Skip to main content

Sage Gateshead

 →  Media Room  →  Sage Gateshead welcomes music to its stages for the first time in 2021 this coming Friday

Sage Gateshead welcomes music to its stages for the first time in 2021 this coming Friday

Posted on 13 April 2021


The iconic music centre’s first series of 2021, New Beginnings starts on 16 April with one of classical music’s superstars Dame Sarah Connolly joining the Royal Northern Sinfonia and its recently announced Principal Conductor Designate, Dinis Sousa on the stage at Sage Gateshead.

Dawn and Dusk, Friday 16 April at 7.30pm, will be live streamed. It is a concert of new beginnings, full of optimism.

Opening with the sunrise depicted in the introduction to Haydn’s ‘Le Matin’ (Morning) seems a fitting way to break the silence of the last few months.

The dawn of a new day – a new beginning – which is also celebrated in Lili Boulanger’s beautifully impressionistic take on a spring morning. Find out more about this phenomenal young woman composer who tragically died aged just 24 in 1918 at

The orchestra is joined by one of the finest operatic and concert singers of our time, Dame Sarah Connolly, for Berlioz’ much-loved song cycle, Les Nuits d’été (Summer Nights), an exploration of love and loss which, despite its title, begins with a poem about the spring, the season of new beginnings.

Dame Sarah Connolly said: “Even though I was born in Middlesbrough I’ve never sung at Sage Gateshead. I’m so happy to make my debut there with the brilliant Royal Northern Sinfonia with whom I’ve had very happy associations.” 

And to round off the evening, Prokofiev’s exuberant first symphony, a lighthearted and joyful tribute to Mozart and Haydn.

A cracking programme to open Sage Gateshead’s first season of 2021, one which marks a new beginning for Royal Northern Sinfonia as it starts its musical adventure with newly appointed Principal Conductor Designate, Dinis Sousa.

Thorben Dittes, Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia said: “It is wonderful to start once again sharing music with our audiences. This programme is so full of optimism and vitality it is the perfect start to a fresh, new year of music making. It marks the overdue debut of Dame Sarah Connolly on our stage, and is also a chance for audiences to preview our new, recently announced Principal Conductor Designate Dinis Sousa at the helm. We hope you will join us this Friday evening.”

Tickets for the live stream are now available at 3 different prices:

Single Viewer (£8), Pair of Viewers (£15) and Family Viewers (£30) with viewers asked to select the best option for them.

The concert will be live streamed and then available from midnight for a further 48 hours for those who would like to watch again for free over the weekend.

Dawn and Dusk is the first in the series New Beginnings which will alternate classical and contemporary concerts performed live at Sage Gateshead each Friday night. Next week Holy Moly and the Crackers will bring its unique mash of soul, rock, indie and Balkan folk to audiences on 23 April.

Further concerts in the series will be announced and go on-sale next week, these will remain streamed online only, however Sage Gateshead looks forward to welcoming back audiences in due course.


For further media enquiries and for press access to the livestream for reviewers please contact Susie Gray, 07834 073795.



Sarah Connolly was made a DBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours, having previously been awarded a CBE in the 2010 New Year Honours. In 2020 she was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society in recognition of her outstanding services to music.

She has sung at the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Lucerne, Salzburg and Tanglewood festivals and the BBC Proms where, in 2009, she was a soloist at the Last Night. Opera engagements have taken her around the world from the Metropolitan Opera to the Royal Opera House, the Paris Opera, La Scala Milan, the Munich State Opera and the Bayreuth, Glyndebourne and Aix-en-Provence festivals.

Recent highlights include Fricka in The Ring Cycle at both the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Teatro Real in Madrid and recitals for the Schubertíada a Vilabertran, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid and for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.

Recent performances on the concert platform have included Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Jurowski & London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jurowski), his Symphony No. 8 (Wiener Symphoniker/Jordan), Des Knaben Wunderhorn (Orchestre national de Paris/Saraste) and Tippet’s A Child of our Time (Orchestre de Paris/Adès). In the 2018/19 season, Sarah curated a residency at Wigmore Hall.


Dinis Sousa, Conductor

Dinis Sousa is Founder and Artistic Director of Orquestra XXI, an award-winning orchestra which brings together some of the best young Portuguese musicians from around Europe. Orquestra XXI has already established itself as one of the leading performing groups in Portugal, appearing regularly in its main concert halls. Recent highlights include opening the Gulbenkian Foundation season and appearing at Centro Cultural de Belém’s festival “Dias da Música”.

Dinis is the first-ever Assistant Conductor of the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras. Recent highlights include co-conducting the Monteverdi Choir in Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette at the BBC Proms, with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and touring with the English Baroque Soloists to Colombia, conducting several concerts of Bach’s orchestral music.

As a guest-conductor, recent and forthcoming highlights include projects with Orchestre Symphonique de Mulhouse, Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, Malta Philharmonic, Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, Madeira Chamber Orchestra and conducting rehearsals with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Dinis studied conducting with Sian Edwards and Timothy Redmond at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he was Conducting Fellow. While at Guildhall, he conducted several different projects, including Bach’s St. John Passion and a staged production of Harrison Birtwistle’s Down by the Greenwood Side.

In recognition of his work with Orquestra XXI, Dinis was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of Prince Henry in Portugal.


Royal Northern Sinfonia, orchestra of Sage Gateshead, is the UK’s only full-time chamber orchestra. Founded in 1958, RNS has built a worldwide reputation for the North East through the quality of its music-making and the immediacy of the connections the musicians make with audiences.

The orchestra regularly flies the flag for the region at major festivals, including the BBC Proms. They appear frequently at venues and festivals in Europe, including La folle journée in Nantes. In recent seasons they have toured to Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo.