Arts and Culture

Look out for these classical and opera events in early 2023

For classical music fans, 2023 is set to be an exciting year with a vast array of concerts from prominent musicians and orchestras scheduled to perform in Greater Manchester. 

Whether it be dramatic operas or light-hearted symphonies, this upcoming year promises an extensive mix of iconic classical repertoire as well as championing contemporary works and rarely performed pieces. 

Here are some of them to watch out for:

BBC Philharmonic – 2022-2023 season

The BBC Philharmonic will be continuing its 2022-2023 season of concerts with eight scheduled to be performed from Manchester’s renowned classical music venue the Bridgewater Hall.

The orchestra is currently celebrating its centenary year and so far, audiences have heard Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 as well as a new composition by Erland Cooper called Window over Rackwick.

The second half of the season will begin on 28 January 2023 and features Shostakovich’s orchestration of the Prelude to Act I of Mussorgsky’s opera Khovanshchina, Anna Clyne’s new cello concerto DANCE and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor.

The concerts are renowned for its mix of perennial concert favourites and newly written music. This year’s lineup includes iconic classical pieces such as Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Rachmaninov’s technically challenging Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor.

There will also be performances of 20th-century works such as the late, Lancashire-born Harrison Birtwistle’s celebrated composition The Triumph of Time and The Wreckers, a more obscure opera by Ethel Smyth.

With such a wide catalogue of pieces, this event seems to cater to a broad audience whether your knowledge of classical music is vast or limited.

Opera North – Tosca

One of Puccini’s best known operas, Tosca will be staged by Opera North, to be performed at the Lowry from 9 to 11 March.

The story centres on Floria Tosca and her love for the rebellious artist Mario Cavaradossi, who is arrested and tortured for helping an escaped political prisoner. When he is sentenced to death, the corrupt chief of police, Scarpia, presents Tosca with a cruel ultimatum: either she gives herself to him – or her lover will be executed.

With its gut wrenching score and powerful story, Tosca paints a vivid yet visceral depiction of humanity, exploring sacrifices made for love. 

The Hallé – A Night at the Opera

Don’t miss this one-night-only performance by the Hallé, featuring conductor Eduardo Strausser, soprano Lauren Fagan and tenor Zwakele Tshabalala. 

The Manchester-based orchestra currently ranks among the UK’s top symphonic ensembles, providing over 70 performances at its home venue – The Bridgewater Hall – and around 40 additional concerts a year across various venues in the UK. This season will see the company embark on a tour to Sheffield, Nottingham, Blackburn, Hull, Bradford and Cardiff.

This event offers audiences a varied repertoire encompassing well-known arias from La traviata and La bohème and excerpts from the celebrated musicals My Fair Lady, South Pacific.

Catering to fans of both musical theatre and classical music, the concert will be performed at the Bridgewater Hall on Sunday 12 February 2023 at 7.30pm. 

Ticket holders will also have a chance to watch a performance by young singers from Chetham’s School of Music vocal department at 6.30pm in the auditorium.

Featured image credit: Bridgewater Hall via Flickr under CC BY 2.0 licence

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