1980s icons return to Leeds Millennium Square in 2020 for open air symphonic spectacular

It's the Leeds concert which boasts hit after hit of pure 1980s gold, reworked into breath-taking orchestral versions and performed live by the original artists.

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 10:44 am
Carol Decker from T'Pau on stage last year.

Eighties icons Jimmy Somerville, Belinda Carlisle, Go West and T’Pau’s Carol Decker have been announced as the stars of the second instalment of 80s Classical next year.

The show is returning to its spiritual home of Millennium Square in the city centre on Friday, July 24, 2020.

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After wowing the crowds last year, founder and lead vocalist of Bronski Beat and The Communards Jimmy Somerville will return to perform orchestrally-enhanced versions of some of his most iconic songs, including Never Can Say Goodbye, Don't Leave Me This Way and Smalltown Boy.

He 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”.

Performing her songs for the very first time with an accompanying orchestra, American superstar singer, musician and author Belinda Carlisle is delighted to be joining the bill for next summer’s show.

Belinda said: “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”.

Anyone of a certain age will remember Richard Gere speeding through the Hollywood Hills in the opening sequence of Pretty Woman, to the sound of Go West’s King of Wishful Thinking.

The Brit Award-winning duo, made up of lead vocalist Peter Cox and rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist Richard Drummie, were paid the ultimate accolade when a shot-for-shot remake of the song’s video by Paul Rudd and The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon went viral last year.

Peter and Richard will take the stage to perform King of Wishful Thinking and other earworms including top ten smash We Close Our Eyes.

T’Pau singer and songwriter Carol Decker is also returning with pure 80s pop gold Heart and Soul and China In Your Hand.

The musical masterminds behind 80s Classical are composer and arranger Cliff Masterson and Musical Director Steve Anderson whose credits include Kylie Minogue, Emeli Sandé and Leona Lewis.

He said: “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.

“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!”

Phil Boughton, Director of Orchestra and Chorus, Opera North, added: “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 go on sale at 10am on Friday, December 6, and are priced at £33 (standing) or £39.50 for reserved seating (limited number). Tickets will be available to purchase online at 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.