80's Classical announces Millennium Square Leeds 2022 concert with Kim Wilde and Belinda Carlisle on the bill

Kim Wilde, Belinda Carlisle and the voice of Five Star have been announced as guest artists for the third edition of 80s Classical in Millennium Square.

By Abbey Maclure
Saturday, 18th December 2021, 4:45 pm

The 80s icons will be joined by Leeds’ own Orchestra of Opera North on July 22, 2022 for a trip back to pop’s greatest decade, taking their chart-topping hits up a gear with the 60-piece ensemble.

80s Classical debuted in Leeds in 2019, bringing a roster of pop legends together with the symphonic might of Opera North’s musicians.

Following two postponements due to the Covid pandemic, the concert returned to the city in September this year for a joyous night of nostalgia and celebration.

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80s Classical will return to Millennium Square next summer (Photo: Elspeth Moore)

Summer 2022’s sequel brings the most-charted British female solo act of the 80s, singer, DJ and television presenter Kim Wilde, to the Millennium Square stage for the first time.

From her smash 1981 debut Kids in America to her Billboard Hot 100-topping You Keep Me Hangin' On and her 1988 hit You Came, Kim has notched up more than 20 million single sales worldwide.

“Leeds is always such a great, welcoming place to visit and to play, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to perform some of my best-loved songs in front of a 60-piece symphony orchestra," Kim said.

American superstar Belinda Carlisle, who had signed up to the 2020 event before Covid struck, will return to the bill for next summer’s show.

Kim Wilde, Belinda Carlisle and the voice of Five Star have been announced as guest artists (Photo: Elspeth Moore)

Her hits, such as Heaven is a Place on Earth and Leave a Light On, will get symphonic makeovers from Opera North.

Belinda said: "It was heartbreaking for me when the event couldn’t go ahead last summer and I was unable to make the rearranged date.

"I am so excited to be involved in such a unique and exciting concert and I can’t wait to reconnect with all of my UK fans at what’s going to be a truly special occasion”.

Soulful sophisticates Johnny Hates Jazz – singer and keyboardist Clark Datchler and multi-instrumentalist and producer Mike Nocito – will return for their second appearance after performing at the inaugural date in 2019, reprising their hit records including Shattered Dreams and I Don’t Wanna Be A Hero.

There’s more blue-chip, blue-eyed soul in the shape of Scottish duo Hue and Cry. A new addition to the 80s Classical family, brothers Pat and Greg Kane will perform Labour of Love and Looking for Linda.

Denise Pearson – the official voice of British pop group Five Star – also joins the bill, performing a selection of the band’s greatest hits including System Addict and Rain or Shine for the first time with a live orchestra.

The 80s Classical ensemble of backing vocalists, Bianca Claxton, Gavin Condor and Adetoun Anibi, return to perform a bonus selection of crowd-pleasing favourites including Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, The Jacksons’ Can You Feel It and Flashdance theme What a Feeling.

Counting Kylie Minogue among a growing band of fans, Liverpool-based DJs Sonic Yootha will get the party started ahead of the live performances and keep the crowd entertained during the interval.

The creative team behind 80s Classical is renowned composer and arranger Cliff Masterson and Musical Director Steve Anderson, whose credits include Kylie Minogue, Steps, Westlife, Emeli Sandé and Leona Lewis.

Cliff said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be coming back to our second home in Millennium Square with a new all-star line-up for this third instalment of 80s Classical."

Steve added: "It is so exciting for us to bring Kim, Belinda, Hue & Cry and Denise together with the amazing Orchestra of Opera North for the first time.

"With such an amazing array of talent, the audience are in for a real treat next year”.

Phil Boughton, director of orchestra and chorus for Opera North, said: “After the ordeal of the previous 18 months, coming back to Millennium Square this year was an unforgettable experience for our Orchestra and the 80s Classical audience alike.

"For many it was their first live performance in a year or more: the atmosphere was electric, and our musicians and guest artists truly gave their all.

“We’re looking forward to building on our relationship with Cliff, Steve and Leeds City Council for this third instalment of the show, combining the incredible versatility of our Orchestra with the talent of these 80s icons in the open air in this amazing venue at the heart of our city.”

Tickets, priced at £38.50 for general admission, £35 for groups of 5+ standing, or £44 for reserved seating, are available to purchase online now.