Friday, 29 August 2014

Classical Fantasia ready to light up historic Leeds abbey


Caption: Classical Fantasia will be held at Kirkstall Abbey on Saturday 6 September.

In what promises to be a night not to be missed, the atmospheric surroundings of an historic Leeds Abbey are all set to host a spectacular outdoor classical musical event.

Held on Saturday 6 September, a fantastic line-up has once again being assembled to entertain the crowds at Kirkstall Abbey as part of a refreshed Classical Fantasia concert hosted by popular classical radio presenter Jamie MacDougall.

Taking to this stage this year will include tenor Noah Stewart, soprano Laura Wright and saxophonist Amy Dickson, who will be joined by one of the UK’s leading chamber orchestras, the Manchester Camerata. Conducted by Stephen Bell the orchestra will be performing a number of classical gems alongside some great sing-alongs from the musicals. The evening will begin with the overture from Mozart’s comic opera ‘Marriage of Figaro’ before setting off on an Italian operatic journey that will include performances by both Noah and Laura of La Donna e Mobile and O Mio Babbino.

This will be followed by Grammy-nominated saxophonist Amy delighting the crowd with show tune ‘Smoke gets in your eyes’ and Briccaldi’s ‘Carnival’, before the first half is ended in true operatic style by a wonderful performance of ‘Nessun Dorma’ by Noah. The magic of the musicals will then take centre stage in the second half as favourites from the Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma and West Side Story are performed alongside classics such as ‘Moon River’ and ‘Cinema Paradiso’. Bringing the concert to a close will be a powerful rendition of Tchaikovsky’s powerful 1812 Overture, before a now traditional amazing firework display lights up the night sky.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"Set in the amazing and historic surroundings of Kirkstall Abbey, Classical Fantasia remains one of the true highlights of our city’s cultural calendar.

"This year we have worked extremely hard to put together a line-up of world class talent, and we are delighted to welcome artists including Noah Stewart, Laura Wright and Amy Dickson to the stage, who will be supported by the fantastic Manchester Camerata.

"In what has now become tradition an amazing firework display will also round off the night, at an event, which perfect for all the family, is truly spectacular."

Gates for this year’s event, which is supported by media partner the Yorkshire Evening Post, are scheduled to open from 6pm, with the main performance set to begin at approximately 8pm.

Tickets for Classical Fantasia can still be purchased online at www.leeds.gov.uk/fantasia (until midnight Wednesday 3 September) or in person / 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 to purchase in person only from the Abbey House Museum.

Tickets are priced at £10 for LEEDSCard, £8 for LEEDSCard Extra holders and £5 for Breezecard holders. General admission is £15 and there is also a special discount for groups of friends and family between 5 – 10 people for £10 per person. Advanced car parking tickets are also available to purchase at £5 per vehicle.

Selected hotels are also offering packages for Classical Fantasia which includes VIP tickets. For more details, please see: www.leeds.gov.uk/fantasia

Enhanced facilities for disabled attendees will also be available this year, including a BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter and a hearing loop audio enhancement system within a designated accessible viewing area, a Changing Places high dependency unit and a new shuttle bus service for disabled customers to and from the blue badge car park to the event arena. Anyone requiring further details or have accessibility queries regarding the event should contact the council’s Access Officer on 0113 247 8102.

For further details visit www.leeds.gov.uk/fantasia or contact Leeds City Council’s events team on 0113 395 0891 or by email at events@leeds.gov.uk.

Notes to editors:
Artist information:

Noah Stewart:
Making his bow at Fantasia is one of opera's most talked about tenors, Noah Stewart. Born in Harlem, New York, Noah has also recently performed international debuts in Spain and Russia. His debut album, the critically acclaimed ‘Noah’, which mixing classical tracks with contemporary material, reached number one in the UK Classical Chart.

Laura Wright:
With over one million album sales to date, Laura Wright is one of the biggest selling classical artists of the decade. Still only 24-years-old, Laura, who is also the official anthem singer for the England rugby team, has toured with stars including tenor Alfie Boe, Russell Watson and opened for Andrea Bocelli. Her new album will be released in the autumn.

Amy Dickson:
Grammy-nominated classical saxophonist Amy Dickson, earned the Breakthrough Artist of the Year Classic Brit Award in 2013, after her album Dusk & Dawn released in the same year, achieved a number one spot in the UK Classical Charts. Amy, who is also an ambassador for the Princes Trust, will be releasing her latest album ‘A Summer Place’, in August.

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

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578
Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk