The Christmas programme for the northern English venue, Sage Gateshead, is always eclectic, and as it rebuilds its audiences after lockdown, it is offering 1000 tickets for £2.50 and £5 for people wanting to see something different.
From performances by Royal Northern Sinfonia (RNS) and its chorus, to folk musician Kate Rusby sharing Yorkshire carols, and The Sixteen’s festive programme centred around Bob Chilcott’s double-choir O antiphons, there is something for everyone to explore. There will be a Curious Winter Cabaret and the RNS offering a star-studded West End Christmas concert. Of course, Handel’s Messiah will also be performed by the RNS with the Young Sinfonia and Huddersfield Choral Society.
Abigail Pogson, Managing Director of Sage Gateshead, said, ‘Many people feel like they missed out on the Christmas they longed for last year. This year we want to make sure that Sage Gateshead not only offers a wonderful range of Christmas concerts and activities to make it an extra special time, but also makes that affordable and accessible to as many as possible which is why we’ve made 1000 £5 and £2.50 tickets available for new audiences. We really hope that in looking to make this an extra special Christmas, some people will discover a night out at Sage Gateshead for the first time.’
In keeping with its remit to engage the North East England community in the arts, Sage Gatehead is offering a short course in Christmas Choir Singing starting on 12 November 12, plus an opportunity to sing the Hallelujah Chorus or Abba’s Greatest Hits, play a Uke Rock Christmas Edition or join a workshop of Fiddles at Christmas.
Pogson admits it’s been a very difficult time for the Sage Gateshead, which is a registered Charity. It lost 80 percent of its income during the pandemic and had to lay off many staff. Even this year, only half its projected income will be achieved and support from Arts Council England, DCMS and the Culture Recovery Fund still leaves a £1 million hole in its coffers this year with another million needed next year to secure its future.