Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Classic FM presenting duo to host Leeds Opera in the Park

Caption: Presenters John Suchet and Margherita Taylor will host this weekend's Opera in the Park in Leeds

Classic FM presenters John Suchet and Margherita Taylor have been announced as the hosts for this weekend’s Opera in the Park at Temple Newsam.

The duo, who currently host their own programmes on the national classical music station which celebrates its 20th birthday this year, will be appearing at the annual outdoor concert taking place on Saturday 21 July with gates opening at 6pm.

They will introduce Yorkshire’s-own opera superstar Lesley Garrett CBE to the stage, who will be performing along with renowned baritone David Kempster to music arranged and performed by the Orchestra of Opera North.

Organisers Leeds City Council and Opera North have also announced that internationally- acclaimed tenor Ji-Min Park, currently performing at the Royal Opera House in London, will perform at the event. Together with Lesley Garrett and David Kempster, the trio they will sing some of the greatest and most recognisable music from operas such as La traviata, La bohème, Tosca and musicals My Fair Lady and Porgy and Bess.

As part of the stunning climax to the show on Saturday, a spectacular fireworks display will accompany the finale of the event.

John Suchet hosts Classic FM’s flagship weekday morning programme, having joined the station in 2010. He is best known for presenting ITN’s News at Ten for almost 20 years as part of a successful career at the television news network which spanned more than three decades.

Margherita Taylor hosts the Smooth Classics programme every weekday evening from 10pm, after first appearing on Classic FM in April 2007. She can also regularly be seen on ITV’s Daybreak and This Morning and is well known for being the launch presenter of Channel 4’s youth show T4.

Both presenters will be appearing in Leeds as part of Classic FM’s special 20th birthday celebrations which coincide with the station becoming media partner for Opera in the Park.

Ji-Min Park is taking the place of Noah Stewart, who is unfortunately unable to attend due to a late change to his schedule in America.

Due to the recent adverse weather conditions, the organisers are working hard to restore and maintain ground conditions although it is anticipated that there may be some disruption to the car parks. Organisers are therefore requesting that people car share wherever possible and/or use the designated taxi/pick-up and drop-off point or special bus service provided to get them to and from the event.

The dedicated bus service (X27) will run every 20 minutes on Saturday from 16:40 from City Square, stand P5 (outside Mill Hill Chapel) with a return service from 21:00 from Temple Newsam back to City Square. Tickets are priced at £3.80/£2.00 return and all pre-paid tickets (eg Metro Card, Day Riders etc) will also be valid on this service.

Tickets for this year’s Opera in the Park are now available priced at £7.50 for LEEDSCard holders, £6.50 for LEEDSCard Extra holders and £5 for Breezecard holders. General admission is £10 or £35 for four tickets for small group bookings of family/friends.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.leeds.gov.uk/opera or in person or by telephone from City Centre Box Office in The Carriageworks on Millennium Square (0113 224 3801) and Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Train Station (0113 242 5242). Tickets are also available from the visitor shop in the courtyard at Temple Newsam and from Leeds Grand Theatre box office.

A special discounted ticket package for those wishing to attend both Opera in the Park and the popular Classical Fantasia event at Kirkstall Abbey on Saturday 1st September are also available to purchase this year from the City Centre Box Office or Leeds Visitor Centre only.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“This year’s Opera in the Park promises to be a fantastic event and hopefully the rain will stay away so everyone can enjoy a fantastic evening in the amazing surroundings of Temple Newsam Estate.

“The line-up is arguably the best ever for the event so we look forward to seeing everyone there having a great time on Saturday night.”

For further information on Opera in the Park visit www.leeds.gov.uk/opera or contact Leeds City Council’s events team on 0113 395 0891 or email events@leeds.gov.uk

Note to editors:

The LEEDSCard scheme is open to anyone aged 19-59 in Leeds on an annual membership and offers discounts and exclusive offers across the city all-year round at leisure facilities, events, shops, museums, theatres and restaurants. For more information on how to get a LEEDSCard visit www.leeds.gov.uk/leedscard or call 0113 224 3636. Breezecard is FREE for persons under 19 and for further information visit www.breezeleeds.org

A booking/transaction fee will apply to bookings made online or by telephone.

Classic FM
Celebrating its 20th Birthday this year, Global Radio-owned Classic FM attracts an audience of over 5.4 million people each week. Programmes are hosted by a diverse range of broadcasters and musicians including John Suchet, Alan Titchmarsh, Myleene Klass, Alex James, Margherita Taylor and Nicholas Owen. Since its launch, Classic FM has aimed to break down the barriers to classical music and in so doing, introduce an entirely new audience to the genre. The station seeks constantly to expand its listener base through groundbreaking new audience initiatives and partnerships. Classic FM is available across the UK on 100 - 102 FM, digital and online at classicfm.com


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Fag end fine for Leeds driver

Smoking proved to be an even more expensive habit for one Leeds man after being fined for throwing a cigarette away.

Chris Deering, pleaded guilty to the littering offence at Leeds Magistrates Court last week. He was fined £75, ordered to pay costs of £389.30 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Environmental enforcement officers were on Meadow Road last September when they witnessed the incident.

They were heading back to their base at the end of a regular patrol when Deering flicked the cigarette butt out of his car window. They were able to trace Deering with the help of DVLA having jotted down his vehicle details.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

“Communities don’t want to be blighted with litter and people need to know that we won’t tolerate inconsiderate behaviour like this.

“We hope that by highlighting the penalties, it will make people think twice and deal with their rubbish – no matter how small an item – appropriately.

“It may seem like a minor offence, but it still is an offence and one that we will prosecute.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds parks keep flying the flag for excellence

Caption: Leeds City Council executive member for the environment Cllr Mark Dobson (far right) with parks and countryside service gardener Scott Parry (left) and craft gardener Gavin Buch (right) at Temple Newsam Estate, one of six parks in Leeds today announced as achieving the coveted Green Flag national status for excellence.

Also awarded a Green Flag Award in Leeds were Roundhay Park, Pudsey Park, Otley Chevin, Kirkstall Abbey and Golden Acre Park.

The Green Flag Award Scheme is managed in the UK by a consortium, comprising Keep Britain Tidy, The Conservation Volunteers and GreenSpace. Known collectively as the Green Flag Plus Partnership, the consortium manages the scheme in England on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government and in Wales for the Welsh Steering Group.

Green Flag Award recognises well-managed, high-quality green spaces. Any green space in the UK is eligible to win this award providing it is freely accessible to the public. Previous winners include parks managed by local authorities as well as those run by community groups and trusts. The scheme was set up in 1996.

For more information visit: www.greenflagaward.org.uk or call Helen Bingham at Keep Britain Tidy on 01942 612 617.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

New Armed Forces agreement will allow easier access to housing

The proposal to unite armed forces members and Leeds City Council has been agreed and will be officially signed on 17 July 2012.

By establishing the Armed Forces Community Covenant, this will allow for current and former armed forces members to easily access the services that the council have to offer.

*****Media Opportunity*****

What: The official signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant with the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle, attending.
Where: Civic Hall
When: Tuesday 17 July 2012 from 14:00 to 15:00

*****Media Opportunity*****

As part of the covenant, armed forces personnel with a local connection to Leeds who approach the council for assistance in being rehoused after leaving the forces would be able to benefit from a direct offer of accommodation if they are unable to secure housing through the existing Choice Based Lettings Scheme.

The direct let option will mean an offer of rehousing can be made to the serviceman or woman before they have been formally discharged from the armed forces, with the aim of easing the transition from service life to civilian life and ensuring that they are not disadvantaged.

Last year there were 20 people who left the armed forces and chose Leeds as the place where they would like to be situated. It is expected that a number of forces personnel will be returning to Leeds in the coming years, and with the new covenant in place, this will allow for a more straightforward process.

Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Ann Castle said:“We are entirely supportive of our service men and women, therefore the signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant is an ideal opportunity to assist them during their transition back to civilian life.”

“We understand that these changes can be difficult to deal with and that is why we want to ensure that those who serve our country so valiantly are not disadvantaged in any way.”

“We are hugely grateful for the sacrifices that our members of the armed forces make for us and for that reason, feel that this is the least we can do to help and welcome them into our city."

For media enquiries, please contact;
Sienna Bahi, Leeds City Council press office
Email: sienna.bahi@leeds.gov.uk