Seen and Heard International hopes for the happiest of outcomes for all those who are ill due to the current coronavirus pandemic. We share the optimism of those experts who hope that all those in otherwise good health will be able to resist its worst effects.

With the worldwide restrictions on travel and gatherings of significant numbers the world of classical music and many other entertainment events are currently subjected to a wave of changes, postponements, or cancellations, and it is unlikely normal recreational life will be resumed in the foreseeable future.

Seen and Heard International will continue to post reviews of concerts, operas, dance, theatre, and broadcasts for a long as we can, but bear with us if our content is not refreshed as often as readers have become used to over recent years.

We are not a listings site so if you are checking for news of whether performances have been postponed, cancelled, or might be restarting, please go direct to the websites of the venues concerned.


Attempts are being made to provide online live music and other performances – live or recorded – during this ongoing situation. Below are a few of the announcements and please also look elsewhere on Seen and Heard for more news. None of this is intended to be comprehensive or regularly updated but might be added to in coming days:

Garsington Opera – is delighted to announce that a filmed version of Fidelio in Concert which was performed at Wormsley on 16 September 2020 will be broadcast on the OperaVision channel from 23 October, 6pm UK time / 7pm CEST. The production will be available to view until 22 April 2021. It is free to watch online with no registration required.  The premiere streaming will be available CLICK HERE and HERE for programme notes, full cast and creative team, biographies and more OperaVision celebrates World Opera Day (25 October) and the Beethoven anniversary with 3 very different productions of Fidelio: Garsington Opera’s, Graham Vick’s promenade production for Birmingham Opera Company and an animated version for children by Belgian collective Walpurgis.  For an online Q&A featuring artists from all 3 productions including Douglas Boyd and Toby Spence that will take place on 24 October CLICK HERE.

Leeds Lieder – announces first live recitals of the 2020-21 season, and among the first socially distanced song recitals outside of London since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic. All concerts will take place at Leeds Town Hall, 6pm start. Tickets on sale now via the Leeds Town Hall box office CLICK HERE / 0113 376 0318. Please note there is currently the option to book tickets to visit the concert in person or alternatively there is a livestream ticket to watch the concert from your home.

Thursday 29th October – Ian Bostridge CBE joins Festival Director Joseph Middleton to perform a work with which he’s become synonymous: Schubert’s Winterreise. Their recital is preceded by a recital by Harriet Burns, last heard by Yorkshire audiences at the Leeds Lieder Wigmore Hall masterclass given by our President, the great Dutch soprano Elly Ameling. She will perform Schubert’s Ellens Gesang I, II & III. Her recital for Leeds Lieder takes place under the auspices of Barbara Hannigan’s Momentum Equilibrium initiative.

Friday 30th October – Louise Alder and Joseph Middleton ‘two of classical song’s brightest artists’ (The Guardian) return to Leeds Lieder following the release of their second and much lauded recital CD. Their programme includes Grieg’s Six Songs Op.48 and Rachmaninov’s Six Songs Op38. The recital will end with Alder giving her first performance of Strauss’s transcendental Four Last Songs.  Before Alder performs, ENO Harewood Artist Benson Wilson gives a recital of English and Samoan song. His appearance is supported by the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.

Saturday 31st October – Iestyn Davies MBE and Joseph Middleton perform Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin. Iestyn Davies ‘reigns supreme among countertenors’ (The Independent) and is becoming increasingly well known for his intelligent and considered readings of core Lied repertoire. Rising star, the ‘superbly controlled, sensuous soprano‘ (Opera Today) of Nardus Williams also performs Liszt, Brahms and Wolf.

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Live performances at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall in October 2020

Snape Maltings Concert Hall to reopen for live performances with audience from 21 August

Britten Pears Arts is thrilled to announce that it will host live music-making again in Snape Maltings Concert Hall from Friday 21 August, following the latest government announcement, becoming one of the first venues in the UK to return to regular concerts for a live audience.

Live music-making continues at Snape Maltings Concert Hall following a hugely successful first weekend (21 – 23 August), becoming one of the first venues in the UK to return to regular concerts for a live audience and music-making continues in September and October with regular concerts for a live audience.

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Young Concert Artists announces 2020 events

Young Concert Artists announces 60th anniversary season

The 60th anniversary season of the Young Concert Artists opens on 21 October with a concert streaming live from Merkin Hall that will feature performances by an array of artists representing YCA’s remarkable history. The program will include solo and chamber works by Ravel, Bach, Handel and Higdon, as well as the world premiere of a partita for solo violin by YCA Composer Chris Rogerson. (Rogerson is represented by Young Concert Artists, Inc., and served as YCA Composer-in-Residence from 2010-2012. In 2016, he joined the Musical Studies Faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.)

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English National Ballet announce their current plans for 2020-21

English National Ballet
2020-21 Announcement

Recent Emerging Dancer 2020 finalists
(c) Laurent Liotardo (photo), Nik Pate​ (post-production)

For more about English National Ballet click here

English National Ballet returns to the stage with performances of Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum this Christmas and, as previously announced, Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet at Sadler’s Wells in November.

During the festive period, English National Ballet will present Nutcracker Delights at the London Coliseum (3 December 2020 – 3 January 2021). This special version of the Christmas classic sees the Company perform a selection of the ballet’s most popular moments and iconic scenes accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s famous score played live by musicians from English National Ballet Philharmonic.

Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet’s Artistic Director said: ‘English National Ballet has performed a version of The Nutcracker every year since we were founded in 1950 and I’m so pleased that, despite the challenges faced, we have been able to find a way for the tradition to live on, in this, our 70th Anniversary year. It’s more important than ever that we are able to bring audiences some festive joy this Christmas.’

Reunion: An Evening with English National Ballet sees the Company present five world premieres at Sadler’s Wells, London, from 19-21 November 2020. Originally commissioned as creations for camera as part of English National Ballet’s upcoming digital season and now also adapted for the stage, the new works have been choreographed by some of the most exciting dance makers working today: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Yuri Possokhov, Arielle Smith, and Stina Quagebeur.

Tamara Rojo continued: ‘After what will be nearly 9 months without performing in theatres, I am thrilled that English National Ballet is going to be back on stage with a live audience this winter. It’s been wonderful to see our studios back in action for the creation of these five exciting new works and we can’t wait to share them with our audiences.’

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Laid in Earth is a ‘torn apart’ quartet. It is set to Purcell’s famous aria from Dido and Aeneas – sung live by mezzo soprano Flora McIntosh, as well as new electronic music by Olga Wojciechowska.

Russell Maliphant creates ever shifting choreography and uses light as an integral partner in the creative process. He collaborates on this project with video artist Panagiotis Tomaras and with commissioned sound design by Dana Fouras.

A former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, world-renowned choreographer Yuri Possokhov works with a UK company for the first time. His piece for four dancers, Senseless Kindness, is based on Vasily Grossman’s great novel, Life and Fate, about a Russian family caught in the Second World War and is set to Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No.1.

In Take Five Blues, ENB’s Associate Choreographer, Stina Quagebeur, responds to two of her favourite pieces of music, Bach’s Vivace and Paul Desmond’s jazz standard, Take Five.

Arielle Smith’s Jolly Folly is fast-paced, surprising, and energetic and is driven by the Klazz Brothers’ latin-infused covers of Tchaikovsky, Strauss and Mozart.

The music for Laid in EarthTake Five Blues and Senseless Kindness is performed live by musicians of English National Ballet Philharmonic.

English National Ballet’s previously scheduled performances for Autumn/Winter 2020-2021 have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutcracker Delights replaces cancelled performances of Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. The world premieres of Creature by Akram Khan and Raymonda by Tamara Rojo after Marius Petipa have been postponed to 2021. Those who had purchased tickets for these performances are being contacted directly by the relevant box office.

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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s CBSO Centre series of live Friday concerts

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra brings live music back to Birmingham as CBSO Centre reopens for series of Friday concerts The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is about to bring live classical music back to audiences in Birmingham. Following months of closure as a result of the Covid pandemic, the CBSO Centre will host a brand-new … Read more

Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage In Focus and Autumn 2020 performances with live audience


Sadler’s Wells announces a special socially distanced season for Autumn 2020 

Sadler’s Wells is excited to announce a special new season of live dance and digital content for Autumn 2020, including further performances for socially distanced audiences at Sadler’s Wells Theatre and new details for online programme, Digital Stage In Focus:

  • Live dance continues at Sadler’s Wells this autumn with more performances for socially distanced audiences announced, including Christmas dates, and performances from a stellar line-up of Sadler’s Wells associate companies and artists, including English National Ballet, Alexander Whitley Dance Company, Breakin’ Convention and Ballo Arthur Pita
  • English National Ballet returns to Sadler’s Wells for its first performances since lockdown with a specially commissioned programme of world premieres featuring choreography by Arielle Smith, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Yuri Possokhov and Stina Quagebeur
  • Alexander Whitley Dance Company’s new work Overflow receives its London premiere in November, following earlier cancellations due to the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Breakin’ Convention returns to Sadler’s Wells with Social DisDancingfeaturing new performances from Boy Blue, AIM and Jamaal O’Driscoll
  • Ballo Arthur Pita’s magical The Little Match Girl returns for the festive season, staged in Sadler’s Wells Theatre for the first-time following Christmas performances in the Lilian Baylis Studio
  • Tickets for all performances announced today are available via priority booking from Monday 12 October and on public sale from Thursday 15 October
  • Digital Stage In Focus continues online featuring Sadler’s Wells collaborations with world-leading dance companies ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company and Candoco Dance Companywith full details of bespoke content for digital audiences and participants announced today
  • More digital offerings announced include a new documentary charting the National Youth Dance Company’s special Sadler’s Wells residency and Sadler’s Wells first Virtual Gala

For more information and tickets click here.

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Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra On Demand – October and November 2020


Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra On Demand – stream concerts from our Hall to your home this autumn

Starting on Wednesday 30 September, 7pm audiences can purchase (£10) and stream seven digital concerts from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Concerts will be available online for 30 days from the broadcast date.

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Opera North in 2020-2021 – Switch ON: Live from Leeds and future plans


New events have been added to Switch ON; Opera North’s programme of new indoor performance, outdoor events and digital projects to take place this Autumn. Despite the ever-changing landscape for live performance, Opera North re-affirms its commitment to share music with communities across the North, live or digitally, in theatres, concert halls or projected onto buildings in city centres. The Company is determined to make music with and for audiences in communities across the North of England.

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