1. Mozart’s comic opera, The Marriage of Figaro

Manchester University Music Society launch the new season with a performance of Le Nozze di Figaro, arguably Mozart’s greatest, and certainly his best loved comic opera. A witty tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness, there will be just two showings of this remarkable performance conducted by Oliver Till and Jack Sheen, so be sure to get your tickets early.

Thu 30 Jan and Sat 1 Feb, The Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, 7pm, £10/6/3, www.arts.manchester.ac.uk

2. Play for LGBT History Month, Away From Home

An edgy, moving, subversive and, with Thomas Hitzlsperger’s recent revelation, pertinent show Away From Home forms part of LGBT History Month in February and tells the tale of Kyle, a male escort, hired by a Premiership footballer. A big hit at last year’s 24:7 Theatre Festival, this one man show written by Martin Jameson, who also directs, and star Rob Ward has garnered rave reviews from local and national press alike being praised for its honesty and sensitive handling of a salacious tale.

Wed 26 Feb, The John Thaw Studio Theatre, 7.30pm, £5/3, www.arts.manchester.ac.uk

3. Various FREE lunchtime concerts

If you’d like to try something new, the MH Centre’s FREE lunchtime concert series includes everything from new electroacoustic works (Fri 4 Apr, 1.10pm) to showcases by international stars like fortepianist Susan Alexander-Max  (Fri 30 Jan, 1.10pm). Browse the full list here: www.arts.manchester.ac.uk

4. Man Booker Prize 2013 winner – Eleanor Catton

Catton is the youngest ever Man Booker prize winner for The Luminaries (Granta). Her huge, hunky novel, a mystery set amid New Zealand’s 19th century gold rush, swept the other contenders away. And despite her age, it’s not the first time that she’s come out on top. Debut novel, The Rehearsal, won a Betty Trask award (among others) in 2009 and this appearance is likely to be one that you’ll want to say you were at in years to come.

Mon 31 Mar, The Whitworth Hall, 6.30pm, £12/10, events.manchester.ac.uk

5. The Cosmo Singers’ Living Traditions

The kind of music that seldom makes headlines takes centre stage as lullabies, work songs, spirituals and other traditional music from Hungary, Finland, Mexico and beyond are presented by the University’s own mixed-voice chorus, The Cosmo Singers. Prepare to be moved.

Fri 21 Mar, Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, 7.30pm, £10/6/3, www.arts.manchester.ac.uk

Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, The University of Manchester, Bridgeford Street, M13 9PL. Tel: 0161 275 8951, www.arts.manchester.ac.uk

John Stansfield
Published on:
Tue 4 Feb 2014