Opera North and Kirklees Council have announced details of the Kirklees Concert Season 2022-23, leading into Kirklees Year of Music 2023.

The season runs from September 2022 to April 2023. It features an eclectic and wide-ranging programme for Huddersfield and Dewsbury Town Halls, featuring orchestral masterpieces, international guest conductors and soloists, opera, lunchtime recitals, seasonal favourites for Christmas and New Year, traditional Indian music, and world premieres of brand-new compositions.

A highlight of the season will be a concert staging of Gluck’s 1774 opera Orfeo ed Euridice. This offers a stripped-back opportunity to experience the music, with the ensemble centre stage and singers in their midst.

Welsh soprano Fflur Wyn (Euridice) and British soprano Daisy Brown (Amor) reprise their roles from Opera North’s filmed lockdown concert staging, with British mezzo-soprano Alice Coote as Orfeo and the company’s principal guest conductor Antony Hermus on the podium.

A transatlantic programme of symphonic jazz opens the Kirklees Concert Season on 15 September. The evening is the first of a series of orchestral concerts at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Conducted by Opera North’s music director Garry Walker, Julian Bliss joins the Orchestra of Opera North as soloist in clarinet concerti by Copland and Artie Shaw. Gershwin’s An American in Paris, HK Gruber’s Manhattan Broadcasts and Duke Ellington’s blues-drenched Harlem complete the line-up.

Two Opera North debuts take place on 1 December. Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason is the soloist in Dohnányi’s Variations on a Nursery Tune, while Valentina Peleggi, music director of the Richmond Symphony, will conduct a programme that includes Puccini’s Preludio Sinfonico and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.

Christmas sees a screening of The Snowman with a live soundtrack from the Orchestra of Opera North, and the story of The Nutcracker told through Tchaikovsky‘s music, live narration and captivating illustrations on 13 December. Dewsbury Town Hall is the venue for the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North’s traditional Christmas Gala, with Leslie Suganandarajah conducting the ensemble in a selection of carols and Christmas favourites.

Heading into 2023, Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg follows his Huddersfield performance of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto as soloist in Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto on 26 January. Shostakovich’s gripping Tenth Symphony closes the evening, with Antony Hermus conducting.

Garry Walker returns to Huddersfield to conduct Mexican-American violinist Elena Urioste as soloist in a rendition of Elgar’s Violin Concerto – famous for its incomplete dedication – on 9 February. Sally Beamish’s 1999 The Day Dawn opens the evening, while Nielsen’s Second Symphony, ‘The Four Temperaments’, will bring it to a conclusion.

Canadian conductor Jordan de Souza makes his Kirklees debut alongside Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth in Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto on 6 April. Strauss’s tone poem ‘Don Juan’ and Brahms’s First Symphony complete the evening, bringing the orchestral season to a close.

Successful entries to Opera North’s Minute Masterpieces – 60-second works for full symphony orchestra – competition will receive their premiere performances at each of the orchestral concerts.

The Orchestra of Opera North’s Dewsbury Chamber Concert Season will see special guests performing with small ensembles from the orchestra in a series of events throughout the season, while Monday organ concerts will continue in Huddersfield, with David Pipe curating a series of guest appearances on the historic Father Willis organ.

This represents just a small selection of the full programme of events, details of which are available from Opera North. Tickets are on sale now.

Over the past two decades, Opera North’s unique partnership with Kirklees Council has continued to deliver world-class music throughout the region. Drawing on this legacy, Kirklees Year of Music 2023 will bring the richness and diversity of the area’s musical culture to a wider audience than ever, with the Kirklees Concert Season at the heart of a programme of events in all genres throughout the district.

Phil Boughton, director of the Opera North Orchestra and Chorus, commented: “Our collective experience of the pandemic reinforced the importance of culture in our daily lives, as so many of us craved the shared experience of a live music event.

“Kirklees Year of Music in 2023 will be a fitting tribute to the building back that has taken place across the cultural sector, as we strive to welcome audiences back to the concert halls and venues of the region to celebrate together once again.

“From intimate chamber music in Dewsbury to uplifting orchestral works and an international programme of organ concerts in Huddersfield, the Kirklees Concert Season 2022-23 season will be the perfect overture to a year of celebration of the musical ecology of Kirklees.”



Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason makes her Opera North debut as soloist in Dohnányi’s Variations on a Nursery Tune on 1 December (Robin Clewley).