Media Release: Scotland’s most promising opera stars take to the stage in Glasgow and Edinburgh

Scotland’s most promising opera stars take to the stage in Glasgow and Edinburgh

For a revival of the groundbreaking production of The Cunning Little Vixen

Theatre Royal, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 3QA
Fri 21 Jan 7.15pm • Sat 22 Jan 7.15pm

Festival Theatre, 13–29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9FT
Thu 27 Jan 7.15pm • Sat 29 Jan 7.15pm

In collaboration with Scottish Opera

THREE of Scotland’s most promising young opera singers will be on stage this month in Glasgow and Edinburgh in a groundbreaking production of one of the best-loved operas of all time.

Marie Claire Breen, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones and Michel de Souza are all on the prestigious Scottish Opera /Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Emerging Artists Programme.

And this month they will take on the lead roles in the Academy and Scottish Opera’s production of Janáček’s life-affirming opera, The Cunning Little Vixen.

Following last year’s sell out success War and Peace, the annual collaboration between The Academy and Scottish Opera will present a revival of the landmark production created by David Pountney in 1980 at the Edinburgh International Festival, with designs by Maria Bjørnson.

Vixen is a profound work brimming with humour, which explores the relationship between man and nature, and the natural cycle of life from birth to death.

Now in its sixth year, this annual winter collaboration – in which Scottish Opera artisans, technicians and musicians mentor RSAMD students to create a full opera production – has become a highly-anticipated event in the operatic calendar and this year, Scotland’s national conservatoire and the country’s national opera company, will be joined on stage by the senior associates of Scottish Ballet.

Four of the company’s young dancers will take to the stage as the mischievous squirrels of the forest.

Principal of the RSAMD, Professor John Wallace CBE, said: ”Our partnership with Scottish Opera goes from strength to strength.

“That our ambition knows no bounds was demonstrated by our epic joint production of War and Peace last year. This year we continue to raise the bar of excellence.

“Not only do our new ballet students get their first outing on the big international stages of Scotland, this is also the first year of our Scottish Opera/RSAMD Emerging Artist programme being blended into the production. A genius, classic, Pountney production. A heady mix. Unmissable.”

Alex Reedijk, artistic director of Scottish Opera, said: “Our relationship with the RSAMD has matured greatly over the past five years and there is no better evidence of that than this years Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists – Marie-Claire Breen, Michel de Souza and Rebecca Afonwy-Jones – appearing as professional singers in the production this year, after  performing as RSAMD students in last year’s  epic collaboration War and Peace. 

“Our relationship is providing real career development opportunities for Scotland’s future singers, musicians, artisans and technicians and I can only see it strengthening year on year.”

Motivated by the story of the adventurous little vixen, Sharp-Ears, this opera tells the tale of the forest and the exploits of the animals and people who live there – badgers, frogs, fox cub  and of course the little vixen herself.

The audience will watch as the little vixen grows from orphan and pet of the woodcutter, to her blossoming romance with a handsome fox and witness the cycle of life in the forest.

Conducted by Timothy Dean and directed by Elaine Tyler-Hall, The Cunning Little Vixen is set to be a stunning production with great singing and acting as well as the usual outstanding orchestral performance from the Orchestra of Scottish Opera side by side with music students of the Academy.

The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and the company’s senior specialist artisans and technicians act as mentors for the RSAMD’s young musicians, costume makers, set builders and stage technicians throughout the process of creating this new opera production.

Three of Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists – Marie Claire Breen, Rebecca Afonwy-Jones and Michel de Souza – will perform.

The Cunning Little Vixen is sung in English and opens for two nights at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow on  Friday 21 January 2011 7.15pm and Saturday 22 January  2011 at 7.15pm.

Edinburgh performances are at the Festival Theatre, Thursday 27 January 2011 7.15pm and Sat 29 January 2011 7.15pm.

For more information, contact Katie Bell on or 0141 270 8387 (direct)

07961 782240 (mobile)  Email

What the press said about War and Peace, 2010

“Thrilling result…. a superbly mature performance.”

The Times

“An extraordinary epic… A supreme night.”

The Herald

“Monumental, incredible.”

The Scotsman


12 January 2011

MEDIA RELEASE posted by RSAMD. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 0141 270 8387