Sunday, 15 September 2013

Heritage Open Day at my Favourite Theatre!

*Third place I visited over the Heritage Open Days*

I'm a regular visitor to the Grand Theatre and visiting their Open Heritage Days are no exception (part of the Heritage Open Days held between 12th-15th September 2013).

Opera North

Opera North Performance at the Emerald Grand Hall

I arrived around 11.00am and just in time to listen to Bibi Heal, a soprano and singing on behalf of Opera North, a selection of arias which were accompanied by three musicians.  I briefly met Bibi after her enjoyable performances.  She is currently touring with an opera company and performing at a number of venues.


Auditorium and Stage at Leeds Grand Theatre

I next joined the Heritage Talk where I learnt more about the early days of the Grand and the recent restoration project. Afterwards, sitting in the Stalls, I had fun following the lighting spots on the stage and above which created photo opportunities.  I think I spent half my time altering the focus and lighting on my camera phone!

Northern Ballet

The highlight of the day, for me, must be the Creating a Production talk by Northern Ballet.  The company's learning team went through the technical and creative processes for creating a production on stage.  I now appreciate how much planning, creating and execution are involved in order for us to see a ballet on stage.  I was in awe with the statistics shared for their productions past and present.  

To be honest, I'm not a big ballet fan but I do make exception for Northern Ballet's contemporary and innovative approaches.  Their present and past artistic directors share a strong belief that the stories told on stage must mean something to anyone, anywhere.  The learning team shared to us that productions incorporate issues which are of social importance then and also of today.   It was interesting to see a video showing dancers who explored their roles through vocalising and creating movements during rehearsals.

I thoroughly enjoyed the talk.  I'm now making plans to book their forthcoming production, Cinderella, in December.  Please check out the Northern Ballet's website for more information about the company and forthcoming productions.

After the talk it was time to leave but I was glad to have supported the Grand's Heritage Open Day.  Looking forward to the next Open Day next year!  I urge all my theatre fan friends to visit the Leeds Grand Theatre whether it is to see a show or participate in a future Heritage Open Day.  To find out what's on at the Grand, please check out their website.

Howard Assembly Room
Pride of Place, Leeds Grand Theatre

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