Scottish Opera’s Highlights tour stops off in Hawick

Kate Howden and William Morgan in Opera Highlights.
Kate Howden and William Morgan in Opera Highlights.

Scottish Opera’s hugely popular Opera Highlights tour will travel to Hawick in February 2018.

Head of music Derek Clark has curated an extremely varied programme including favourites from Rossini’s ‘Barber of Seville’, Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ and Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘The Gondoliers’, as well as lesser known gems rarely performed on the Scottish stage.

Opera Highlights, which tells the story of Henrietta and Leon, two stage managers who have to cope with the demands of opera stars Sophia and Petrach every night on tour, also features a new work, entitled ‘Wings’, created especially for the tour by Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artist Composer in Residence Samuel Bordoli. With something for everyone, from opera first timers to seasoned fans, Opera Highlights promises an intimate performance of great music.

The cast is full of fresh new talent including mezzo-soprano Catherine Backhouse (La traviata 2017), The Robertson Trust Scholarship Emerging Artist at Scottish Opera; soprano Máire Flavin; baritone Benjamin Lewis and National Opera Studio graduate, tenor William Morgan. Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Emerging Artist Patrick Milne, Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artist Repetiteur, accompanies the four talented young singers on piano and Jack Furness (Opera Highlights 2016) makes a welcome return to the company to direct.

Director Jack Furness said: “Autumn’s Opera Highlights was a really beautiful show to make, and re-exploring that with a new cast is going to be a fun adventure – I’m looking forward to it hugely.

“William Morgan and I had a great creative partnership going in the autumn, and it will be great to see how we can push his character further. It’s great to be working with Máire Flavin again. We did a show together in Aberdeenshire and she was really sensational in the role of Violetta.

“I’ve also been wanting to work with Benjamin Lewis for a long time. He’s one of the most exciting young baritones in the UK and this should be a real treat for audiences. Working with Patrick Milne at the piano, I’m hoping we can push the show’s blend of off-beat comedy and theatrical depth into ever more interesting places.”

Opera Highlights will be at Tower Mill, Hawick, on February 8 at 7.30pm. More details from www.heartofhawick.co.uk.