273 - The Musical City

Mais que uma preciosidade literária, Mark Twain foi sobretudo um homem de espírito livre e um importante progressista. 100 anos depois de sua morte, fomos visitar sua casa em Hartford, Connecticut.
by Kathleen Becker.

The Northern English city of Leeds has at least two things in common with its rival Manchester. The first is that {yootooltip title=[ it is undergoing a major revival ]} it is undergoing a major revival - está passando por um grande renascimento {/yootooltip} and the second is that it has a {yootooltip title=[ lively ]} lively - vivaz, vigorosa {/yootooltip} music scene. A number of famous artists have come from here, such as Corinne Bailey Rae, Mel B of the Spice Girls, as well as groups like The Kaiser Chiefs and Chumbawamba.
Leeds is probably best known for its industrial past, but it also has an important university and the student population makes it an attractive concert {yootooltip title=[venue]} venue - local {/yootooltip}. A famous London group, for example, recorded an album here back in 1970. The Who Live at Leeds is a classic, as Anthony Dobson, a DJ who moved to Leeds from Manchester, explains:

Anthony Dobson
(Standard English/Northern accent)

{yootooltip title=[ It’s amazing ]} it’s amazing - é incrível {/yootooltip} how many people still talk about The Who in Leeds. I’ve been to a few festivals and we saw The Who up at Harewood House and they were fantastic, but there were so many people who said “Oh, I remember back in the day when they played the Leeds Uni and...” Leeds has a very vibrant student scene and, because of that, there’s a lot of new talent coming through, as well. You know, with {yootooltip title=[the way the technology is moving on, as well]} the way the technology is moving on as well - também pelo tanto que a tecnologia está avançando {/yootooltip}, a lot of people can just kind of sit in their bedrooms and {yootooltip title=[make their own beats]} make their own beats - fazer música por sua própria conta {/yootooltip}, and people are just coming out with the rise of digital DJing, everyone has a chance to do it now, {yootooltip title=[it’s not just a case of “can you afford to buy the records” ]} it’s not just a case of “can you afford to buy the records” - não é só uma questão de se poder comprar os discos {/yootooltip}, everyone can actually get out there and do it, if they love it, and there’s a lot of people who are very enthusiastic about the scene in Leeds.

Anthony Dobson DJs at two important Leeds clubs, Fresh Jive and The Elbow Room, and he says that his adopted city offers music of every type: reggae, thanks to its West Indian community, Bhangra, thanks to the Indian and Pakistani populations, as well as hip-hop and house.

Yet it isn’t only contemporary music that can be found here. Leeds also happens to be the only English city – outside London – to have its own ballet and opera companies. Tobias Batley is a dancer with the Northern Ballet. We asked him whether it was an advantage or a disdvantage for an arts company to be located outside London:

Tobias Batley
(Standard English/Northern accent)

It has disadvantages, {yootooltip title=[ in that ]} in that - pelo fato de que {/yootooltip} a lot of the time {yootooltip title=[we aren’t viewed as seriously as a major company in London]} we aren’t viewed as seriously as a major company in London - não somos considerados tão sérios como as maiores companhias de Londres {/yootooltip}, which is often {yootooltip title=[annoying]} annoying - irritante {/yootooltip}, {yootooltip title=[funding-wise and respect-wise]} funding-wise and respect-wise - no que se refere a apoio financeiro e também ao respeito {/yootooltip}, in a lot of ways, but it also has advantages. I mean, it’s great to tour around, I think we’re a lot more accessible than a lot of the bigger companies in England, which is great ‘cause a lot of audiences come to see us that would never go and see a ballet, so it’s great to hear their feedback and hear how much they’ve enjoyed the show.

Leeds’ other impressive musical institution is Opera North. The company’s commercial director, Lesley Patrick, thinks the arts in general have played a key role in the revival of this Yorkshire city:

Lesley Patrick
(Standard English/Northern accent)

{yootooltip title=[It’s re-energising space and buildings for a new purpose]} It’s re-energising space and buildings for a new purpose - está revitalizando espaços e edifícios para um novo uso {/yootooltip}. Holbeck is an area of Leeds which {yootooltip title=[ I absolutely love wandering around ]} I absolutely love wandering around - eu adoro passear {/yootooltip} and having a coffee: you wouldn’t have done that 10 years ago, but that’s had a very significant investment. It’s a very lively and vibrant space where – large companies are based there now as well, but many small, emerging companies are there, that’s bringing back into use… I mean, Opera North is part of a project to bring what was a large textile centre in Holbeck back into use as more a very diverse, sort of multi-purpose space, but very much for arts, for presenting arts, for displaying arts, and incorporating culture within the whole commercial offer. I mean, {yootooltip title=[ I could bore for England on how important I think the arts are ]} I could bore for England on how important I think the arts are - eu poderia defender a importância das artees na Inglaterra {/yootooltip} to the commercial prosperity of a city because arts, it is commerce. {yootooltip title=[if we don’t provide things that people want to part with their money for]} if we don’t provide things that people want to part with their money for - se não oferecemos as coisas pelas quais as pessoas estão dispostas a pagar {/yootooltip}, they won’t do it and we don’t survive, but, without a strong cultural offer, I think a city’s dead.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/galery/materias/ed273/] thumb=[polaroid]}

Answer these questions after reading Leeds: The Musical City.