Thousands of primary school pupils across Scotland will rehearse and perform an opera based on Robert Burns’ iconic poem Tam o’ Shanter.

Scottish Opera’s annual Primary Schools Tour continues this month with The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter, a show created to re-introduce young people to the works of the celebrated Scottish poet. Written especially for children in primaries 5, 6 and 7, the fast-paced adventure features original lyrics by Ross Stenhouse and music by Karen MacIver, who also wrote the music for Scottish Opera’s popular family show, The Little White Town of Never Weary (2016), and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (2016), a specially composed piece for Scottish Opera’s youth company, Connect.

Schools are provided with high quality teaching resources, including a teachers’ support pack, to help introduce the songs from The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter to pupils in advance. A team of Scottish Opera performers and arts education specialists then spend a day rehearsing and preparing the pupils for a choreographed, fully-costumed performance of The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter for family and friends.

The show follows a farmer named Tam o’ Shanter as he makes his way home from Market Day with his faithful horse Meg. As the night grows darker, the rain falls and the wind shrieks through the branches of the trees, he finds himself outside the church where he discovers a coven of witches dancing. Fascinated, Tam stops to watch, but suddenly one of them spots him, and he and Meg must run for their lives.

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson said: “Our children’s operas make learning both enjoyable and challenging, giving pupils the opportunity to participate in a high-quality, day-long music theatre workshop that ends with a performance for parents and guests. Originally commissioned in 2002, this vibrant interpretation of Burns’ iconic poem enables a new generation to explore the culture, identity and language that remain key to the enduring appeal of Scotland’s most famous poet.”

You can follow Scottish Opera on Twitter and Instagram @ScottishOpera

Primary Schools Tour Team

Alan McKenzie

Greig Baxter / Ryan Ferrie

Lucy Hutchison / Lee Reynolds

Jamie Macdonald / Neil Fenwick

Advance vocal workshop        Roger Glass

Music                                       Karen MacIver

Lyrics                                       Ross Stenhouse
Illustrations                              Iain Piercy 

Animation                                Nick Roy
Teaching resources                Julie Brown


Summer Performance Diary


Mon 17 Apr      Balmullo Primary School                                                                   Fife                             

Tue 18 Apr      Kettle Primary School                                                                         Fife                             

Wed 19 Apr     Trinity Primary School                                                                        Edinburgh                   

Thu 20 Apr      Baljaffray Primary School                                                                   East Dunbartonshire

Fri 21 Apr        Dollar Academy                                                                                  Clacks                        

Mon 24 Apr      West Linton Primary School                                                              Scottish Borders

Tue 25 Apr      Morebattle and Yetholm Primary Schools at Morebattle                     Scottish Borders        

Wed 26 Apr     Prestonfield Primary School                                                              Edinburgh                   

Thu 27 Apr      Holy Family Primary School                                                               East Dunbartonshire  

Fri 28 Apr        Goldenhill Primary School                                                                  West Dunbartonshire

Tue 2 May       Kintore Primary School                                                                       Aberdeenshire

Wed 3 May      Aberlour Primary School                                                                    Moray 

Thu 4 May       Mosstodloch Primary School                                                              Moray 

Fri 5 May         Lochardil Primary School                                                                    Highland         

Mon 8 May       Letham Primary School                                                                      Perthshire      

Tue 9 May       Robert Douglas Memorial School                                                        Perthshire                  

Wed 10 May    Dunbarney Primary School                                                                 Perthshire

Thu 11 May     Tulloch Primary School                                                                        Perthshire      

Fri 12 May       North Muirton Primary School                                                              Perthshire                 

Mon 15 May     Beaconhurst School                                                                            Stirling

Tue 16 May     Kincaidston & Grammer (Ayr Town Hall)                                             South Ayrshire           

Wed 17 May    Tarbolton & Forehill (Ayr Town Hall)                                                     South Ayrshire           

Thu 18 May     Doonfoot & Gardenrose (Ayr Town Hall)                                              South Ayrshire           

Fri 19 May       Annbank, Coylton & Holmston (Ayr Town Hall)                                    South Ayrshire           

Mon 22 May     Hillside Primary School                                                                       Dundee                      

Tue 23 May     Forthill Primary School                                                                         Dundee                      

Wed 24 May    Andover Primary School                                                                      Angus 

Thu 25 May     Hayshead Primary School                                                                   Angus 

Fri 26 May       Underbank Primary School`                                                                South Lanarkshire      

Tue 30 May     Bun Sgoil Taobh Pairce                                                                       Edinburgh                   

Wed 31 May    Wallacestone Primary School                                                            Falkirk                         

Thu 1 Jun        West Coats Primary School                                                               Glasgow         

Fri 2 Jun          Lairdsland Primary School                                                                  East Dunbartonshire

Mon 5 Jun        Sandwick (Cunningsburgh and Dunrossness)                                  Shetland         

Tue 6 Jun        Sound Primary School                                                                         Shetland         

Wed 7 Jun       Mid Yell (Baltasound, Fetlar, Cullivoe, Burravoe, Ollaberry, Urafirth)   Shetland         

Thu 8 Jun        Aith (Whiteness, Happyhansel, Sandness, Nesting, Lunnasting)       Shetland             

Fri 9 Jun          Bells Brae                                                                                             Shetland

Mon 12 Jun      Mosshead Primary School                                                                  Glasgow                     

Tue 13 Jun      Shawlands Primary School                                                                  Glasgow

Wed 14 Jun     Sciennes Primary School                                                                    Edinburgh       

Thu 15 Jun      St Mary’s Primary School                                                                     Edinburgh                     

Mon 19 Jun      Dalbeattie Primary School                                                                    Dumfries & Galloway

Tue 20 Jun      St Ninian’s & St Andrews at St Ninian’s                                                Dumfries & Galloway 

Wed 21 Jun     Laurieknowe Primary School                                                               Dumfries & Galloway

Thu 22 Jun      St Andrew’s & St Ninian’s at St Andrew’s                                             Dumfries & Galloway

Fri 23 Jun        Lockerbie & Eaglesfield at Lockerbie                                                    Dumfries & Galloway