As musical director of Leeds Youth opera Mike is committed to two major operatic productions each year as well as associated concerts. Leeds Youth Opera has gained a National and International reputation as young performers of operas from the standard repertoire.
This performance showed that not even the heavy demands of Britten's Peter Grimes were too much for this remarkable company. The members of the orchestra under Michael Williamson played splendidly... don't miss it. Donald Webster, Yorkshire Post
(of A Masked Ball) Leeds Youth Opera have once again risen to a considerable challenge of stamina and expediency with commendable fortitude. Donald Webster, Yorkshire Post
Leeds Youth Opera, that remarkable organisation that is so rich in resources of talent once again scores well with its presentation of Puccini's last and somewhat abstruse opera Turandot. Donald Webster, Yorkshire Post
(of The Pearl Fishers) The Leeds Youth Orchestra plays extremely well under the company's musical director Michael Director Michael Williamson. The large first night audience was a good omen for the week, and enthusiasts would be well advised not to miss this one. Patric Standford, Yorkshire Post
See the Leeds Youth Opera website.
The Northern Wagner Orchestra (NWO) was established to provide musicians with a rare opportunity to study challenging and exciting orchestral repertoire in simulated professional circumstances. Professionals, students, teachers and good players from other walks of life join together with professional singers to produce an unforgettable musical experience.
The first four seasons were devoted to a complete cycle of the Ring, which took place with great success at the Riley Smith Hall at Leeds University. The following year by way of a break from mainstream Wager they rehearsed and performed Stravinsky's Rite of Spring along with excerpts from Berg's Wozzeck and Wagner's Wessendonck Leider.
In 2010 there are two events: A 'come and sing Aida in a day' event and the complete Tristan and Isolde. Future plans include Parsifal and another Ring Cycle.
See the NWO website for more details.
Mike has been Musical Director of the Leeds G&S Society for six years and is currently working on Yeoman of the Guard to be performed in the Carriageworks Theatre in March 2011. The G&S Society are a talented and friendly group of amateur enthusiasts who make his Monday evenings a lot of fun!
The most recent production staged by the society was The Mikado, which attracted interest from The BBC and Yorkshire Evening Post.
Leeds G&S online
Century Brass was established in 1977. For over 25 years it has given recitals throughout the UK and abroad as well as many performances on TV and both national and local radio.
The ensemble has always been aware of the changing trends in music and is constantly changing its programmes to suit. At present Century Brass's concerts include standard brass repertoire, pieces ranging from baroque through to commissioned works alongside music arranged for the group of popular works by composers such as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and from the songbooks of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.
Members of the group have also appeared individually with many ensembles bands and orchestras including the Halle, Opera North, Liverpool Philharmonic, D'Oyly Carte Opera, BBC, Black Dyke, Grimethorpe and famous bands such as The New Squadronaires and Sid Lawrence Orchestra.
Show credits include London touring productions of Evita, Chess, Superstar, Phantom and the Broadway production of Pirates as well as many more local productions of all the most popular shows and musicals.
With its wealth of experience, Century Brass performs its programmes with musical conviction; its arrangements of Count Basie really do swing in the true big band style whilst Bach is played with authentic baroque ornamentation.
Programs are devised especially for the occasion. To book Century Brass, contact Mike.