Opera North marks Armistice 100 with world premiere of ‘Songs of Love and Battle’

21 November 2018, 16:09

Remembrance day
Picture: Getty Images

By Sofia Rizzi

To commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day and the end of World War One, Opera North is giving the world premiere of 'Songs of Love and Battle', the UK premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera 'Silent Night' and 'War Horse: The Story in Concert'.

Here’s everything you need to know about Opera North’s upcoming productions.

Songs of Love and Battle – Will Todd

Former Music Director of Opera North Richard Farnes will return to conduct the orchestra, youth chorus, Young Voices and children's chorus of Opera North, in the world premiere of Will Todd’s Songs of Love and Battle.

Todd’s micro-opera, commissioned for Opera North’s youth ensembles, depicts the conflicting emotions of war through the words and poems. The world premiere is paired with Górecki’s breathtaking Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, featuring soloists Fflur Wyn (soprano) and Johnny Herford (baritone).

War Horse: The Story in Concert, with Michael Morpurgo – Adrian Sutton

Michael Morpurgo, author of the original novel War Horse, joins the orchestra of Opera North for a special re-telling of Joey, the young farm horse who finds himself taken from the calm of the English countryside and thrust into the horrors of the Western Front's battlefields.

The orchestra will perform Adrian Sutton's acclaimed score, composed originally for the National Theatre production of War Horse.

Silent Night – Kevin Puts

Opera North is staging the UK première of Silent Night, the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera by Kevin Puts. It's a musical telling of the story of the 1914 Christmas truce when peace spontaneously broke out between French, German and Scottish troops in the trenches. Opera North have recruited a male community chorus, young singers from the Opera North Youth Chorus, and students from the Royal Northern College of Music to fully execute the large-scale production.

Not Such Quiet Girls

Opera North joins forces with Leeds Playhouse for to tell the stories of women who volunteered on the front line in Not Such Quiet Girls. Inspired by the lives and works of Radclyffe Hall and Olive Mudie-Cooke, writer Jessica Walker and director Jacqui Honess-Martin weave a moving narrative through staged scenes, film projections, music hall songs and forgotten rarities by early 20th-century female composers.

Here are all the dates of Opera North's Armistice 100 commemorations:

22 November – Songs of Love and Battle, Huddersfield Town Hall
25 November – War Horse: The Story in Concert with Sir Michael Morpurgo
29 November - 1 December – Not Such Quiet Girls, Howard Assembly Room
30 November - 7 December – Silent Night, Leeds Town Hall
1 December – Songs of Love and Battle, Leeds Town Hall