Free Leeds city centre Opera North sound walk As You Are to return this spring

Visitors to Leeds will be able to experience the city centre in a completely different way when Opera North's free sound walk re-opens this spring.

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 4:45 pm

Enjoyed through headphones on a 40-minute walk through central Leeds As You Are is a major new commission for South African-born cellist, composer and improviser Abel Selaocoe.

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Audiences collect a pair of headphones from the Victoria Gate shopping centre, then begin their journey through the opulent County Arcade.

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As You Are composer Abel Selaocoe at Leeds Corn Exchange.

A series of transmitters triggers each chapter of the composition, which features the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North joined at various points by Zimbabwean mbira player Anna Mudeka, Moroccan guimbri player Simo Lagnawi, and djembe virtuoso Sidiki Dembélé from the Ivory Coast.

It originally opened on December 12 last year but the initial dates were cut short by changes to lockdown restrictions over the winter months.

Now Opera North has confirmed its return as part of its 2021 events programme, including live performances and a postponed co-production with Leeds Playhouse.

As You Are will re-open this spring with free tickets available daily in timed slots, with limited numbers at all times.

The opera company said dates will be confirmed as soon as possible, in line with updated government guidance on events and activities and the roadmap out of lockdown.

Meanwhile, Opera North’s popular pop-up style Whistle Stop Opera strand makes a return this spring too, with a newly devised take on Mozart’s The Magic Flute written and directed by John Savournin for a small cast and accordion.

Touring to indoor and outdoor small-scale venues across the North from June, performances will take place in schools, community spaces, and theatres in towns and rural touring networks across the region.

Anyone interested in hosting a performance in their venue should contact [email protected] for more details.

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