Classical superstar for Leeds Arena

Andrea Bocelli.
Andrea Bocelli.
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Opera superstar Andrea Bocelli today became the latest big name to announce a show at the new Leeds Arena.

Bocelli will play the £60m venue on Saturday, September 14, the YEP can reveal.

The Italian’s concert will form part of the opening season.

Described as the world’s most famous tenor, Bocelli will be the first classical artist to appear at the venue. His booking was today hailed as a coup by Tony Watson, Leeds Arena’s director of sales and marketing.

He said: “Having a world-renowned classical superstar take part in our opening season is going to be amazing. Along with the acts we have announced so far, we really feel we are providing something for everyone in this exciting time for Leeds.”

The main phase of construction work on the Leeds City Council-backed arena is scheduled to finish in March. It will be handed over to operator SMG Europe for its interior fit-out.

Sir Elton John is due to raise the curtain on the 13,500-capacity venue with a show on September 4. Leeds indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs will add some local flavour to the opening season when they take to the stage on September 13. Comic Micky Flanagan is appearing on September 27 while performance art group Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria production will run from October 23 to 27.

Boy band JLS will hit the arena on December 20 while TV funny girl Miranda Hart has a gig lined up for March 22 next year. Experts estimate the new venue will create more than 450 jobs and generate around £25m a year for the Leeds economy.

Tickets go on sale at 9am this Friday, priced from £45. They can be bought from the www.eventim.co.uk/leeds-arena website or by calling 0844 248 1585.

Purchases can also be made in person from the box office at Leeds Town Hall.

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