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Deck the halls with……Opera North and Yorkshire Bank

1 December 2008

Yorkshire Bank and Opera North take opera to the festive streets of Leeds

It will be far from a ‘Silent Night’ in Leeds on Tuesday 9th December as tenors from Opera North join forces with employees from Yorkshire Bank to perform the finest operatic style Christmas carols across the city.

The performances are part of an initiative sponsored by Yorkshire Bank, in conjunction with Opera North, to raise money for St Gemma’s Hospice. The Leeds hospice is a member of Help the Hospices, which is the UK hospice movement’s national charity and Yorkshire Bank’s nominated charity partner. All funds raised are matched pound for pound by the bank.

On Monday 8th December, Yorkshire Bank employees will be at Leeds Grand Theatre for Christmas carol training with Opera North opera singers. They will be taught breathing exercises and how to project their voices so they can sing traditional Christmas carol favourites in a truly operatic style. The bank employees and the Opera North sopranos will then head down to The Light retail and leisure centre and The Victoria Quarter on Tuesday 9th December to put what they have learnt into action.

Gary Lumby, Head of Retail for Yorkshire Bank said: “As part of the sponsorship of Opera North, Yorkshire Bank has pledged to help take opera to as broad an audience as possible.  By working with the experts at Opera North to take operatic carolling to the streets of Leeds this Christmas, we will be achieving this objective and raising a significant amount of money for St Gemma’s Hospice at the same time.”
Yorkshire Bank currently has 500 employees volunteering across many different local initiatives, which range from assisting with audio described productions at Leeds Grand Theatre, to helping young people develop their literacy, numeracy and life skills. Since the partnership began in February of this year, employees at Yorkshire Bank and its sister bank Clydesdale have raised more than £250,000 for Help the Hospices.  All funds raised by Yorkshire and Clydesdale Bank employees are matched pound for pound by the bank.

Elizabeth Baxter, Fundraising Manager for St Gemma’s Hospice said: “All of the staff and patients at St Gemma’s Hospice really appreciate the efforts of Yorkshire Bank employees in raising so much money for the hospice at Christmas and all year round. Every penny raised by Yorkshire Bank will be very well spent on the patients in our care.”

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