Merry Widow at Haddo to celebrate company’s 10th anniversary

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Opera Bohemia is 10 this year, and celebrates with its biggest tour ever and a special production of Lehar’s The Merry Widow.

In its ten years Opera Bohemia has given 126 performances of fully staged operas all round Scotland, as well as two short tours to England, providing performance opportunities for well over 100 young professional singers and musicians in Scotland.

And the show will come to Haddo House Hall next Tuesday (August 27), presented by Haddo Arts.

Artistic Directors and Founders of Opera Bohemia Douglas Nairne and Alistair Digges said: “We can’t quite believe it has been ten years since we began our mission of bringing live opera round Scotland and giving opportunities to young professional singers and musicians.

“In that time we’ve been lucky to work with so many talented performers, directors and designers. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way and to the various trusts and donors for their financial support. We’re very excited to be back at the beautiful Haddo House Hall with Haddo Arts for this special performance”

One of Opera Bohemia’s main aims is to introduce opera to first time opera goers and a younger generation, in a dynamic way. In 2017 Bohemia launched their education project, taking opera workshops to schools all round Scotland each year. The workshops have received glowing feedback from students and teachers across the country and are in high demand. This year the sessions involve over 600 children across 18 schools.

Opera Bohemia hopes to tempt even more people to give opera a try this year with their new production of Franz Lehár’s operetta, The Merry Widow. It will be the first time it has been performed professionally in Scotland for more than 10 years.

The new production is set in the romantic city of Paris in the 1930s, where various suitors squabble to win the hand of the recently widowed, but very wealthy, Hannah Glawari. The work is full of stunning Viennese melodies, including famous show-stoppers like ‘Viljah’, ‘The Merry Widow Waltz’ and ‘Chez Maxim’s’.

The production will showcase some of Scotland’s finest young professional talent, with many RCS alumni featured in the line-up. Edinburgh-born soprano Catriona Clark and Fife-born baritone Douglas Nairne, who have become favourites with Bohemia audiences round the country, sing the lead duo, with other cast members including former Scottish Opera Young Artists, Marie Claire Breen and Andrew McTaggart.