Brechin date for Scottish Opera’s highlights tour

A scene from last year's show which proved a real hit with audiences. (Picture by Colin Hattersley).
A scene from last year's show which proved a real hit with audiences. (Picture by Colin Hattersley).

Scottish Opera will celebrate the 21st anniversary of Opera Highlights with a 17-date tour of Scotland in the New Year, visiting Brechin on January 31.

A great evening for those brand new to opera, seasoned fans and everyone in-between, ‘Opera Highlights’ features music from some of the world’s most popular operas, as well as some lesser-known treats selected by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark.

This January, Scottish Opera’s trusty van will be loaded up with a piano, a handful of props and four singers to perform at some of the smaller or more remote venues the length and breadth of Scotland.

The annual tour has been taking to the road since 1994, when it started life as ‘Essential Scottish Opera’.

This year’s tour visits Rutherglen, Brechin, Campbeltown, Islay, Benderloch, Durness, Torridon, Arisaig, Peebles, Castle Douglas, Cumnock, Findhorn, Golspie, Banchory, Duns, Killin and Bathgate.

Arias from Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ and Verdi’s ‘La Traviata’ will be showcased alongside the famous Habanera from Bizet’s ‘Carmen’.

Audiences will also be treated to Gilbert & Sullivan classics from ‘HMS Pinafore’ and ‘The Gondoliers’ as part of the two-hour production.

This year’s ‘Opera Highlights’ programme also includes a world premiere from Scottish Opera’s new Composer in Residence, Lliam Paterson, entitled ‘Touching Eden’.

Scottish Opera’s head of music, Derek Clark, said: “In the midst of a Scottish winter sometimes we all need a bit of warming up, so the theme for the show this year is an operatic garden party.

“These are really evenings for everyone. Even if you don’t know a single tune when you come to see us, I guarantee you’ll be humming at least one of them on the journey home.”

This year’s singers are former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Sioned Gwen Davies and tenor Sam Furness, who performed as Kate and Frederic in 2013’s ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.

They are joined by Welsh tenor Joshua Owen Mills, Ben McAteer, winner of NI Opera’s inaugural Festival of Voice competition in 2011, and soprano Reisha Adams, winner of the 2012 Ian Stoutzker prize for outstanding musicianship.

They will be accompanied by pianist Ina Selvelieva and the production is directed by Max Webster.

The tour begins on Rutherglen Town Hall Thursday, January 29 before stopping off at Brechin City Hall on Saturday, January 31 for a concert which begins at 7.30 p.m.