Orchestra of Opera North performs live at Leeds Town Hall

Published: 28 August 2020
Reporter: Vera Liber

Nicholas Watts
The Orchestra of Opera North Credit: Justin Slee

The first concert of live music at Leeds Town Hall will be a programme of Mendelssohn, Schubert and Mozart, performed by the Orchestra of Opera North and tenor Nicholas Watts on Friday 28 August with a comprehensive set of health and safety measures in place.

The concert will last approximately an hour, with no interval and, as part of the safety measures, there will be no bars or refreshment stations open.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said, “after what has been an incredibly tough few months for our arts and culture sectors and city as a whole, it’s fantastic to see that a live music pilot concert will be taking place with a small audience next week. I hope people will be encouraged to go along to what promises to be a brilliant evening.”

Phil Boughton, Director of Orchestra and Chorus, Opera North, commented, “after a great deal of planning, consultation and, over the past few weeks, distanced rehearsals and recordings in the Town Hall, the Orchestra is delighted to be getting back together in front of an audience for the first time since March, when lockdown brought our main stage tour to a premature end.

“The safety of our audiences, musicians and venue staff has always been our top priority. Working through DCMS guidance in collaboration with our specialist consultants RB Health, the Association of British Orchestras and Leeds Arts Events and Venues, we’ve implemented a raft of measures to safeguard our staff and our public.

“Getting back to what we do best at the earliest safe opportunity, in a ‘home’ venue that has hosted the premières of Opera North’s ground-breaking concert stagings, and most memorably our acclaimed Ring Cycle in happier times, will be a huge thrill for musicians and audience alike. We will not be silenced, and the music will play on.”

Leeds City Centre Box Office will not be open in the lead up to the pilot concert or on the night of the concert, therefore tickets must be booked via the Town Hall web site or from the box office on 0113 376 0318.