Harding Only four weeks left until the summer holiday starts.  And it turns out that it’s not just school children (and teachers!) who are getting ready for the break; orchestral musicians, it turns out, are already packing up ready for some summer sun.   Fortunately for us, before they fly off the members of the Welsh ...

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Reflections – Town Hall, Huddersfield

Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Conductor: Dalia Stasevska Soloist: Ana Maria Labin (soprano) Reviewer: Ron Simpson For the final concert in the Kirklees 2018-2019 season, the Orchestra of Opera North presented a programme under the title “Reflections”. Given that it started with Lutoslawski’s Musique funebre, continued with Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs of which the final line translates as “Is ...

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Wings – Huddersfield Town Hall

Film Director: William A. Wellman Composer: Carl Davis Orchestra: Orchestra of Opera North Conductor: Carl Davis Reviewer: Ron Simpson At the end of the showing of Wings at Huddersfield Town Hall, a sizable proportion of the audience rose in a standing ovation. Who or what were they applauding? William Wellman, dead these 40-odd years, for an inspired piece of film-making? ...

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Joan Armatrading: The 2018 Tour – Town Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: John Kennedy The one time Brummie school-girl, now international journey-woman chanteuse, savant of stealth Folk driving bluesy, jazz-fusioned reggae with a samba slant, celebrates her latest album Not Too Far Away, the nineteenth in a have-guitar-will-travel forty-six-year career of multiple-award-winning singer-songwriting. The Town Hall welcome is rafter-threatening, her smile an explosion of modest delight. It’s showcase time. Ten songs ...

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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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Fantastic Dreams and Visions – Huddersfield Town Hall

Pavel Kolesnikov at the Piano

Orchestra: The Orchestra of Opera North Conductor: Aleksandar Markovic Soloist: Pavel Kolesnikov (piano) Reviewer: Ron Simpson Kirklees Council’s bold and far-sighted decision to continue its concert season despite financial cutbacks was rewarded with a well-filled Huddersfield Town Hall for the opening concert of the 2016-2017 season. And, the Orchestra of Opera North, under new Music Director Aleksandar Markovic, drew a ...

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Instrumental: An Evening With James Rhodes – Town Hall, Birmingham

Reviewer: Bethaney Rimmer Walking onto Birmingham Town Hall’s stage in jeans and a ‘Bach’ jumper, James Rhodes is instantly likeable. For far too long classical music has been considered old-fashioned and accessible only to a privileged few, but James is an extremely passionate advocate for this style and, judging by the diverse age range in attendance at his concert at ...

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Orchestra of Opera North: Wagner & Strauss – Town Hall, Huddersfield

Conductor: Aleksandar Markovic Soloist: Emma Bell (soprano) Reviewer: Ron Simpson In recent years, through the Leeds Town Hall semi-stagings under Music Director Richard Farnes, the Orchestra of Opera North has gained a reputation as a top-class Wagner orchestra. However, in the opening concert of the Kirklees season, despite two Wagner pieces on the programme, the focus was very much on ...

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