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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Francesca Amewudah-Rivers in Conversation with Michael Henry

Fri. 4 December 2020

Musician and actor Francesa Amewudah-Rivers is joined in conversation with vocalist, composer, educator and music director Michael Henry.

Michael Henry is a vocalist, composer, educator and music director. Born in London, He studied clarinet and composition at the Royal College of Music 1981-85. He began his professional singing career as a lead vocalist in R&B group Buddy Curtess and the Grasshoppers from 1985-'89, going on to perform full-time in a variety of groups including Flying Pickets, Shiva Nova, Errollyn Wallen's Ensemble X, The Tarantinos and 15-piece a cappella choir The Shout.

He has worked in a directorial capacity with theatres that include the National, Old Vic, Young Vic, Royal Court, Almeida, Leeds Playhouse, Royal and Derngate, Northampton and Shakespeare's Globe and as a vocal animateur on several BBC, community and schools projects. Backing vocal experiences include Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, George Michael, Robbie Williams, Chrissy Hynde, Billy Bragg, Jamelia, Michael Ball, The Pet Shop Boys, Cliff Richard, Dave McAlmont and Ian Shaw. He has also been the main or sole support act for Michael Jackson, Roy Orbison, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Lisa Stansfield, Aswad, Edwin Starr and many more.

Classical vocal experiences include featured roles with Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt and Matrix Ensemble, plus appearances in televised operas by Mark Anthony Turnage, Orlando Gough, Jenni Roditi and Jocelyn Pook. Michael has also provided film and TV vocals for Pop Idols, X-Factor, Saturday Live with Ben Elton, The Tube with Jules Holland, Saturday Night Divas, 2006 Honda Choir, Star Wars (episode 1), Scrooge (Kelsey Grammar), Galavant (season 2) and Aladdin (2019).

Workshops, events and masterclasses in Utopia Theatre’s Creative Hub are for people of African origin aged 16 and above.

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Intensive Playwriting

Fri. 18 September 2020

Jennifer Farmer is a playwright, librettist and theatre-maker who writes with/for marginalised communities and underrepresented voices. Targeted at writers looking to revisit their work, Jennifer leads an advanced redrafting play writing workshop.

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Music in the Round presents a series of films, sharing professionals' tips in writing and composition. Learn how to write beautiful piano chords, and how to write for instruments including the double bass and flute.

Richard Hawley

No musician has as deep a connection to Sheffield as Richard Hawley. Here he talks about the "grim up north" myth and how Sheffield inspires his music.

Crucible Theatre

The Crucible is a very modern theatre. Outside, its colourful facade keeps Tudor Square well-lit by night, whilst inside it boasts a polygonal shape and thrust stage. Its programme is well known for seasons dedicated to 20th-century playwrights.