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28 October 2014
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Freddie Mercury with a crown
Freddie Mercury in action

Easy come, easy go

The classic track from Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, has been echoing around the rock world for 30 glorious years in all its mock operatic glory.


The track became the band’s benchmark and went to number one twice (where it stayed for a total of 14 weeks). But it was a song that broke all the rules. It was six minutes long – and it had an 'opera' section that took an incredible three weeks to record.

Now the Queen songbook will be getting the full orchestral treatment at an event in Leeds Town Hall.

Concert goers will have an opportunity to hear the band’s tunes as they have never heard them before when the Orchestra of Opera North performs the Queen Symphony on Sunday 12 February 2006.

The work for orchestra and choir celebrates the musical legacy of Queen and their iconic singer Freddie Mercury. The Queen Symphony is the brainchild of composer, conductor and arranger Tolga Kashif, who conducts the Leeds concert. 

Freddie Mercury died in 1991 but The symphony has been welcomed by the band's guitarist Brian May who says: “Imagine a composer of the imagination and daring of a Tchaikovsky, a Holst or a Mussorgsky.  Imagine him let loose with the entire Queen catalogue of melodies, atmospheres and textures and a huge choir. 

"Then you’ll be close to imagining where this work begins.” 

The night is not entirely devoted to Queen, it also includes Bernstein’s memorable score for the musical West Side Story - an up-dated version of the Romeo and Juliet tale it feature rival gangs the Sharks and the Jets. The film version from the early 1960s won a host of Oscars.

It sounds like an intriguing and unusual musical 'night at the opera'.

Sunday 12 February, 7.30pm
Leeds Town Hall, (Box Office: 0113 224 3801)

Orchestra of Opera North
Leeds Philharmonic Chorus

Bernstein      Overture: Candide
Bernstein      West Side Story Suite
Kasheif         Queen Symphony

last updated: 18/01/06
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