On Wednesday this week I traveled back up to Glasgow so that I could start rehearsals on Friday 22nd July as a soloist for the Scottish Opera Connect Company. It was wonderful to meet up with the current members of the Company at the rehearsal space at Elmbank Crescent and start the preparations for Sunday’s performance.
This year they have been asked to showcase their work during the opening ceremony of the 32nd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education. The event is taking place at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall tonight ( Sunday 24th July 2016 ) at 18:30 pm. It is a fabulous venue, and I am thrilled to performing here again as part of such a fabulous occasion.
Scottish Opera Connect Company comprises of the Connect Chorus, the Connect Orchestra, and Connect Stage management, which all provide valuable experience for young people between the ages of 14 and 21 in all aspects of Opera. It is a fantastic program and one that I have been proud to be associated with. For this event, they are showcasing the work that they do by performing a 15-minute excerpt from Scottish Opera’s “Cabinet of Doctor Caligari”.
The production was commissioned by Scottish Opera for the Connect Company and composed by Karen MacIver and librettist Allan Dunn. The story, based on the 1920’s German silent horror movie “Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari”, relates a tale of murder, intrigue, and mayhem.In this adaptation, we find the story set in Scotland and unfolds in Glasgow Green and within the Gartloch Asylum. Doctor Gallagher travels around the fairs and festivals using his somnambulist ( a great word for someone under a hypnotic trance ) called Cesare to commit evil murderous deeds. At one of these fairs, my character ‘Jane’ is told by Cesare while he is in a hypnotic trance that her friend Ellen will die. Following Ellen’s death Jane and her boyfriend Francis ( played by Glen Cunningham ) decide to investigate further but the whole experience tips Jane over the edge and with her sanity failing she is recommended to attend a doctor Caligari at the Gartloch Asylum. The story concludes as Doctor Caligari and his alter ego Doctor Gallagher are exposed as being one and the same person, and his murderous deeds are finally uncovered.
The whole production brought enthusiastically to life by the conductor, Chris Gray, and the director Julie Brown has been a wonderful experience to be a part of, and it has been a pleasure to work with them again. The professionalism that they bring to these productions provides the members of the Connect Company a real taste of what it would be like to take to the stage as a professional performer. Being asked to perform as a professional soloist alongside so many talented and enthusiastic young performers from the Connect Company has been an experience that I will cherish forever, and I will always be grateful to Scottish Opera for allowing me to be a small part of this empowering educational project.
Here are some pictures with the members of the Connect Company.
With the staff backstage, Rose Ann, Laura McIntosh and in the bottom picture Jodie Mitchell with me and Sophie Holloway
Here a couple of pictures whilst we were on stage performing this evening taken by Ankna Arokiam
I found out today that Nicky Spence, a patron of the Connect Company, set out from Glasgow on a sponsored cycle ride to London in aid of Help Musicians UK who carry out such tremendous work in helping to provide much-needed funding to selected musicians to assist in their studies and professional development.