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Opera North

Updated 2 days ago

Arts
Music
Performing Arts
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Features, in-depth discussions and more from Opera North, the Leeds-based company creating extraordinary experiences, every day.

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Features, in-depth discussions and more from Opera North, the Leeds-based company creating extraordinary experiences, every day.

Cover image of Opera North

Opera North

Latest release on Aug 13, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 2 days ago

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This means that the episode rankings aren't working properly. Please revisit us at a later time to get the best episodes of this podcast!

Rank #1: Alice Zawadzki: My Boy of the Birds

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The London-based vocalist, violinist and pianist’s piece is written for “that very special time of day that’s neither nighttime or daytime: that strange liminal, luminous place where the birds are singing and we’re on the precipice of something new”, she says. “The piece reflects all of the changes that we navigate with people close to us.

There’s a tension between two keys, but there’s also a gentle pulsing all the way through which doesn’t change, and I suppose that’s the thing that you hold on to, a kind of rudder in these weird seas! I really hope that anybody listening to it will find beauty and consolation in it.”

Walking Home is a series of sound journeys created during lockdown to be listened to on headphones whilst walking, for BBC Arts and Arts Council England’s Culture in Quarantine programme.

Composed by Alice ZawadzkiVoice, violins, piano by Alice ZawadzkiElectric guitar and effects by Alex RothBass Moog by Alex KillpartrickRecorded, engineered and mixed by Alex KillpartrickMastered by Calum MalcolmProduced by Alice Zawadzki with additional production by Alex Killpartrick

Aug 13 2020

15mins

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Rank #2: Martin Green: A Place of Crisps and Pianos

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In this sound walk, the accordionist, composer, and one-third of exploratory folk band Lau brings together field recordings, spoken word and the trumpet and tenor horn of Laura Jurd. “I’d been getting up earlier and earlier and enjoying that special period when it feels like there are very few people awake", he says.

"I recorded a few walks at sunrise, one with my daughter, and the snippets of conversation that got caught became the starting point. I’d been yearning for ensemble music and I’d been very keen to find a project to do with Laura for a while – and the sound of the sun makes me think of brass”.

Walking Home is a series of sound journeys created during lockdown, to be listened to on headphones whilst walking, for BBC Arts and Arts Council England’s Culture in Quarantine programme.

Accordion, keyboards, words and ambient sound recordings by Martin Green Trumpet and tenor horn, improvisation by Laura Jurd Narration by Edie Green Mixed by Calum Malcolm Additional engineering by Cameron MalcolmBrass arrangements by Benjamin Woodgates

Aug 13 2020

24mins

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Rank #3: Maya Youssef: Silver Lining

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Born and raised in Damascus, Maya is a virtuoso of the qanun, the Arabic zither. “When I was approached to take part in Walking Home,” she says, “the first thing that came to my mind was walking in nature, and the different lines of thought and feelings that stream through me.

"Because of that, there are different voices in this piece, all of which the qanun performs. I know a lot of people are going through a lot of grief at the moment, and I wanted this music to give them a whisper of hope”.

Walking Home is a series of sound journeys created during lockdown, to be listened to on headphones whilst walking, for BBC Arts and Arts Council England’s Culture in Quarantine programme.

Composed by Maya Youssef Mixed and mastered by Calum Malcolm

Aug 13 2020

13mins

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Rank #4: Khyam Allami: Al-Mayasan

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"I’ve spent the entirety of the lockdown alone in Berlin", says the Syrian-born Iraqi oud player and composer Khyam Allami. "Through it I’ve learned that we tend to forget how much our day to day interactions with people allow us to have a different perspective on what we do and how we think”.

“I would like to encourage listeners to consider who you can see around you, and the environment that you’re experiencing, through the perspective of one of the other people that you have seen or encountered, on this short journey with me.”

Walking Home is a series of sound journeys created to be listened to on headphones whilst walking. The five works were composed and recorded during lockdown for BBC Arts and Arts Council England’s Culture in Quarantine programme.

Composed, performed, produced and mixed by Khyam Allami Mastered by Calum Malcolm

Aug 13 2020

16mins

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Rank #5: Abel Selaocoe: Ulibambe

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The South African cellist and composer’s lockdown base in the Peak District inspired this work, which is intended to accompany a walk at the day’s end. “The title comes from a Zulu saying meaning ‘Hold the sun, so it may not set’”, he explains.

“In this piece of music the phrase takes on a new meaning and becomes a way to soothe your worries towards the end of the day: we often over-fill our day and feel overwhelmed, but instead we can live and work by embracing our instincts and knowing when we have done enough, or when there is a need for change.”

Walking Home is a series of sound journeys created to be listened to on headphones whilst walking. The five works were composed and recorded during lockdown for BBC Arts and Arts Council England’s Culture in Quarantine programme.

Composed and performed by Abel Selaocoe Poem: Duende’s Nature Dance (for Abel Selaocoe) by Eugene Skeef Mixing and mastering by Calum Malcolm

Aug 13 2020

13mins

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Rank #6: Thinking with Opera 02: Carnivalesque

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From Monteverdi to Monty Python, cross-dressing, gross-out humour and a preoccupation with the grotesque seems to offer a release from the constrictions of moral codes and social conventions.

A familiar face on the Opera North stage, tenor Daniel Norman takes a trip into transgression in the company of Alan O'Leary, Professor of Film and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. Drawing on the theories of philosopher and critic Mikhail Bakhtin, they discuss “the licence to misbehave” in opera, film and performance; the liberating effect of the Carnivalesque in the arts; and its unforeseen consequences.

Warning: this podcast features frank discussion of bodily functions!

Produced as part of the DARE partnership between Opera North and the University of Leeds

Jul 29 2020

1hr 3mins

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Rank #7: Thinking with Opera 01: Performing Violence

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In cinema you are a spectator; in opera you are present. I’m fascinated by the notion that we witness in opera: we have to endure.”

Ranging from Ancient Greece to The Godfather, and focusing on the operas of Puccini and Verdi, the renowned art historian Professor Griselda Pollock discusses how violence is represented in painting, sculpture, film and literature, how it is performed in opera, and its implications.

The first podcast in a series exploring the world of opera and its component parts, produced as part of the DARE partnership between Opera North and the University of Leeds.

Excerpts from Opera North’s 2018 production of Madama Butterfly featuring Anne Sophie Duprels as Cio-Cio-San, Ann Taylor as Suzuki, Merūnas Vitulskis as Pinkerton and the Orchestra of Opera North conducted by Martin Pickard.

Excerpt from Cavalleria Rusticana Intermezzo performed by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Rahbari, Naxos Records.

Jul 16 2020

1hr 1min

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Rank #8: Jasdeep Singh Degun on Arya: A Sitar Concerto

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The Leeds-based sitarist and composer talks about bringing Indian classical music to the western symphony orchestra, ahead of the world premiere of his new sitar concerto, commissioned by Opera North. 

Feb 07 2020

6mins

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Rank #9: Joshua (Opera North podcast)

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Director, Charles Edwards and Opera North's Editor, Stuart Leeks discuss Handel's mighty oratorio, Joshua, ahead of Opera North's new, fully-staged production at Leeds Grand Theatre

Apr 10 2013

11mins

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Rank #10: Otello (Opera North podcast)

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Opera North's Editor, Stuart Leeks interviews director, Tim Albery

Dec 17 2012

12mins

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