It is only because I was sent details of these cultural events on the same day that I thought it worth posting them. Doubtless Sheffield, York, Hull etc will have similar claims to our evenings in the first half of 2011.
Georges Bizet’s Carmen at the Leeds Grand is one of the world’s best known operas, with much of the music now hugely recognisable having featured in films, television and adverts multiple times. The story itself is one of passion, sexual obsession and revenge, and has been directed by renowned American director Daniel Kramer.
22, 29 January, 1, 5, 9, 11 February, 7pm £10-£58 Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, LS1 6NZ, 0113 222 6222
The Hallé at Leeds Town Hall are Britain’s longest-established permanent professional symphony orchestra. They were set up way back in 1858 by Sir Charles Hallé and since then they have toured across the world. They’re coming to Leeds this February as part of Leeds International Concert Season. For this concert, the Hallé will be directed by Music Director Sir Mark Elder CBE in performances of Elgar’s Symphony No 1 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 17 with Berlin-born pianist Martin Helmchen as soloist.
26 February, 7.30pm. £12-£30 The Headrow, LS1 3AD, 0113 247 7989
Hamlet at West Yorkshire Playhouse by Northern Broadsides in partnership with the New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme, this production of one of Shakespeare’s most well-known and revered plays should be one of the best dramatic performances in Leeds this year. Northern Broadsides are known for adapting Shakespeare with a rare wit and energy – and broad northern accents – and their performances seldom draw any less than rave reviews.
19-30 April, times vary, £16-£26 Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, LS2 7UP, 0113 213 7800
Leeds Art Gallery will host an exhibition by Damien Hirst who has long been recognised as one of the world’s most famous, and controversial, artists. Hirst grew up in Leeds and studied at Leeds College of Art & Design before finding fame in the mid-90s with a series of works featuring animals preserved in formaldehyde. This exhibition, part of the Artist Rooms programme which will see collections of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland going on display at venues around the country, is the first major exhibition of Hirst’s work in his hometown and will trace his whole career, including the seminal ‘Away from the Flock’.
July – September, opening times vary, The Headrow, Leeds,