PREVIEW: John Newman to headline all-star Club Classical Anthems in Leeds Millennium Square

Yorkshire's own chart-topping dance star John Newman is back with a special homecoming this summer - he will headline a star-studded Club Classical Anthems open-air concert in Leeds Millennium Square.
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Joining the Love Me Again star will be Kelli-Leigh, who hit the top spot twice with I Got You and I Wanna Feel, plus 90s dance legends Ultra Naté, famed for global hits, including Free and Ride On Time hitmakers stars Black Box.

Club Classical Anthems, also featuring a 60-piece Orchestra of Opera North, will be held on Saturday, July 25.

BUY TICKETS: Tickets are £29.50 each for general admission or £27.50 for groups of five or more, with VIP bar upgrade £10 per ticket. They go on sale Friday, February 28, at 10am.- buy in person from the City Centre Box Office in Leeds Town Hall, call 0113 376 0318 or visit

Tickets will also be available from Opera North visit

Born in Settle, North Yorkshire to a mother obsessed with Motown and Northern Soul which would heavily influence his music, singer and songwriter John Newman is no stranger to Leeds, having lived in the city for three years whilst studying at Leeds College of Music.

Working as cocktail barman and gigging as much as he could at various venues across the city, for the first time he felt accepted.

He said: “Leeds was all about your personality, about who you were. By the end of my time there I knew what I was doing was cool."

Headliner John NewmanHeadliner John Newman
Headliner John Newman

The now 29-year-old singer, songwriter, musician and record producer has gon e on to sell more than 1.3 million records in the UK alone.

He hit the top spot on two of the biggest dance hits to storm the UK charts in years, Calvin Harris single Blame and Rudimental's Feel the Love - which will get an electrifying symphonic makeover at the event.

Also expect a selection of his other anthemic songs including Give Me Your Love and the number one banger Love Me Again.

He said: “I’m so excited to be returning to Leeds which will forever hold a special place in my heart. It will also be an honour to be able to perform with the amazing Orchestra of Opera North.

90s dance legend Ultra Naté90s dance legend Ultra Naté
90s dance legend Ultra Naté

“Millennium Square is such a great outdoor venue in the heart of the city and Leeds really knows how to party so this is going to be a very special occasion”.

Singer songwriter Kelli-Leigh, also on the bill, is one of the rising stars of the new wave of UK pop-dance artists.

Born and raised in South London, Kelli-Leigh Henry-Davila is best known for being the uncredited vocalist on the UK number one single and grammy nominated I Got U by Duke Dumont, featuring Jax Jones.

She is also the credited vocalist on the UK top 10 single More Than Friends with James Hype. Kelli-Leigh will be performing the songs and other hits, from her own label Music Core, live with the 60-piece symphony orchestra.

John Newman to headline Club Classical Anthems in Leeds Millennium SquareJohn Newman to headline Club Classical Anthems in Leeds Millennium Square
John Newman to headline Club Classical Anthems in Leeds Millennium Square

World renowned US singer, songwriter, DJ and 90s legend Ultra Naté will be showcasing three decades of her music, embracing genres including house, soul, disco, electro pop, R&B/hiphop and rock. Her perennial platinum-selling number one anthem, Free, will get a spectacular symphonic reboot.

“I am really looking forward to returning to the UK for this very special and unique performance in Leeds. I am so incredibly proud that Free is regarded as one of the best dance anthems of all time.

"I am so thrilled to be able to perform this live with a 60-piece symphony orchestra, together with another of my most precious anthems, If You Could Read My Mind, best associated with the trailblazing New York 70’s dance club - Studio 54.”

Leading exponents of Italian house music that flourished in the late 80s and early 90s, Black Box’s Ride On Time became the first of a series of records to crossover to the UK charts, staying at number one for six weeks in 1989. Other hits Everybody Everybody and Strike It Up will all be featured in the show, reworked and performed live with the orchestra.

A talented ensemble of backing vocalists will also be helping to perform an array nonstop anthems and club classics showcasing music by the likes of Alison Limerick, Calvin Harris, Clean Bandit, David Guetta, Livin’ Joy, Robin S, Rudimental, Sigala, Swedish House Mafia and more.

It is the latest collaboration between Leeds City Council, Opera North and the producers of the 80s Classical and The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics events and is part of a trio of special outdoor classical concerts to take place this summer - also including an 80s Classical event taking place on Friday, July 24.

I Got You star Kelli-LeighI Got You star Kelli-Leigh
I Got You star Kelli-Leigh

A further announcement on the third event will be made shortly.

Masterminds behind the new musical arrangements are composer and arranger Cliff Masterson and Musical Director Steve Anderson, who have worked with Kylie Minogue, Emeli Sandé and Leona Lewis.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with Leeds City Council and Opera North to create yet another fresh and thrilling show in Millennium Square” says Cliff.

“The existing structure of dance music provides such great platform where we can recreate and amplify the existing scores for the orchestra, adding a truly epic dimension to how they are performed live”.

Steve added: “It is incredibly exciting to be able to bring a contemporary twist to the club vs classical genre and a real honour to work with such prestigious artists and be entrusted to re-imagine some of their most iconic songs and biggest club anthems of all time.

"Along with the amazing backing vocalists this latest collaboration with the mighty Orchestra of Opera North is set to be another sensational night full of joy and drama with a nonstop array of dance club bangers that everyone will be singing along to.”

Phil Boughton, Director of Orchestra and Chorus, Opera North, said: “Building on the success of our previous Millennium Square events, Club Classical is another creative and brilliant event for the city. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with a line-up of such iconic voices and stylish performers headed by John Newman.

"Our ongoing relationship with Cliff, Steve 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.”

Doors for the event will open from 6.30pm with DJs from 6.45pm and the main performances from 8.15pm.

A number of street food catering concessions together with a fully licenced multi-pour festival style bar will be available within the specially created outdoor arena.

The venue is also fully accessible with a raised viewing platform, toilets for the disabled and a changing places high dependency unit.