Discover Leeds Opera Story

Leeds Opera Story:  Discover over 250 years of opera history in Leeds with The Leeds Opera Story!


Curated by Northern Opera Group as part of the Leeds Opera Festival 2020 (more news to come about that later)

In a series of documentary films available on YouTube, explore the origins of the opera, unearth some of the long forgotten theatres of Leeds, and even confront the age-old question, ‘what is an opera’?

The 4 films can be viewed here

The Leeds Opera Story is produced by Northern Opera Group ( and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Leeds Inspired.

Places where face coverings are needed from today

A reminder that there are more places where you will need to wear a face covering from today.  These are all places where it has been recommended previously but will become mandatory now.

Additional information on

For members of the public, from 8 August the places where you will have to wear a face covering will be expanded to include:

  • funeral directors
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls
  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites.
  • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments
  • massage centres
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • place of worship
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • community centres
  • social clubs
  • tattoo and piercing parlours
  • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities e.g. laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites etc)
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • veterinary services.
  • auction houses

You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Coronavirus update information from Leeds City Council


Information on local clusters of spread and a reminder of our local outbreak plan

The latest data and monitoring has enabled us to quickly identify clusters of cases in Kirkstall and Harehills, and surrounding areas.

The city’s seven day rolling average has also been gradually increasing from 4.1 cases per 100,000 people early last week, to 13.3 as at 5 August.

As part of the city’s outbreak planning, steps are being taken in priority areas in an effort to stop further increase in cases and to stay on top of community transmission.

These include:

  • Additional support for families in the affected areas who are self-isolating;
  • Mobile testing units deployed at Fearnville and Kirkstall leisure centres to help people access community testing
  • Working with nurseries, care homes and places of worship to promote important messages about testing, symptoms and preventative measures.

Council and Public Health England officials are also calling for people in these communities and across Leeds to continue to play their part in keeping themselves and others safe by following the latest advice.

We can all play a part in preventing further spread and restrictions if we wear face coverings, wash our hands regularly, maintain social distancing and self-isolate and get tested if any symptoms appear.

Information on how to stay safe can be found here.

For more details about outbreak planning in Leeds and steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19, please visit our website.

Richard II. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. FREE online

Richard II – the Bard’s great Play of England from the 2019 Globe Season.

Online Family History for Beginners Workshops from Leeds Libraries

Free workshops until the end of September.
Wednesdays 2.00 – 3.30pm. 5th August, 19th August, 2nd September, 16th September, 30th September is now free for all Leeds Libraries users, so there has never been a better time to begin your family history research. A live and interactive version of the popular Family History workshop, for a friendly introduction to key concepts and resources for complete beginners, all delivered online!
Family History for Beginners Workshop Online banner image
Free but booking required – attendees will receive an email on the morning of the session with more details and a link for accessing the workshop.
To book:
You can also arrange a one to one telephone conversation with one of the librarians if you need some additional help re researching your family history. More details and booking here

Your health and accessing NHS Leeds services

A survey from ‘We are magpie’ – Leeds based campaigns agency.
They say:
“If you are in #Leeds we’e love to hear your thoughts on your local NHS services. Our survey takes around 5 minutes to complete but could influence health campaigns & services for years to come.
If you are over 16 and live in Leeds please answer this short survey about using health and care services. The survey takes around five minutes to complete and it is anonymous – we don’t ask for your name and nobody will contact you about your answers. By taking part in this survey you’ll support your local NHS develop a health awareness campaign to help people understand which service they should access when they’re unwell or injured. If you change your mind about doing the survey, simply close your web browser. If you have any questions about the survey, please email
To say thank you, we’ll donate £1.50 to ‘Leeds Cares’ (the charity for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust) for the first 500 fully completed surveys.
Thanks for your help!

Do you want to take part in a writing activity from Leeds Playhouse – Ghost Light Monologue

Leeds Playhouse invite you to take part in a free-writing activity – details below from the Playhouse Engagement team:

A single ghost light in the centre of Quarry Theatre stage

“Inspired by photographer Helen Murray’s exhibition, Our Empty Theatres, we want you to respond to the image of the ghost light in the Quarry Theatre. All you have to do is write a 5-line monologue that begins with the phrase: “When I get back…” using a freewriting technique.

What is Freewriting?

Freewriting is a method where you write down your thoughts as they arise, with no interruptions or corrections and it’s a great way to focus the flow of your ideas. Try spending five minutes writing down your response to the image without stopping – you can read some tips below to help you get started.

  • Find your favourite spot where you’re most comfortable.
  • Some of the writers we work with love playing some music or popping the TV on – one even likes to listen to white noise
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat words and phrases
  • Forget all the rules about spelling or grammar
  • Most importantly – have fun

We would love to see what you come up with, so please send your monologue to us by 7 August and we’ll find a way to share them.”

Send to

Live at the Virtual Square – today

Image may contain: one or more people, text that says "LIVE IN THE VIRTUAL SQUARE STREAM SATURDAY 01 AUGUST 2020 FACEBOOK &YOUTUBE Anall day showcase of great local music M Leeds YOUTH MUSIC RSCOUNCIL ENGLAND tdp TalentDevelopment Partner arts@leeds"

Music:Leeds:Leeds and Millennium Square present Live in the Virtual Square, a live streaming all day showcase, celebrating artists from the region.

After a successful day in 2019 at Millennium Square, this year’s event will be held online. Featuring artists chosen through the Music:Leeds Launchpad programme, plus some special guests!

(in three words each)

AGI – melodically unique electro-pop

Chanté Amour – socially conscious RnB

Dilettante – art rock collective

Fehlt – Nascent post-punk

Green Gardens – emotionally charged art-rock

In The Morning Lights – Narrative based alt-pop

James Welsh – complex, luminous electronica

joegarratt – electronic synth-pop

Louisa Kate Music (Chapel FM Arts Centre selected artist) – versatile Roots musician

Mamilah – Introspective nu-soul

Marsicans – harmony laden indie

Changes to shielding from today – but other lockdown easing on hold

From 1 August, the government will pause shielding unless the transmission of COVID-19 in the community starts to rise significantly.

This means:

  • the government will no longer be advising you to shield
  • If you were receiving Government food box deliveries they will stop
  • you will still be eligible for priority supermarket slots (if you have registered by 17 July)
  • NHS Volunteer Responders will carry on delivering the food you buy, prescriptions and essential items to you if you need it
  • Leeds City Council can still help with food parcels, shopping and picking up medicines. If you need help, you can contact the Leeds Coronavirus helpline on 0113 378 1877
  • And you can still call Caring Together for any advice or support you need

You may still be at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so stay at home as much as you can and continue to take precautions when you do go out. You can do this by washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your face and keeping 2 metres away from people outside of your household or bubble wherever possible.

If you have been following all the shielding guidelines since March then it is natural that you may feel a little nervous about these changes so please only make changes at a pace you feel comfortable with.

More details on the website

Local advice and information is available at

Postponement of other lockdown easement

The further easing of lockdown restrictions in England – due to come in this weekend – has been postponed for at least two weeks, due to concerns about coronavirus rates

This means that the following will not be able to take place until 15 August, at the earliest:

the reopening of casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services
indoor performances
pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centres
the expansion of wedding receptions to allow up to 30 people
beauty treatments that involve the face, such as eyelash, eyebrow and threading treatments

In addition, face coverings will become mandatory in more indoor places such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship

Happy Yorkshire Day to You!!

This year’s official Yorkshire Day (1st August) celebrations were due to be taking place in Rotherham, but due to coronavirus, a virtual event will be taking place online instead. The event will be streamed online and will feature a variety of entertainment including local poets and storytellers.

You can watch it on the facebook page (it’s a public page so you should still be able to see it if you don’t have a facebook account)

Or if you feel like marking the day with a bit of traditional Yorkshire Parkin – Leeds Cookery School have shared their special parkin recipe for the day (we know it’s meant to be cooked on bonfire night but it looks good anyway)