Opera Scotland

Dido and Aeneas 2018Scots Opera Project

Read more about the opera Dido and Aeneas

This year the Scots Opera Project introduced Gaelic alongside the Scots language, with a new production of Dido and Aeneas.

Scots and Gaelic may not seem the most obvious choice of language for an opera performance, but David Douglas, a tenor and the creative force behind the project feels it works very well, “Operas are performed in the native languages of countries all over the world. Therefore when performing an opera in Scotland, I felt that the use of Scots and Gaelic would work; it would bring it to life in an entirely different way for both performers and audience.”

The new translation has been created by the National Library of Scotland’s and Creative Scotland’s newly appointed Scots Scriever Dr Michael Dempster and award winning Gaelic Writer and Poet Marcus Mac an Tuairneir. In August the production was workshopped and performed at the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine by some of  Scotland’s finest opera singers, who have all received expert coaching from renowned Gaelic singer Joy Dunlop.

The project also involved elements of community engagement, with a chorus composed of amateur performers who took up a weeks residency at the Harbour Arts Centre in order to refine and hone the performance – and their language skills.  This was a unique opportunity for them to learn from professional musicians and singers about vocal and dramatic interpretation in opera, and to be involved with music rehearsals, vocal technique sessions and acting and movement sessions. Leading the course was singer, vocal coach and director David Douglas. David put together an outstanding team of coaches and singers, who worked with singers from the local community then performed the main roles in the world premiere of this Scots and Gaelic production of Dido and Aeneas.

Performance DatesDido and Aeneas 2018

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Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine | Irvine

11 Aug, 14.30 11 Aug, 19.30

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