Leeds ,
28
January
2019
|
09:47
Europe/London

Millennium Square welcomes 80s legends, club classics and a movie blockbuster for summer spectacular

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The Orchestra of Opera North will return to Millennium Square, Leeds for another long weekend this summer, joined by Jimmy Somerville, Nik Kershaw, Howard Jones and more for 80s Classical on Friday 26 July, and special guest vocalists for the third instalment of The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics on Saturday 27 July, with a live soundtrack screening of Jurassic Park to close the festival on Sunday 28 July.

Part of Leeds City Council’s summer programme on Millennium Square, the third Opera North in the City festival gets underway with 80s Classical, featuring the sounds of the musically momentous decade specially revamped, expanded and rearranged for Opera North’s 60-piece orchestra with vocals from the original artists.

Founder and lead vocalist of Bronski Beat and The Communards, solo star and icon of the LGBT rights movement Jimmy Somerville will mark the 35th anniversary of his era-defining debut single Smalltown Boy by joining the Orchestra for a newly orchestrated version, plus follow-up hits Never Can Say Goodbye, Don't Leave Me This Way and more. “I’m so excited to be collaborating on these truly unique orchestral arrangements of my catalogue, and bringing them to Leeds this summer”, says Jimmy. “It’s gonna be spectacular!”

Jimmy is joined on the bill by synth-pop superstars Howard Jones (New Song; What is Love) and Nik Kershaw (Wouldn't It Be Good; I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me), pure pop gold with T’Pau singer and songwriter Carol Decker (Heart and Soul; China In Your Hand), and sophisti-pop from Johnny Hates Jazz (Shattered Dreams, Turn Back the Clock). A talented ensemble of backing vocalists will step up to perform more 80s favourites.

The musical masterminds behind the 80s Classical and Back to Basics concerts, composer and arranger Cliff Masterson and Musical Director Steve Anderson’s credits include Kylie Minogue, Emeli Sandé and Leona Lewis. “We’re absolutely thrilled to be back at Millennium Square and sharing the stage with so many brilliant musicians and performers”, says Cliff. “The 80s was such an amazing time for music, and to be able to add a fresh dimension to these iconic songs is incredibly exciting. This is the first UK show to combine a symphony orchestra with multiple original artists from a musical decade brimming with nostalgia, and it promises to be a night to remember!”

Steve Anderson adds: “It is the most incredible honour to work with such iconic singers who have been pivotal in the soundtracks of so many people’s lives, and to be able to add an epic orchestral score on top of the richness and beauty of the existing electronic elements which everyone loves. Our continuing collaboration with the mighty Orchestra of Opera North is set to be a magical night full of joy, drama and simply the best music in the world.”

On Saturday night the focus shifts to the sounds that defined the next decade for a generation of Leeds clubbers, as The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics reunites legendary ‘Purveyor of Good Times’ Dave Beer with the Orchestra of Opera North.

For the past two years the Basics concerts have offered a new way to experience clubbing, with orchestrally-enhanced dance anthems performed in Millennium Square’s stunning open-air arena, guest artists including Basement Jaxx, Corinne Bailey Rae, Alison Limerick, Utah Saints and Robin S, and large helpings of the good vibes that Beer’s Leeds institution is famed for. This year’s stellar line-up of original artists is due to be announced shortly.

Opera North in the City goes out with a blockbuster bang courtesy of another 90s classic, Jurassic Park, on the afternoon of Sunday 28 July. Following last year’s sold out screening of Brassed Off, the Orchestra of Opera North is back beneath the big screen to accompany the epic multi Oscar®-winning film’s groundbreaking special effects, marauding raptors and deadly T-Rex in HD with John Williams’ colossal, white-knuckle score.

Phil Boughton, Director of Orchestra and Chorus, Opera North, comments:

“As we prepare to bring back Opera North in the City for the third year running, we’re delighted that our Millennium Square residency is already thought of as a Leeds summer fixture. It’s certainly a highlight of the year for our Orchestra, who revel in the electric atmosphere, the collaborations with artists from the worlds of pop and dance music - and the chance to showcase their incredible versatility in the open air in the heart of our home city.

“It is hugely important that Opera North takes music out of our traditional settings to engage with different communities and audiences and this series does just that.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, added:

“This event is another exciting addition to the programme on Millennium Square that will offer a unique combination of classic nostalgia alongside some of the best of music in Leeds today. We’re very proud to bring such eclectic events to the heart of the city centre each year and the atmosphere is always fanatic whenever live acts performs on the square and entertain the crowds in the open air.”

Tickets for all three events go on sale at 10am on Friday 25 January, with a chance to get limited early bird tickets for 80s Classical on Friday 26 July for £29.50 (standing) or £34.50 (seated), and The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics (Saturday 27 July) for £29.50. VIP packages are available for an additional £7.00 per ticket. Tickets for Jurassic Park are priced from £24.00 to £29.50, with VIP packages an additional £10.00, and children under 12 half price.

/ENDS

For further information images and interviews, please contact:

Rowland Thomas, Press Officer

rowland.thomas@operanorth.co.uk 0113 223 3528 | 07929 268 124

Elizabeth Simmonds, Press Officer

elizabeth.simmonds@operanorth.co.uk | 0113 213 5641

Julia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications

julia.o’sullivan@operanorth.co.uk 0113 223 3526 | 07956 647 573

LISTINGS

Friday 26 July, DJ sets from 6.45pm, live performance from 8.15pm

80s Classical

Experience the sounds of a musically momentous decade specially revamped, expanded and rearranged for Opera North’s 60-piece orchestra with guest original vocalists Jimmy Somerville, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Carol Decker (T’Pau) and Johnny Hates Jazz.

Hits include Smalltown Boy, Never Can Say Goodbye, Don't Leave Me This Way, What is Love, Wouldn't It Be Good, I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Heart and Soul, China In Your Hand, Shattered Dreams and more, unforgettable tracks by other artists performed by a talented ensemble of backing vocalists.

Part of Opera North in the City

Millennium Square, Calverley Street, Leeds LS1 1UR

Tickets: Limited Early Bird: £29.50 (standing) / £34.50 (seated) / VIP bar upgrade: £7.00 per ticket

Box office: 0844 848 2720 / 0113 376 0318Online: www.operanorth.co.uk / www.millsqleeds.com

Saturday 27 July, DJ sets from 6.45pm, live performance from 8.15pm

The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics

The soundtrack for a generation of Leeds clubbers gets orchestrally enhanced as legendary purveyor of good times Dave Beer comes together with the 60-piece Orchestra of Opera North and special guest original vocalists (tba). A new way to experience clubbing in Millennium Square’s open-air city centre arena, The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics returns to for a third unforgettable year.

Part of Opera North in the City

Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Not suitable for anyone under the age of 14

Millennium Square, Calverley Street, Leeds LS1 1UR

Tickets: Limited Early Bird: £29.50 / VIP bar upgrade: £7.00 per ticket

Box office: 0844 848 2720 / 0113 376 0318Online: www.operanorth.co.uk / www.millsqleeds.com

Sunday 28 July, 5.00pm

Jurassic Park Live

Steven Spielberg’s epic multi Oscar®-winning film comes back to the big screen in HD, with the Orchestra of Opera North accompanying the groundbreaking special effects, marauding raptors and deadly T-Rex with John Williams’ colossal white-knuckle score live.

Part of Opera North in the City

Millennium Square, Calverley Street, Leeds LS1 1UR

Tickets: £24.00 - £29.50 / Children under 12 half price / VIP passes: £10.00 per ticket

Box office: 0844 848 2720 / 0113 376 0318Online: www.operanorth.co.uk / www.millsqleeds.com

For further information and images, please contact:

Rowland Thomas, Press Officer

rowland.thomas@operanorth.co.uk | 0113 223 3528

Elizabeth Simmonds, Press Officer

elizabeth.simmonds@operanorth.co.uk | 0113 213 5641

Julia O’Sullivan, Head of Communications

julia.o’sullivan@operanorth.co.uk | 0113 223 3526

Notes to Editors

The Orchestra of Opera NorthThe acclaimed Orchestra of Opera North is Yorkshire’s own symphony orchestra, based in Leeds and touring across the country. It stands alone in its ability to perform as both an opera and a concert orchestra and its fresh and enthusiastic approach allows great versatility in its performance capabilities. In collaboration with Opera North Education, the Orchestra has a strong commitment to educational and community projects, increasing accessibility and encouraging new audiences and the musicians of tomorrow. The Orchestra received universal acclaim for the Company’s signature concert staging of six cycles of Wagner’s complete Ring in 2016, which it followed with equally successful performances of Turandot and Salome. It will continue this trend in the summer with a new concert staging of Verdi’s Egyptian epic Aida.

Jurassic Park is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment, Inc. Licensed by Universal Studios. All rights reserved.