Opera Festival Scotland is Dundee's newest arts festival and Scotland's first Opera Festival.
Run by an experienced and passionate group of local volunteers, Opera Festival Scotland aim to educate, engage and inspire; making opera accessible for all!
Judith Weir is a British composer, and the current Master of The Queen’s Music, a 400-year old royal appointment.
She has frequently written music for national occasions, including the Queen’s 90th birthday and the UK’s official commemoration of the 1918 Armistice.
Her operas have been performed around the world, and she is well-known for her work with choirs of all kinds, including the BBC Singers and King’s College Choir, Cambridge. She has also written new work for some notable orchestras, amongst them CBSO, the Boston Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra and BBC Symphony.
Judith says “A grass roots opera festival arising out of the great city of Dundee is a thrilling prospect - let’s make it happen!”
Photograph by Sim Canetty-Clarke
Born in Dundee and raised in Brechin, Angus, Michael grew up in a musical home and has participated in the organising of concerts and theatre productions from a young age. He has also performed on numerous occassions on stage as a soloist, chorus member and orchestra member.
Professionally, Michael has worked in the Tourism and Events Industry for over four years, working in venues such as Edinburgh Castle, The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and for Inverlochy Castle Management International. He has coordinated both large-scale and intimate events, including gala concerts, conferences and weddings.
He has also worked in venues during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as staging operatic concerts.
Michael took singing lessons in Brechin and Edinburgh and furthered his passion through participating in Tayside Opera, where he was also a member of the committee.
Michael was Producer for Edinburgh Studio Opera and worked closely with Musical Director, Will Conway, and Stage Director, Jen McGregor.
Combining his passion for opera with his various experiences in teaching, training and managerial positions, Michael created Opera Festival Scotland as an opportunity for singers, musicians and community members of all backgrounds and skill sets to take part in and enjoy.
Liam is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Music at the University of Aberdeen, having recently completed his undergrad. He studied voice under the tutelage of Judith Howarth, having previously studied with Morag Simpson for ten years.
He is Assistant Conductor of the University’s chapel choir and was President of the University Concert Band for two years.
He has performed with many ensembles, including Con Anima Chamber Choir, the University Chamber Choir, Morven Singers and St. Andrew’s Cathedral Choir.
He has toured to New York, Warsaw, Germany, London and Cambridge. Recently, he performed with the Montrose & District Choral Society, at the Glamis Musicale and with the University’s Symphony Orchestra and Choral Society as the baritone soloist in a performance of Vaughan Williams’ beautiful Dona Nobis Pacem.
He has received the Carlaw Music Scholarship and Principal’s Scholar Award through his studies at the University, both of which are a great honour.
Graduating from the University of Ulster in Events Management, Emma's career has taken her to venues in Dubai, Florida and many more across the UK.
Emma has experience working at festivals as a VIP Campsite Manager, as well as prestigious events like the G8 Summit.
Having worked as an Events Supervisor for a luxury hotel collection, Emma has great experience in training and mentoring, as well as managing reports and overseeing multiple events at one time.
Emma's first experience of opera was with Tayside Opera, and she is thrilled to be a part of a project that promotes music and community involvement.
Eleanor is a singer and pianist hailing from the North East of Scotland. She is currently in her 4th year of the BMus programme at Edinburgh Napier University, studying Classical Voice.
Eleanor works as a professional vocalist and accompanist throughout Edinburgh.
Eleanor is an official accompanist for the North East of Scotland Music Festival, and has accompanied professional masterclasses, exams and concerts throughout Scotland.
She regularly plays for theatre shows and rehearsals and has played in various ceilidh bands.
Eleanor has performed in many theatre shows UK wide, with organisations such as British Youth Music Theatre UK, including some of their world premier productions, and Edinburgh Studio Opera.
She is Head Tutor of the Bruntsfield Children’s Choir and teaches piano and singing privately and at Mansfield School of Music.
Aside from performing, Eleanor enjoys taking on the demanding roles of Front of House Manager with Assembly Festival at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Neil Roxburgh's fine reputation as pianist and teacher has led to a varied and multifaceted professional career.
Performing a wide range of classical repertoire, from traditional to more contemporary styles, a particular affinity with the music of Debussy and Ravel has earned much praise and recital programmes convey a versatile and often intimate playing style.
Born in Canada, Neil Roxburgh was awarded a full scholarship to study piano with John Barstow at the Royal College of Music where he received numerous honours for his playing. He also was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal for outstanding student.
Solo and ensemble performances have taken him through Europe and to North America, with recognition for “finely graded playing” (The Times) and “consummate professionalism” (The Independent), and he has featured in broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM as well as Canadian media.
A committed and respected teacher, he has taught piano and chamber music in the Royal College of Music Junior Department since 1995, and currently also holds teaching positions at The King's School, Canterbury and St Paul’s Girls’ School in London. He additionally gives master classes, adjudicates music festivals and regularly examines nationally and internationally for the ABRSM.
Born and bred in Dundee, Garry recently retired after over 45 years’ service with publishers DC Thomson, the last of which he held the post of Features Editor with the Scots Magazine.
With more than 40 years’ experience in the local amateur music scene, Garry has performed with both Broughty Ferry Operatic and Tayside Opera, as well as being a cellist in the Dundee Symphony Orchestra.
He has also held the post of organist and choirmaster in Newport on Tay Parish Church. Music plays a big part in his retirement as does hillwalking, reading and looking after two energetic granddaughters.
Helen is a retired journalist who still writes a popular topical column for The Courier and the Aberdeen Press & Journal.
Nominated as Feature Writer of the Year in the Scottish Press Awards, she has written on subjects from the arts to food, as well as covering major international events including the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.
She studied singing with Winifred Busfield in Glasgow and Raimund Herincx in Aberdeen and has appeared in staged opera, oratorio, recital and with professional quartets at arts and music clubs nationally, plus at the Edinburgh Fringe. Her principal roles include Carmen in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, Lady Macbeth (Macbeth), Eboli (Don Carlos), Amneris (Aida), Abigaille (Nabucco), Azucena (Il Trovatore) and the Countess (Marriage of Figaro), as well as assorted Valkyries, Rhinemaidens and Norns in Wagner’s Ring Cycle. She played Desideria in Edinburgh Grand Opera’s Scottish premiere of Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre.
She has adjudicated at many youth vocal competitions for schools and Rotary International and serves on the board of the Gardyne Theatre in Dundee.
She lives in Fife with her husband, media/PR adviser and former BBC television reporter Neil Mudie.
Leah studied at Brigham Young University as a Music and Dance student 2008 - 2009, finising her degree at Aberdeen University, graduating with a BMus Ed Hons in 2012. While at university Leah studied violin and piano and participated in the University Ochestra and performed with both the GnS and Opera Societies.
Since graduating, Leah has worked as a music and music technology teacher at Perth Academy, Balfron High School and currently teaches at Brechin High School. Two years ago Leah qualified as a Drama teacher.
During her 9 year career Leah has so far organised, lead and directed hundreds of pupils in concerts, community and charity events, school shows and productions .
Leah has participated in a number of musical, dance and drama organisations and events including Tayside Opera, BSSCO, British Pageant and a number of charity concerts.
Hannah is a recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh where she studied Music (BMus).
During her time at University, Hannah sang with numerous ensembles and was an active member of Edinburgh Studio Opera, taking on roles such as Mama Lucia (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Second Woman (Dido and Aeneas).
As well as this, in 2019, Hannah was the runner up in the University of Edinburgh’s Tovey Memorial Prize.
Recently, she performed the role of Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas) as part of Coro19 at the Edinburgh Festival, directed by Neil Metcalfe and was the alto soloist in Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the Edinburgh Bach Choir.
Hannah is currently studying with Soprano, Irene Drummond. Whilst performance is her first passion, it was at University that she developed a passion for outreach and Community Music. Hannah has since been involved in projects in both Edinburgh and further afield teaching the benefits of music and creative projects.
Jenni was born and raised in Dundee and has spent her entire life dedicated to music.
Having grown up spending time in many theatres around Scotland she has a lot of experience in various aspects of what goes into putting on a successful performance. She has performed in numerous orchestras around Scotland and has been involved in organising several staged events.
Having spent her school years playing several instruments as well as composing her own music, Jenni decided not to pursue a place to study music at University and chose instead to complete a Law degree. Since then, she has been involved in professional management, HR and corporate compliance.
She has loved opera from a very young age and is excited to participate in an event like this in her own hometown.
All throughout High School Sam was involved in various choirs and Orchestras and continued this throughout his studies at the University of Aberdeen, graduating with a degree of Master of Arts in Economics and Finance.
Commitments included both the University’s Chamber and Chapel choirs and as a Choral Scholar at St Andrew’s Cathedral.
After joining the University of Aberdeen Opera Society, he joined the committee as Stage Manager and worked up to President in his final year, leading the society in preparation of two Puccini operas.
He is now studying Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University, where he is also a Choral Scholar and member of the Chamber choir.
The Tay Charitable Trust
RJ Larg Charitable Trust
Cookie Matheson Charitable Trust
JTH Charitable Trust