Our much-loved Synagogue Nights: a series of intimate performances in our former 1874 Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, are back this autumn!
Situated on Cheetham Hill Road in one of Manchester’s most culturally diverse areas and the city’s historic Jewish quarter, Manchester Jewish Museum creates a space for sharing and connection, through art, food and creative experiences for all. And every autumn, its 1874 grade II* listed Spanish and Portuguese synagogue turns into a performance venue.
This autumn, Synagogue Nights are back with a packed programme of events, spanning multiple genres, including film screenings, musical concerts and a range of gigs from experimental folk to Ladino song. The season celebrates Jewish stories in all their diversity and showcases young talent, from Manchester and beyond.
The season will begin on Sunday, 22 October with a music performance by Fran & Flora. This experimental folk duo, comprising of cellist Francesca Ter-Berg and violinist Flora Curzon, are quickly becoming one of the UK’s most sought-after bands.
Drawing inspiration from their travels and mentors in eastern Europe and beyond, their compositions stem from the melodies of Klezmer, Transylvanian, Romanian, Greek and Armenian music, as well as being influenced by archival recordings. Fran & Flora seek to combine elements of these rich musical traditions with their ever evolving, experimental collaboration. Having just finished their second album together they come to Manchester to present their new music in the museum’s synagogue.
A week after, on Sunday, 29 October, audiences will be taken on a journey of discovery into songs from across the Jewish diaspora. James Nissen, a Manchester-based singer and klezmer violinist, will perform a repertoire of Jewish songs from all over the world, sung in Yiddish, Ladino, Hebrew, Greek and English.
From traditional songs, which tell the stories of Jewish people to contemporary songs reflecting on the diasporic experience, this show will make you sing along, dance and go on your own, personal journey through music.
On November 16, the museum will once again welcome the fantastic Noga Ritter Trio. Following on from last year’s sold-out show, Noga, joined by Giuliano Osella (percussion) and Tomer Eldor (piano), returns to Manchester with a new album, “Ima” (Hebrew: mother).
Released in May this year, this debut solo album features 14 incredible musicians, including the award-winning artists Seckou Keita on Kora, Byron Wallen on trumpet, Tony Kofi on saxophone and produced by Liran Donin. Audiences can expect an electric and captivating show with new songs, tracing influences from Noga’s upbringing, travels and encounters, as well as firm favourites to sing- along. Early bookings are encouraged.
On Sunday, 26 November the mood will shift to comedy with Tanya Truman Productions’ new piece ‘Becoming Nigella’. This funny, heart-warming and mouth-salivating new musical in concert is inspired by the well-known Nigella Lawson.
When Anna’s estranged mother passes away, she inherits Nigella Lawson’s seminal cookbook ‘How to Eat’. She is surprised to find the book is accompanied by the spirit of Nigella Lawson, who pushes Anna into learning the joys of cooking, failing, and, most importantly, eating. Directed by Grace Taylor and starring Tanya Truman and Natasha Karp, the show is supported by Arts Council England and was initially presented at BEAM2023 at Oxford Playhouse.