Media Release: Corrected version – UK music first for opera highlights tour

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*** Baritone Marcus Farnsworth will perform the first nine shows NOT Jonathan McGovern as previously stated. Apologies for any inconvenience caused, full and correct version of the release below ***

AUDIENCES in Scotland will be the first in the UK to hear a brand new work by composer Gareth Williams as Opera Highlights hits the road later this month.

Scottish Opera’s inaugural composer in residence has revised Dance ‘til the Sun Sets especially for the annual 15-date, whistle-stop tour.

It will be performed alongside arias and ensembles from well-known operas including Bizet’s Carmen, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, as well as a sprinkling of lesser-known works from the likes of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadko and Britten’s Paul Bunyan.

A cast of four talented young singers will bring the eclectic programme to life in venues from Jedburgh to Mull, Arran to Lochinver, Glenrothes to Livingston, Largs to Musselburgh and back again – they are baritone Marcus Farnsworth (with Riccardo Simonetti singing for the final six performances), soprano Anita Watson, mezzo-soprano Rosie Aldridge and tenor Robert Anthony Gardiner. Packing up her piano to accompany them on the five-week tour is Susannah Wapshott.

In charge of hand-picking the Opera Highlights programme for over a decade, Scottish Opera’s head of music, Derek Clark, is at the helm once again, and can’t wait to get the show on the road.

He says: “It’s great to be able to include a new piece of work in the Opera Highlights programme, particularly as Gareth has worked closely with the singers on revising the piece, it’s been an exciting challenge for them, and will make for a real treat for audiences.

“It fits beautifully into the programme too, which is a real mixed bag of familiar favourites and lesser-known gems, so even if you’ve never tried opera – or if you’re an opera-buff – I’m sure you’ll find something in there to love.”


Notes to editors:

1. Gareth Williams is Scottish Opera’s first ever composer-in-residence. The post sits within the Company’s already well-established Emerging Artists Programme and will last two years. Gareth has already created two short operas for Scottish Opera in Five:15 Operas Made in Scotland, is a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has composed works for the Hebrides Ensemble, the Paragon Ensemble, Symposia, the Black Hair Ensemble, and the London Sinfionetta.

He was the winner of the British Conservatoire Composers Forum 2000, and in 2004 won the Dinah Wolf prize for composition. His work has also been featured in the Edinburgh Festival, the St Magnus Festival, Opera to Go, and the York Late Music Festival.

2.  Dance ‘til the Sun Sets features a libretto by Marjorie Chan and was developed at Tapestry New Opera’s LibLab 2010, an intensive week-long project for writers and composers to explore the collaborative process.

For additional press details please contact:

Kerryn Kirkpatrick, press manager, 0141 242 0511,

Emma York, press officer, 0141 242 0552,


Tickets at all venues £11 (£5 Under 26) **

** Available from individual venues

(Booking fees may apply. Please check with individual venues/box offices.  Advance booking is highly recommended. Any remaining unsold tickets will be available for sale at the door. Doors open 30 minutes before the performance begins.)

Running time – two hours (including interval)

The Howden Park Centre, Livingston

Tuesday 31 January, 7.30pm

Tickets: Howden Park Centre, Howden, Livingston, EH54 6AE

Tel: 01506 777 666

Broughton Village Hall

Thursday 2 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Broughton Village Stores, Broughton, Biggar, ML12 6HQ

Or from Christopher Lambton on 07879 470 920 (text or ring)

Reserve tickets online at

Jedburgh Town Hall

Saturday 4 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Visit Scotland Information Centre, Murrays Green, Jedburgh, TD8 6BE

Tel: 01835 863 170

Lochside Theatre, Castle Douglas

Tuesday 7 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Lochside Theatre, Lochside Road, Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway,


Tel: 01556 504 506

St Columba’s Parish Church, Largs

Thursday 9 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Largs and Millport Information Bureau, 88 Main Street , Largs, Ayrshire, KA30 8AN

Tel: 01475 676 182

Brodick Town Hall, Isle of Arran

Saturday 11 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Book & Card Centre, Shore Road, Brodick, Isle of Arran, KA27 8AJ

Tel: 01770 302 288

Glenuig Hall

Tuesday 14 February, 8pm

Tickets: Glenuig Hall, Glenuig, Lochailort, PH38 4NG

Tel: 01687 470 267

Victory Hall, Benderloch

Thursday 16 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Terry Donovan

Tel: 01631 720 498

Mull Theatre

Saturday 18 February, 8pm

Tickets: Mull Theatre, Druimfin, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, PA75 6QB

Tel: 01688 302 828

Gairloch Community Hall

Tuesday 21 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Carole Miller, West Coast Arts

Tel: 01445 731 535

Lochinver Village Hall

Thursday 23 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Clive Sheppard

Tel: 01571 844 104

Glenmoriston Millennium Hall, Invermoriston

Saturday 25 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Cherry Duncan

Tel: 01320 351 230

Midmar Village Hall

Tuesday 28 February, 7.30pm

Tickets: Colin Stokoe

Tel: 01330 833 719

Rothes Halls, Glenrothes

Thursday 1 March, 7.30pm

Tickets: Rothes Halls, Kingdom Centre, Glenrothes, KY7 5NX

Tel: 01592 611 101

Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh

Saturday 3 March, 7.30pm

Tickets: Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh, EH21 6AA

Tel: 0131 665 2240

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

Contact: Emma York
Phone: 0141 242 0552