Opera North’s family sessions

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Singing, storytelling and sharing music can all be enjoyed by Yorkshire’s youngest residents over the coming weeks as Opera North announces a series of special family-friendly performances and workshops.

The appeal of fairy tales takes centre stage as the company’s magical indoor tent returns for a series of enchanting Happily Ever After performances. Award-winning storyteller Ursula Holden-Gill, accompanied by cellist Polly Virr, will take audiences on a journey through an assortment of traditional folk stories, with some surprising twists and turns along the way.

Inspired by Opera North’s Fairy Tale Season, with current productions at Leeds Grand Theatre including The Snow Maiden, Hansel & Gretel and Cinderella, Happily Ever After has been created to appeal to children from four-seven years with everyone being encouraged to join in as Ursula weaves her tale.

Happily Ever After will be performed in the Howard Assembly Room today at 10.30am and 11.45am, with Leeds Central Library hosting performances at 10.30am, 11.45am and 1.30pm on Saturday February 11.

At the start of February, it will be the turn of the Orchestra of Opera North who will entertain a much younger audience than usual with an interactive Little Listeners concert in the Howard Assembly Room.

Little Listeners is an opportunity for pre-schoolers, parents and carers to enjoy some classical music together while finding out more about the different musical instruments to be found in an orchestra.

Following the popular strings session last year, the concert on Monday February 6 will feature the wind players who will introduce a selection of instruments including flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horns, in a friendly, relaxed environment. Throughout the informal concert, the children attending will be encouraged to move around to the music and join in with the songs.

The Howard Assembly Room is also the place to go for Opera North’s Little Singers which is held every Monday during term-time for children, up to four years. The fun 45-minute workshops are run by professional vocal delivery artists with the aim of encouraging adults, tots and babies to explore music and movement together through singing and creative play. Building on the success of Little Singers in the city, additional weekly sessions are going to be held this year at Colton Primary School Children’s Centre in East Leeds.

Jacqui Cameron, Opera North Education Director, said: “We’re passionate about introducing children to high quality music and live performance at an early age but we also recognise the importance of making it an enjoyable experience for everyone who comes along.”