Millennium Square: A Stage Set for Nostalgia
Millennium Square in Leeds is bracing itself for an electrifying trip down memory lane. The fifth edition of the much-anticipated 80s Classical event is scheduled to be held here, as part of the Summer Series on Saturday 20 July 2024. With an ensemble that reads like a who’s who of 80’s pop legends, this event promises to recreate the soundtrack of a generation in a one-night-only musical extravaganza.
The lineup features some of the most iconic acts of the 80s, including Bananarama, Johnny Hates Jazz, Midge Ure, and the voice of Five Star, Denise Pearson. The stage will also welcome the return of the Orchestra of Opera North, amplifying the hits we all know and love with the depth and drama that only a 50-piece orchestra can provide. Since its debut in 2019, 80s Classical has successfully brought together the worlds of pop and symphony, creating a unique concert experience that has charmed audiences and critics alike.
Anticipation is building for what is set to be a night to remember. “We are so excited to be involved in such a unique and exciting concert,” shared Sara Dallin of Bananarama. Her enthusiasm was echoed by bandmate Keren Woodward, who said, “We can’t wait to take to the stage in the iconic Millennium Square with such a talented array of musicians.” The event is not only a celebration of musical legacies but also a testament to the timeless appeal of the era’s chart-topping hits.
The Artists and Their Legacy
In a remarkable fusion of talent and nostalgia, the artists lined up for the 80s Classical event are set to deliver a performance that transcends time. Bananarama, the British duo of Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward, have solidified their place in music history with a career that spans four decades, over 30 million records sold, and an array of hits including the US Billboard No. 1 “Venus.”
Johnny Hates Jazz, comprising singer-keyboardist Clark Datchler and multi-instrumentalist Mike Nocito, will relive their success with the audience, performing hits like “Shattered Dreams” and “I Don’t Wanna Be A Hero.” Their third appearance at the event marks a continuity of tradition and a celebration of their enduring appeal.
Midge Ure, the Scottish musician whose contributions to bands like Ultravox and initiatives like Band Aid have earned him global recognition, will add a new dimension to the evening. Orchestral renditions of “Vienna” and “If I Was” promise to be a highlight, showcasing Ure’s versatility and the adaptability of his music to new forms.
Denise Pearson lends her distinctive vocals as part of an array of performances that include Five Star classics such as “System Addict” and “Rain or Shine.” The evening will also feature a cohort of backing vocalists, ensuring that each song is delivered with the resonance and energy deserving of its place in music history.
An Evening of Music and Unity
As the city gears up for this remarkable event, the creative forces behind it are as enthusiastic as the performers. Renowned composer Cliff Masterson and Musical Director Steve Anderson, who has recently produced Kylie Minogue’s Las Vegas residency show, are at the helm, orchestrating an evening that is both a trip down memory lane and a contemporary celebration.
“We’re absolutely delighted to be able to welcome Bananarama and Midge Ure into the 80s Classical family,” said Steve Anderson, capturing the collaborative spirit of the event. Cliff Masterson’s words resonate with a sense of privilege and excitement: “We are so thrilled and grateful to be trusted with the responsibility of re-imaging such cherished songs.”
Phil Boughton, director of orchestra and chorus at Opera North, shared his enthusiasm, emphasizing the event as a milestone in the continuing partnership with Leeds City Council. “The fifth year of 80s Classical is shaping up to be an absolute classic,” he remarked.
Councillor Jonathan Pryor also expressed his delight at the upcoming event, noting the vibrancy it adds to Leeds’ calendar of events. “It’s always exciting to welcome people to Millennium Square to watch musical performances from an eclectic programme,” he said.
Event Details and Ticket Information
With an engaging line-up and a vibrant atmosphere assured, 80s Classical is set to be a standout event. Tickets went on sale from 10am on Friday 17 November and can be sourced from the official Millennium Square website or directly through Opera North’s channels. A range of ticket options are available, including standing and reserved seating, along with an exclusive VIP/express bar upgrade.
The event, set in a specially created outdoor arena, will open from 6.30pm on the day, with performances commencing from 8.15pm. Attendees can expect more than just music, with a licensed bar and several street food catering concessions on-site. The venue ensures an inclusive experience, with full accessibility features including a raised viewing platform and adequate facilities for all guests.
For those eager to keep up-to-date with further announcements and to plan their visit, comprehensive event, venue, ticketing, visitor, and accessibility information is available on the Millennium Square website, www.millsqleeds.com. With additional guest feature artists to be announced, the anticipation for a summer night of 80s magic in Leeds continues to grow.