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Opera tour to feature world premiere of new piece by Sutherland composer

By Niall Harkiss

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Composer Lucie Treacher is originally from Skelbo, near Dornoch.
Composer Lucie Treacher is originally from Skelbo, near Dornoch.

An 'up-and-coming' composer from Sutherland will be featured in the production of a new vaudeville-inspired show from Scottish Opera.

Starting on February 8 at Websters Theatre at Glasgow’s West End, the 'Opera Highlights' tour will visit Tain and Wick on its travels between 18 venues throughout Scotland.

John Savournin directs a cast that includes Scottish soprano Monica McGhee, former Scottish Opera emerging artists Margo Arsane and Shengzhi Ren, who were both in Così fan tutte earlier this year, and Dan Shelvey (The Gondoliers 2021). This is a great chance for audiences to see Margo and Shengzhi perform in Opera Highlights, as they were originally scheduled to take part in the tour last year, before it was cancelled because of the pandemic. Mark Sandon joins the singers as pianist and Music Director.

The Edwardian-inspired production, designed by Janis Hart, is an opportunity to hear a whole range of music in just one evening. Curated by Scottish Opera’s head of music Derek Clark, audiences can enjoy much-loved classics including Hansel & Gretel, Die Fledermaus and La bohème, as well as lesser known gems.

A feature of the production will be the world premiere of a new piece by 24 year old Lucie Treacher, who originates Skelbo in Sutherland.

The quartet, entitled ‘To the Lighthouse’, weaves together scenes from the 1927 novel by Virginia Woolf.

Mr Savournin, said: ‘There is a such a rich variety of repertoire in this season's Opera Highlights - Puccini to Operetta, to a newly-commissioned piece by up-and-coming Scottish composer, Lucie Treacher - and I'm so excited to create a fun, visual world full of performance magic.’

Scottish Opera general director, Alex Reedijk, said: ‘I am thrilled that such a fine company of young performers is able to tour all across Scotland in the Spring. I hope that this delightfully entertaining and vaudevillian-themed Opera Highlights will help to encourage our audiences to make a welcome and safe return to live performances, for the first time in two years in many cases.’

Opera Highlights is supported by The Friends of Scottish Opera and JTH Charitable Trust.

Tickets are on sale from December 15 at scottishopera.org.uk.

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