80s Classical With the Orchestra of Opera North returns on 24 July

It was joyous last year and it will be spectacularly so on 24 July 2020, with the 60-piece Orchestra of Opera North being joined in person by some of the chart-topping artists of the 1980s at 80s Classical.

 Jimmy Somerville, Belinda Carlisle, Go West and T’Pau’s Carol Decker will be there as 80s Classical returns to its spiritual home of Millennium Square, Leeds.  

Jimmy Somerville (Bronksi Beat and The Communards) was a great hit with the crowds in 2018 and said:  “I’m so excited to be returning to Leeds and to be collaborating once again with wonderful Orchestra of Opera North on these truly unique orchestral arrangements of my catalogue.  Last year was such a memorable evening and I can’t wait to perform in Millennium Square again.”  

It’s Belinda Carlisle’s debut at 80s Classical and with an accompanying orchestra, and she comments: “I am absolutely thrilled to be able to perform some of my best-loved songs in front of a 60-piece symphony orchestra and to be involved in such a fresh and exciting event. I always get a great reaction from my fans in the UK and I know this is going to be a really special occasion.”

Go West (Peter Cox and Richard Drummie) will take to the stage to perform King of Wishful Thinking and We Close Our Eyes, and T’Pau’s Carol Decker will perform China in Your Hand and Heart and Soul.  

Backing vocalists, Bianca Claxton, Gavin Condor and Adetoun Anibi, will perform more perennial favourites, such as Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, Toto’s Africa and The Jacksons’ Can You Feel it.  

Composer and arranger Cliff Masterson and Musical Director Steve Anderson are obviously looking forward to the event.  Cliff commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be back at Millennium Square for a second year and sharing the stage with so many brilliant musicians and performers”, says Cliff. “The 80s was such an amazing time for music, and to be able to add a fresh dimension to these iconic songs is incredibly exciting.  We are delighted that both Belinda Carlisle and Go West have now joined the 80s Classical family and if the first instalment is anything to go by, next year’s show promises to be another epic night not to be missed!”  

Steve Anderson adds: “It is the most incredible honour to work with such iconic singers who have been pivotal in the soundtracks of so many people’s lives, and to be able to add an epic orchestral score on top of the richness and beauty of the existing electronic elements, which everyone loves. Our latest collaboration with the mighty Orchestra of Opera North is set to be another magical night full of joy, drama and simply the best music in the world.”  

Phil Boughton, Director of Orchestra and Chorus, Opera North:

“Building on the success of our previous Millennium Square events, last year’s 80s Classical reached new heights. The atmosphere created by over 4,500 people – not to mention the talent and charisma of the pop icons who took the stage with us  – made it one of the highlights of our year.  

We are thrilled to be doing it all again next year, and welcoming another legend, Belinda Carlisle. Our ongoing relationship with the show’s producers and Leeds City Council gives Opera North the chance to showcase the incredible versatility of the Orchestra in the amazing venue that is Millennium Square, right in the heart of our home City.”  

Tickets for the event went on sale on Friday 6 December and are priced at £33 (standing) or £39.50 for reserved seating (limited number). Tickets will be available to purchase online at www.millsqleeds.com, by telephone (0113 376 0318) or in person from the City Centre Box Office in Leeds Town Hall. Tickets will also be available from Opera North.

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