This is something I have been dreaming about writing for the last five months. The Orchestra of Opera North will be performing at Leeds Town Hall on Friday, 28th August, 2020.

This is Leeds Arts Events and Venues’ pilot indoor concert to pave the way back to normal after the lockdown. There will be strict safety measures in place including the recording of contact details for NHS Test and Trace purposes, a reduced venue capacity with socially distanced seating arrangements and toilet facilities, a one-way system and hand sanitising stations at the entrance and around the venue. Concertgoers will also be required to wear a face covering unless excused for reasons of age, health or disability.

The programme comprises Mendelssohn’s Octet which, although a chamber piece – the clue’s in the title – will be played in a symphonic orchestral style as the composer initially insisted.

Nicholas Watts

Nicholas Watts performs a selection of pieces from the first of Schubert’s song cycles, Die Schöne Müllerin, accompanied by Opera North’s Head of Music David Cowan at the piano. I had the pleasure of seeing Mr Watts as Peter Quint in Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of The Screw just before the pandemic struck.

The concert ends with Mozart’s 29th Symphony played by a suitably socially distanced full orchestra.

I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing live music again, and the excuse to brush off my posh frock for the occasion.

Tickets for the event go on sale at noon on Monday, 24th August and are priced at £20 (standard) and £10 (under 18s/students/unwaged) including 10% booking fee. As the booking office will not be open tickets must be obtained from or by telephoning 0113 376 0318. Customers who do not have access to e-tickets on their phone will be advised when booking as to which entrance to use and their details will be taken by a member of staff

The concert will last about an hour with no interval and there will be no bar facilities.

See you there – from a distance of two metres of course!

All photographs provided by Opera North

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