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On demand: Opera North's isolation odyssey: Also Sprach Zarathustra

Opera NorthRecorded at Unknown Venue, Unknown, Unknown

Conducted from an empty church in Stockholm, 40 members of the Orchestra of Opera North perform Strauss' epic Also Sprach Zarathustra in living rooms, kitchens and gardens across Yorkshire in a new film. 

When the Leeds-based company's performances of the piece were cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic intensified, two members of the ensemble decided that the show must go on... virtually.


Daniel Bull (cello) and Lourenço Macedo Sampaio (viola) contacted Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg, who had been due to take the podium for the concerts at Huddersfield and Leeds Town Halls. In a church in Stockholm, Tobias filmed himself conducting a pianist performing the piece. Next, Daniel, Lourenço and 40 of their colleagues donned full concert dress and filmed themselves in kitchens, spare rooms and gardens, performing their parts in time with Tobias' baton.


"We added instrument by instrument until this amazing ‘performance’ took shape”, Daniel says. “It has really felt like watching a huge building being constructed, with Tobias’ musical vision as a starting point, much like an actual rehearsal and concert."

 

“This project has been incredibly meaningful to me as I have been away from my home country for a long time now and in these circumstances, I still don't know when I will be able to visit my family back in Portugal", Lourenço says.


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