ONE OF Europe’s finest young conductors will lead performances in Bradford of a new work inspired by the 200th anniversary of an infamous massacre and the horrific experiences of a child labourer which prompted Charles Dickens to write Oliver Twist.

Conductor Robert Guy says it will be a great honour to conduct the celebrated Orchestra of Opera North for their production of A Day in the Life which tells the story of forced labour in the cotton mills of the North West in the 19th century.

The three-part composition will be performed in Saltaire Victoria Hall, Shipley, on May 5, Pudsey Civic Hall, Pudsey, on May 11 and Bradford Cathedral on May 25.

The eagerly awaited Arts Council for England funded project is a remarkable collaboration between Anglo-American composer Kevin Malone, internationally acclaimed violinist Andy Long, Leeds-based Orchestra of Opera North and Robert Guy.

The premiere has extra significance for the region coming in the run up to the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre in Manchester.

Central to the new work is the story of Robert Blincoe, the former century child labourer whose memoir detailing the horrors of life for impoverished textile workers was serialised in newspaper articles in the early 1800s.

Fresh back from a career milestone debut appearance conducting the Honor Chamber String Orchestra at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, Robert Guy said the invitation to conduct Malone’s newest, highly anticipated work was his most exciting opportunity to date.

He said: “It’s a thrill and a huge honour to work with Kevin, who I hold in the highest regard. I know this latest work will have resonance across the whole of the north west and deliver hard hitting social messages relevant to the world today.

“I really can’t describe what a prodigious moment it is in my career to work with Kevin, Andy and the great Orchestra of Opera North all at the same time.”

Rehearsals are due to begin imminently for the world premiere. The first ever five performances of A Day in the Life will be deliberately staged in small venues in the heart of the one-time cotton producing towns which inspired the landmark project.

The world premiere involves three specific sections of music. The first A Peterloo Parade is an overture based on contemporary and historical chants heard at rallies, especially those at the St Peter’s Square massacre. Among its more modern references are the sounds of rallying calls by marchers protesting in America against the policies of President Trump.

This overture is followed up by the central body of the work A Day in the Life, a concerto written specifically for violinist Andy Long and the Orchestra of Opera North. It comprises exactly 24 minutes with each minute representing an hour of a typical the day in the life of Robert Blincoe.

In addition, Malone has composed My Mill Life for solo violin, including pre-recorded monologues by current and former mill workers in the close-knit communities of the Northern textile industry.

This piece will only be performed once on July 3 by Andy Long and student violinists from the University of Manchester at the Bradford Industrial Museum’s Weaving Room.

The premiere concert series will be at:

May 3 – Morley Town Hall, Morley (World Premiere)

May 4 – Leeds Clothworkers Hall, Leeds

May 5 – Saltaire Victoria Hall, Shipley

May 11 – Pudsey Civic Hall, Pudsey

May 25 – Bradford Cathedral, Bradford

For more information visit: www.adayinthelife