Garry Walker debuts as Opera North's Music Director

1 October 2021

This season marks the official start of Garry Walker as Opera North’s Musical Director. Garry will conduct two opera productions and several symphonic concerts during each season. Opening this weekend, 2 October 2021, Garry will conduct Bizet's Carmen where Chrystal E. Williams makes her debut as Carmen and Phillip Rhodes returns as Escamillo, and opening January 2022 he will conduct Verdi's Rigoletto, both operas to appear at Leeds Grand Theatre and on tour. View the Opera North season trailer below:

Garry opened the 2021 season with a performance of Britten A Time There Was, Elgar Cello Concerto with Guy Johnson and Shostakovich Symphony No.5 to great reviews:

"...the music director and his seventy five players basked in the glow of a Huddersfield Town Hall audience clearly delighted by their return after an absence of eighteen months. Opera North’s 2021-22 Kirklees Orchestral Concert Season opened with Britten’s Suite of English Folk Tunes ‘a time there was’. Guy Johnston was the deeply expressive soloist in Elgar’s gloriously autumnal Cello Concerto and Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony ended the concert on a triumphal note." Geoffrey Mogridge, Ilkley Gazette

“Walker guided the orchestra expertly through those mighty crescendos that suddenly grow from hushed strings and then die away just as suddenly; the orchestra showed off its solo power in the fun of the Scherzo; and the brass and percussion battered us into submission in a breath-taking final movement.” Rob Simpson, The Reviews Hub

Garry's next symphonic outing with the Opera North Orchestra will be on 31st October when he conducts Mahler's Resurrection Symphony No.2 in C minor with the Opera North Chorus, Leeds Festival and Philharmonic Choruses at Leeds Town Hall.

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