NEWS: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland unveils sparkling new season of performance

From Russian music masterpieces and award-winning musicals to cutting edge contemporary theatre and some of Shakespeare’s most treasured works, the imminent arrival of the New Year brings a new season of outstanding performances at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Students will unleash their creative energy on a packed programme of events early in 2018 at Scotland’s national conservatoire, the country’s cultural hub for emerging talent across music, drama, dance, production, film and education. Ranked in the world’s top three for performing arts education, the new season cements the institution’s reputation as one of the country’s busiest performing arts venues, home to more than 500 performances each year.

New season highlights include:

  • Opera: Students perform the Scottish premiere of English National Opera’s production of The Day After by Jonathan Dove. The Day After is an unashamedly tonal operatic retake on the Greek myth of Phaeton who fancies himself a God, but whose youthful impetuousness leads him to disaster and tragedy. This special remounting of the original production is directed by ENO’s Artistic Director, Jamie Manton, and new Head of Opera, Philip White. The set was designed by Camilla Clarke, winner of the 2015 Linbury Prize.
  • Symphony: Led by conductor Geoffrey Paterson, the Royal Conservatoire’s Symphony Orchestra will light up Glasgow City Halls for a special evening of Russian repertoire featuring two of Stravinsky’s most iconic works, The Firebird Suite and Symphony in Three Movements, supported through the Royal Conservatoire’s partnership with Gleneagles. Completing the evening of Russian storytelling are Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem, Hamlet: Fantasy Overture and Mussorgsky’s well-loved Night on Bald Mountain.
  • Chamber: The annual Rosin Chamber Music Festival is an entire weekend in March devoted to chamber music, welcoming international visiting ensembles as well as Royal Conservatoire staff and students. Among the repertoire performed will be a cycle of Shostakovich’s 15 string quartets with RCS students playing side-by-side with the Brodsky Quartet and the award-winning Maxwell Quartet.
  • Musical theatre: Winner of eight Tony awards, four Oliviers and a Grammy for Best Original Cast Album, Spring Awakening redefined the boundaries between music and theatre with its fusion of adolescent angst-fuelled anthems. A group of emotionally unprepared teenagers try to understand their strong, new, thrilling and scary feelings. What’s right and what’s wrong? What are the rules? How far can they be pushed and what happens when you break them? Produced in association with Dundee Rep Theatre, BA Musical Theatre students perform this hard-hitting punk rock musical in the New Athenaeum Theatre before transferring to Dundee Rep Theatre.
  • Drama: Students on the MA Classical and Contemporary Text degree take to the stage in the Chandler Studio Theatre for Shakespeare’s The True Chronicle History of Henry V, with his Battle Fought in Agincourt in France, as it hath been Sundry Times Played by the Right Honourable Lord Chamberlain his Men. Directed by Dr Marc Silberschatz, the new Head of Classical and Contemporary Text.
  • Contemporary theatre: One of the most important contemporary performance festivals in Scotland returns to Glasgow as BA Contemporary Performance Practice students take to the stage for Into the New. The festival explores radical practices and identity through intimacy, memory and immersion with this year’s festival set to be one of the most dynamic, thought-provoking and challenging yet.
  • International artists: Ian Bousfield, Visiting Professor in Trombone and former Principal Trombone of the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera, is joined by RCS Brass and Co-op Funeralcare Band for a brass spectacular. Meanwhile, renowned Scottish pianist Malcolm Martineau partners with esteemed performers including Dorothea Röschmann, Simon Keenlyside and former BBC New Generation Artist, Kitty Whately, for a series of concerts in partnership with BBC Radio 3.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “The first performance season of 2018 at Scotland’s national conservatoire will showcase our students’ excellence across the performing and production arts, as our emerging artists work alongside acclaimed professionals.

“I look forward to welcoming you to the Royal Conservatoire as our students immerse themselves in the worlds of music, drama, dance, production and film, and thank you for your support.”

February sees the return of the Hilary Rosin Coffee Concert series, allowing audiences to enjoy outstanding performances accompanied by free coffee and a sweet treat, celebrating the memory of the much-loved music teacher from Glasgow’s south side. Trio Apaches, Ruby Hughes and the Broen Ensemble are among the performers taking to the stage for the relaxed Sunday morning series.

The Royal Conservatoire’s acclaimed Fridays at One series returns, offering an end-of-the-week lunchtime musical treat. Cellist Raphael Wallfisch, London Symphony Orchestra Principal Flautist Adam Walker and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Soloists are some of the musicians taking to the stage for this popular afternoon event.

Second year BA Actors bring to life the hilarious story of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Directed by Andrew MacGregor, the February production will serve up a tale of love, lies and lascivious lechery.

February also sees the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra perform new interpretations of two universally popular children’s classics in a concert that will appeal to all ages. Tommy Smith’s jazz version of Peter and the Wolf will remain true to Prokofiev’s premise that particular instruments are allocated to each character and the wonderful melodies will be lovingly preserved while actor Tam Dean Burn will narrate new text specially adapted by Liz Lochhead. Makoto Ozone’s vivid reimagining of Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals for jazz instrumentation will delight listeners and bring the composer’s animal cavalcade to life in ways that not even Saint-Saëns himself could possibly have imagined.

Also running throughout the term are the Royal Conservatoire’s Exchange Talks, a weekly series of public seminars in which noted members of Royal Conservatoire staff, academia and the professions share their research insights on art, society and the issues that matter to everyone.

Tickets and further information on performances at the Royal Conservatoire are available by logging on to rcs.ac.uk/boxoffice or by calling 0141 3320 5057. Tickets26 offers tickets for £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.