Opera North and Playhouse live in Leeds

Leeds Town Hall. Pic: Robert Workman

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Paul Genty

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Opera North Switches On, while Leeds Playhouse channels Alan Bennett

Opera North will launch its innovative Switch ON programme in a special live-streamed concert from Leeds Town Hall on September 30, presented by broadcaster and writer Suzy Klein.

Meanwhile Leeds Playhouse has announced it will join Sheffield Theatres to offer live peformances of two of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads monologues, starring Imelda Stauton and Maxine Peake, in November. 

Switch ON: Live from Leeds will be available to watch live and then on demand via OperaVision and Opera North’s YouTube channels.

The Leeds-based company has responded to the postponement of its autumn and winter opera season with an ambitious programme of live events and digital projects. 

Members of the Orchestra of Opera North and the company's music staff will perform the second movement from Dvorak’s String Quintet No 2. They will also accompany the opera chorus and soloists, including Fflur Wyn, Katie Bird, Tim Nelson, Nicholas Watts, Amy Freston and Elizabeth Llewellyn, in a concert of highlights ranging from Handel, Beethoven and Puccini to excerpts from recent Opera North commissions.

The Bennett presentations follow the television broadcast of the monologues in June and come in advance of a live run at London's Bridge Theatre.

The two pieces are A Lady of Letters, performed by Imelda Staunton, and Maxine Peake in Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet. The transfers to Sheffield (November 9-11) and Leeds (November 10-14) represent a show of solidarity with the two Yorkshire venues by the performers and the Bridge Theatre and creative teams. Alan Bennett has waived his royalty for the performances.

Sheffield Theatres today announced its return to live performances. Talking Heads will join an ambitious programme of shows and events presented in a socially-distanced format.

Book online for Sheffield here or Leeds here

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