Opera Scotland

Max Fane and Raucous Rossini

Posted 22 Jul

Max Fane and Raucous Rossini were at the National Trust for Scotland's magnificent house at Hill of Tarvit with a touring production of Il Signor Bruschino, when Iain Fraser of OperaScotland was able to learn about their progress.

Max, what is your first memory of opera?

My first experience of opera was a rather big treat, going to the opera house with my mum. We just decided to go, I'd developed an interest in singing and we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. It was Verdi's Traviata and of course who was the cast but Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson and Joseph Calleja and we were in complete paradise. We had no idea of how great a performance we were to see so that was a wonderful start. I was about 14 or 15.

Where do you call home?

I hail from West Berkshire. I lived in a small village there, it's very definitely my home, but also I've been lucky enough to live in Italy for most of my life as well. Having lived in Glasgow for five years, I've got quite a few places I feel at home in.

Where did you get the idea for Raucous Rossini?

Raucous Rossini is born out of two things really, one Italy and two the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. When I arrived at the Conservatoire in my second year we decided to take a group of singers with me to Italy to do some gala concerts. I'd previously organised two tours for a choir I used to run when I was 18, so this was the third tour I'd organised and we had a fantastic time performing in these wonderful spaces. We decided that we want to do something more, and what was going to be the next step? It was very clear that was to start an opera company! From that we started with La cambiale di matrimonio with piano and then we formed our orchestra in February 2015 and performed L'inganno felice.

Why did you decide to tackle an MBA?

There are always several reasons for doing it. One was I completed a bachelor of music and enjoyed it. I enjoyed my time in Scotland. I didn't feel ready to give up the progress that had been created in Glasgow, running these choirs, starting up Raucous Rossini. I knew I wanted to continue that work. Having done a music degree, doing an MBA at Strathclyde University would help me to solidify the business side of things and help me take the Rossini company forward and open up a lot of business opportunities for the choir. I would be able to continue with my classical music activities.

What lies behind your choice of venues on your tour of Scotland?

I'd love to be able to say it is some sort of inspiration. More often than not it's having willing people on the ground who have heard about Raucous Rossini in some way and want to support us. So everywhere we go, we have people on the ground who are organising events for us, who are selling tickets for us, who are feeding us, who are telling their friends about it. And that actually is a model that is been used, not all over the UK, but in Italy, in being invited to somewhere by other contacts. 

Listen to the recording to hear about future plans.

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