The winners of Opera Sparks 2018, the Scottish Opera competition launched last April to give young people an opportunity to compose a new opera for performance, have been selected.

The winning entries are Little Black Lies, by composer/librettist team Matthew Whiteside and Helene Grøn, an as yet untitled work by Lewis Murphy and Laura Attridge, and Maud by composer/librettist, Henry McPherson. The winners are awarded a commissioning fee of £3,500 and receive mentoring support throughout the creative process. The works – which will each be 15 minutes in length – will be performed in 2018 by Scottish Opera’s youth company, Connect, in celebration of its tenth anniversary.


Open to young composers who are Scottish or based in Scotland, the entries were judged by a panel consisting of Derek Clark (Scottish Opera’s Head of Music), Olivia Fuchs (Opera Director), Christopher Gray (Director of Scottish Opera’s Connect Company) and Stuart Stratford (Scottish Opera’s Music Director), with Scottish Opera’s General Director, Alex Reedijk, as convener.

Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, said: ‘Scottish Opera has long championed new work and the artists who create it. Now, some of the country’s most talented young composers and librettists are being invited to create new works for our celebrated youth opera company, Connect, to be performed in April 2018 – 10 years since the first Connect project was begun. By then, we will have invited over 500 young people from all over Scotland to experience being part of Scotland’s only opera programme for young people – as part of our commitment to creating a lasting legacy for the future of the art form.’