NEWS: New season of performance is launched at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Powerful drama, electrifying opera, a melting pot of music and fabulous festive fun … September sees the start of a sensational new season of performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The professionals in training at one of the world’s top three performing arts education institutions will deliver another packed programme of events – giving audiences the chance to support the future stars of stage, screen and behind the scenes. Tickets are now on sale for the thrilling autumn programme which truly has something for everyone, from extravagant festive productions to laidback Sunday morning coffee concerts. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which is celebrating its 170th anniversary in 2017, is one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts venues with more than 500 performances each year.

New season highlights include:

  • Festive fun: A festive show that dares to be different, swing into the adventurous, exhilarating and imaginative world of The Jungle Book this December. Stuart Paterson’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is performed by BA Acting students and directed by Hugh Hodgart, the Royal Conservatoire’s Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film. The Jungle Book is part of a family-friendly festive programme that also includes seasonal song and dance with Christmas at the Conservatoire, Junior Conservatoire Big Band and Musical Theatre and One More Sleep ’til Christmas for children aged three to six at the Citizens Theatre.
  • Drama: Four formidable drama productions are staged this season with The Wonderful World of Dissocia and Balm in Gilead performed by BA Acting students, London Road from BA Musical Theatre students and a Scottish tour of Love and Information by playwright Caryl Churchill which is directed by Jonathan Lloyd of Solar Bear. It stars students from the Royal Conservatoire’s groundbreaking BA Performance in British Sign Language and English programme – the first degree course of its kind in the UK. The first cohort will graduate in June 2018.
  • Opera: The Fiery Angel by Prokofiev will bring together Royal Conservatoire students and the professional soloists and orchestra of Scottish Opera in the Grand Hall of Glasgow’s City Halls. It’s considered Prokofiev’s strongest and most dramatically intense score, full of rhythmic power and extraordinary vocal writing.
  • Music: Bite-sized, hour-long lunchtime concerts are back with Mondays at One and Fridays at One which centre on a different department, instrument or guest artist each week.
  • Alumni performances: Musical alumni make a dazzling return to the Royal Conservatoire including BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition finalist Anush Hovhanisyan and fellow opera graduate Alexey Gusev, recently named a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist.
  • Esteemed industry professionals: the autumn line-up features a roster of exciting guests such as classical guitarist José Antonio Escobar, cellist David Geringas and conductor Christian Kluxen.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Performance is at the heart of everything we do at Scotland’s national conservatoire and our new season will, as always, showcase the exceptional talent that is being nurtured here in Glasgow. We have a richly-varied programme of events from now until December and we are looking forward to sharing the work and expertise of our students with audiences of all ages across Scotland. By being part of our audience, you are playing an important part in supporting the next generation of outstanding Scottish, UK and international artists and performers.”

Our first traditional music event takes place later this month – part of the Fridays at One lunchtime concert series – when Hamish Napier is joined by many of Scotland’s top traditional musicians for a live stage version of his album The River. It will be followed by a St Andrew’s Day celebration in November, hosted by Jamie MacDougall and recorded for BBC Radio Scotland. It will bring together Professor Phil Cunningham, Artistic Director of the Royal Conservatoire’s BMus Traditional Music programme, RCS Braw Brass and special guests. An Evening of Traditional Music and the RCS Ceilidh will take place in December.

Ease into Sunday mornings with the return of the highly regarded Hilary Rosin Coffee Concerts in October which will focus on Russian masterworks. Now in its fifth season, it will feature the voices of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduate and BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition finalist Anush Hovhanisyan and fellow opera graduate Alexey Gusev, recently named a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist. Alexey will also appear in the Scottish Opera Emerging Artists recital in December, part of Fridays at One.

As a piano teacher in Glasgow’s Southside and a talented musician, Hilary Rosin inspired many people to make music an active and enriching part of their lives. The concert series celebrates her life and achievements creating an opportunity for people of all ages to gather together to savour beautiful music and coffee in a relaxed Sunday setting.

Bite-sized, hour-long lunchtime concerts are back with Mondays at One and Fridays at One which centre on a different department, instrument or guest artist each week. Jazz sessions, Blue Mondays, also resume where students are led through repertoire by visiting artists and staff.

A Celebration of Kulgin Duval in October is dedicated to the life and generosity of Kulgin Duval who passed away in 2016. A leading figure in Scotland’s literary world, who also loved music, Kulgin supported many opera students and the concert features some of those graduates and current students. Kulgin, and his partner Colin Hamilton, were responsible for collecting and preserving some of Scotland’s most important 20th century literary archives, a contribution that is being recognised at the National Library of Scotland with a special display, Creative Lives: The Duval and Hamilton partnership (until October 15) featuring material from their extraordinary collection.

We welcome back Danish conductor Christian Kluxen for Symphonic Last Works in November where he will lead the RCS Symphony Orchestra through a programme which includes the last works written by both Strauss and Bartók.

MMus Opera Scenes: Shakespeare and Opera in November is an entertaining and varied mix of short opera scenes with simple staging and piano accompaniment. A unique educational – and performing – experience awaits opera students in December when they perform alongside Scottish Opera’s professional soloists and orchestra in Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel. It’s considered Prokofiev’s strongest and most dramatically intense score, full of rhythmic power and extraordinary vocal writing.

Big Guitar Weekend in November is filled with glorious guitars with prize-winning Chilean musician José Antonio Escobar playing as part of Fridays at One, the inaugural Scottish Schools Guitar Ensemble Competition, showcase events and Finnish-Scottish Connections, a double bill with Royal Conservatoire graduate and lecturer Ian Watt and Finland’s Otto Tolonen.

Exchange Talks are a fascinating weekly series of public seminars in which respected members of staff, academia and the professions share their research insights on art, society and issues that matter. The first talk takes place in October with Professor David Watkin’s professorial address. In November, the Now You See Me Symposium, co-produced by the Royal Conservatoire and Solar Bear, will explore the opportunities that lie ahead for the artists of the BA Performance in British Sign Language and English, the first programme of its kind in the UK for deaf performers and performance makers.

The season comes to a close in a festive fashion in December with the adventurous, exhilarating and imaginative world of The Jungle Book. Stuart Paterson’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is performed by BA Acting students and directed by Hugh Hodgart, the Royal Conservatoire’s Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film. Festive productions also include RCS Choir and Orchestra at Christmas at St Mary’s Cathedral, Christmas with Chorale with Conservatoire Brass II and One More Sleep ’til Christmas, for three-to-six year olds at the Citizens Theatre. The ever-popular Christmas at the Conservatoire sparkles once again with seasonal swing and contemporary classics from MA Musical Theatre students.

View the full what’s on guide and book tickets at rcs.ac.uk/boxoffice or call 0141 332 5057. Tickets26 offers tickets for just £5 for ages 26 and under. Deaf Theatre Club members can purchase a ticket at a discounted price of £5 on accessible performances. Members will be welcomed to the building by staff who have been trained in British Sign Language.