Opera North’s Wellbeing Weekend 22 – 24 March in Howard assembly Room

The healing power of music – a weekend designed to soothe, revitalise and spread joy, with Leeds’ own Maddie Morris and George Sansome.

Opera North puts wellbeing centre-stage this month, with four special events in the Howard Assembly Room designed to soothe, revitalise and spread joy. Audiences can immerse themselves in a listening session with THABO, embark on a family-friendly adventure with Ladies of Midnight Blue, hear BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner Maddie Morris perform a relaxed concert and bask in a meditative Sound Bath with musicians from the Orchestra of Opera North.


Wellbeing Weekend opens on Friday 22 March at 6.30pm with Lalela – Listen with THABO. Curated and hosted by musician Thabo Mkwananzi, who completed a residency with Opera North in 2019 via its Resonance programme, the session explores the ceremonial elements of collective listening – lalela means ‘listen’ in Ndebele. Part of the BantuTronic collective, THABO draws on its philosophy of merging ancient Bantu traditions and memories with visions of futuristic dreams, connecting with his audience through music, storytelling, and multisensory, immersive
experiences. (SOLD OUT)

Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis del Carmen Suriel

For families, Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis del Carmen Suriel – aka Ladies of Midnight Blue – lead A Love Revolution on Saturday 23 March at 3pm. Audiences can join their mission to change the world, journeying through imagined realms of time, space and music. Along the way, they’ll discover ancestral symbols and proverbs from West Africa, Jamaica and Dominican Republic, exploring the wisdom these hold for living a life full of joy while bringing about positive change in the world. Hannabiell (who is also an Opera North Resonance alumna) and Yilis weave together strands of melodic percussion, brass, vocal chants, and mbira to create powerful, upbeat rhythms against a backdrop of vibrant projections. (SOLD OUT)

Next up, Leeds’ own Maddie Morris is joined by guitarist and singer George Sansome for a relaxed concert on Sunday 24 March at 3pm, showcasing contemporary folk music from around Yorkshire. Maddie’s music combines exceptional vocal talent with activism and storytelling, exploring themes of identity and LGBTQ+ inclusivity. Audience inclusion is also at the heart of the concert, with its informal, dementia-friendly setting designed to ensure everyone feels welcome and comfortable. Before the show, audience members are invited to join a short touch tour, where they can handle
the musicians’ instruments and become more familiar with (and comfortable in) the venue space.

The weekend closes on Sunday 24 March at 6.30pm with a restorative Sound Bath led by Opera North harpist Céline Saout, with breathwork by trombonist Blair Sinclair. The session begins with a series of calming breathing techniques designed to help participants reach a meditative state, before the healing frequencies of the harp, Himalayan singing bowls, gong and quartz crystal bowls wash over them. (SOLD OUT)

Enabling as many people as possible to experience the feelgood factor of communal singing and tap into the numerous health and wellbeing benefits of music, from boosting mood and confidence to improving memory and building friendships, Opera North also runs regular Sing ON workshops for both beginners and seasoned choir-goers.

Bookings for the Wellbeing Weekend activities and SingONwards can be made here.

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