I’m really pretty excited about these three events.

The Orchestra of Opera North is going to be performing three very different outdoor concerts for its “Opera North in the City” weekend.

Taking place from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 July, the orchestra will be kicking off the Council’s annual summer series in Millennium Square. The programme looks brilliant.

On Friday night they are doing “The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics” – “a collaboration with the award-winning Leeds club that will see huge dancefloor anthems reworked and performed live by the city’s acclaimed orchestra.”

I’m guessing a lot of readers will have at some point in their lives gone to a Back to Basics club night; the brand celebrated its 25th anniversary last year! I just think an orchestral reworking of some club classics will be immense. There will be two DJ sets in addition to the 50-piece orchestra and there are some special guests who will be announced soon. Oooh!

The following evening is “A Night at the Opera“. This concert will feature “the finest operatic arias and show-stopping songs from the musicals”, featuring “Quirijn de Lang (Kiss, Me Kate, The Marriage of Figaro) and Jeni Bern (Kiss, Me Kate, La Bohème), performing arias from Puccini’s heartbreaking Madama Butterfly and Mozart’s towering Don Giovanni, among other greats from the operatic canon. The Golden Age of musicals is represented by sparkling selections from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much-loved Carousel, Cole Porter’s sizzling comedy Kiss Me, Kate and more.”

I think this will be a popular event for opera fans and newbies alike. This is probably a really great way to be introduced to the opera as well; I bet you’ll be surprised at how many songs you already know. Unfortunately I’m not free this evening (I have my own gig! Casual plug for my band Han (Not) Solo here) but I’d definitely go if I could.

And finally, on the Sunday, the programme is closing with “Back to the Future: In Concert with the Orchestra of Opera North“. Here the orchestra will be playing live along to the 80’s film, with an additional twenty minutes of new music added to the score – Great Scott!

I absolutely love Back to the Future – it’s one of my favourite films – and have been wanting to see a film/live orchestra collaboration for years so this is the event I’m most excited about. They often do live orchestra and film nights at the Royal Albert Hall and it’s been one of my grumbles that it’s something London has and we don’t.

You can buy individual tickets for the concerts, or if you’re planning on going to all three, you can buy a weekend ticket. Don’t forget if you are a University of Leeds member of staff, part of Opera North’s Under 30 club or have a Leeds card, you can get a discount on tickets. There are some VIP options as well which sound quite appealing. There will be some street food and drinks available within Millennium Square too, so you can make a proper evening out of it.

I can’t wait!