Opera North announces two unique concerts

Opera North’s 36-strong Chorus will take centre stage for two new upcoming concerts.

First up is She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not. It is described as an evening of seductive, romantic song accompanied by a piano duet, beginning with selections from Palestrina’s sensual arrangements of the Song of Songs, before audiences will be treated to Brahms’ romantic waltzes. There will also be a rare performance of Florent Schmitt’s Chansons à quatre voix.

The second half of the evening will open with a pair of Gesualdo madrigals, and a performance of John Bevan Baker’s Songs of Courtship. There will then be Jazz standards by Fats Waller and Cole Porter to close the programme.

The Chorus will be coming to Leeds Art Gallery’s Tiled Hall to perform Byrd-Cage: The Shape of Sound on 27th and 28th June. This unique concert is part of the Yorkshire Sculpture International Festival, exploring the ability of sound to transform and affect the space. Byrd, Andrea Gabrieli and Jacob Handl will merge with the minimalist compositions of John Cage and Arvo Pärt. There will be a performance of an excerpt from the 1970 work The Great Learning by Cornelius Cardew.

Jo Nockels, Head of Projects, Opera North, comments: “It was quite a challenge to come up with a choral concert as part of a festival of sculpture, responding to the spaces of Leeds Art Gallery. While we might often start with a single artist’s work, in this case we wanted to explore sound as sculptural in itself; three dimensional and occupying space in different ways, with changing relationships to those listening. Cardew’s Paragraph 7 is a great example of this, with the singers moving through and around the audience, creating a heady sea of sound from which individual voices come into focus and fall away.”

She Loves me, She Loves Me Not comes to St Margaret’s Church, Ilkley, on 6th June and Salts Mill, Saltaire on 21st June. Byrd-Cage is performed in the Tiled Hall at Leeds Art Gallery on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June. Book tickets online at operanorth.co.uk.

Photograph credited to Tristram Kenton

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