Leeds Lieder Festival Announces Cast Change for Closing Gala

By Francisco Salazar

The Leeds Lieder Festival has announced a cast change for the closing Gala.

The company said that Dame Sarah Connolly has had to withdraw from the Closing Gala recital at the 2023 Leeds Lieder Festival. As a result, renowned baritone Sir Simon Keenlyside will step in to close the nine-day Festival on June 17.

Keenlyside will perform Schubert’s “Winterreise” accompanied by Festival Director Joseph Middleton.

In a statement, Joseph Middleton said, “Sir Simon Keenlyside honed his extraordinary talent as a student at the nearby Royal Northern College of Music and so to invite him back to the region for a recital has a particularly special resonance. All the artists we have performing at this year’s Festival share his passion for seeking out the truth in every work they program. The commitment our singers and pianists display is shared in equal measure by the warmth and openness of the Festival audience, and it’s this duality that makes the week such an enriching and life-affirming event.”

The company also noted that Dame Sarah Connolly’s recital has been rescheduled to take place at the Howard Assembly Room in Leeds on Oct. 2 and will include the world premiere song cycle, “Night Thoughts.”