After The Orchestra of Opera North’s socially distanced concert at the end of August I was wondering when – or if – the next live theatrical events would take place. Thanks to a collaboration between Opera North and Leeds Playhouse, the answer is October!

This time, however, it is not just a one-off event but a short season of performances suited to the venues and the strange circumstances in which we find ourselves. Connecting Voices comprises six new and existing pieces staged over three weekends in four areas of Leeds Playhouse. Obviously every safety precaution will be taken, although looking at the programme, that only applies to the physical criteria rather than the artistic ones.

Testament. Photograph by Anthony Robling

Orpheus in the Record Store is a newly commissioned piece by Leeds beatboxer, Testament, and director Aletta Collins which will give the Greek myth an update with a contemporary Yorkshire twist. Spoken word and beatboxing will combine with players from the Orchestra of Opera North! I told you that the safety measures only apply to the audience’s physical wellbeing.

Niall Buggy. Photograph by Robert Workman

A couple of more conventional works will also be featured in Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett, performed by Niall Buggy and directed by Dominic Hill, and Francis Poulenc’s short opera La Voix Humaine, which will be sung – in English – by soprano Gillene Butterfield and directed by Sameena Hussain.

Gillene Butterfield. Photograph by Manuel Harlan

The above pieces will be performed in various auditoria within Leeds Playhouse on each of the three weekends whilst the Courtyard Theatre will host a different new work each weekend; one from Leeds-based spoken word artist Khadijah Ibrahiim, and two by freelance director Matthew Eberhardt who will work with singers, actors, young people and musicians including Keertan Kaur Rehal, Amy J Payne and actor Robert Pickavance.

Khadijah Ibrahiim. Photograph provided by Leeds Playhouse

Connecting Voices is devised and developed by freelance directors Aletta Collins and Matthew Eberhardt in association with Leeds Playhouse and Opera North. Each performance in the season, which runs on the first three Fridays and Saturdays in October, will last approximately 40 minutes.

Please check with

Connecting Voices at Leeds Playhouse

for performance times and details.

The limited number of tickets available will first be offered to Playhouse Pass holders, Brooke Club members and Opera North Patrons from Monday, 14th September. Tickets will be on general sale from noon on Tuesday, 15th September from

or the Box Office on 0113 213 7700.

As well as socially distancing guidelines being followed, temperature checks will also be taken.

Featured image by Jim Stephenson

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