Kirklees Concert Season

Kirklees Concert Season / News / Mon 05 Nov 2018

Huddersfield premiere for Opera North's Armistice commemoration

Huddersfield premiere for Opera North's Armistice commemoration

Opera North’s Orchestra, Youth Chorus, Young Voices and Children’s Chorus are preparing to join forces for the premiere of a specially commissioned work by leading composer Will Todd, in commemoration of the centenary of the Armistice.

Songs of Love and Battle will be performed for the first time ever, together with Górecki’s ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’, at Huddersfield Town Hall on 22 November.

Following his Proms debut this summer, Opera North’s former Music Director Richard Farnes returns to conduct the massed forces. Baritone Johnny Herford joins the ensemble for Songs of Love and Battle, and award-winning Welsh soprano Fflur Wyn will sing the deeply moving texts in Górecki’s Symphony No. 3.

With a libretto by Maggie Gottlieb – who previously collaborated with Todd on Opera Holland Park’s glowingly-received Alice in Wonderland – Songs of Love and Battle is a ‘micro-opera’ that tells the story of Eth, a young Yorkshire woman, and her brother Jack, who has been sent to fight in France and Belgium. Opera North’s young singers will take the roles of townspeople, English and German soldiers, mourners and narrators in the short, dramatic piece.

Composer Will Todd comments:
“I was so excited to be asked to write a work for Opera North’s youth ensembles. I had heard a fabulous performance by the Children’s Chorus at the South Bank Centre in London in 2016 and I knew that this was a group who could perform with great energy and passion!

“As we approach the 100th anniversary of the 1914-18 War, which affected so many lives, and in which so many lives were lost, Maggie Gottlieb and I have been working on a piece which would remember, and in some way comment upon, that terrible conflict.”

“Songs of Love and Battle provides a narrative on the pain and devastation of war, and a perspective on the young lives lost on both sides.”

“With such brilliant young singers and the expertise of the creative and musical teams at Opera North, I know that the first ever performances in Yorkshire will be amazing events.”

Completing the programme, Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 was written in 1976 but remained virtually unknown in the West until the 1990s. Over three movements, beginning with a setting of a 15th century lament and closing with the words of a message left on the wall of a prison cell by a young girl during World War II, the ‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’ picks up the themes of loss and separation in Songs of Love and Battle. Fflur Wyn returns to Opera North following her recent roles in Hansel and Gretel, Der Rosenkavalier, L’enfant et les sortilèges and Trouble in Tahiti. In a curious coincidence, she also enchanted audiences and critics in the title role of Todd and Gottlieb’s Alice in Wonderland.

Tickets are priced from £13.00 - £27.00 (concessions available), just £1.00 for ages 16 and under, and £4.00 for ages 17 – 29.

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News Location

Huddersfield Town Hall

Ramsden Street

Telephone: 01484 225 755

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