Powered by passion and performance, the professionals-in-training at Scotland’s national conservatoire unleash an eclectic and electrifying new season – and it’s three months of not-to-be-missed music, drama, dance, opera and musical theatre.
Expect sumptuous symphony and jazz orchestras and experimental electronics, bold new dance works and powerful drama productions as well as the UK staged premiere of opera Dead Man Walking, which packs an emotional punch. There’s also a chance to take a look behind the scenes, for the line-up includes the annual exhibition of artistry and craftsmanship from the backstage stars who make the magic happen – think fabulous set and costume designs, scenic paintings and props.
The spring/summer season runs from April 15 to June 28 and the full what’s on guide can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/RCSWhatsOn
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We are driven by performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland so it’s always exciting to unveil a new programme of events where we can showcase the outstanding talent across our art forms. We teach all of the performing arts at Scotland’s national conservatoire and, with more than 600 performances every year, there are plenty of opportunities for audiences to experience wonderful and wide-ranging productions while supporting the next generation of artists and performers as they prepare for the professional world.”
Spring/summer highlights include:
Music: RCS Symphony Orchestra Concert
The concert, on April 28, is a celebration of the partnership between RCS and Gleneagles, which supports the development of artistic talent in Scotland. Glasgow’s City Halls is the setting for the last symphony orchestra concert of the season which features RCS Artistic Director of Conducting Garry Walker, Leverhulme Conducting Fellow June-Sung Park and pianist Daniel Hart, winner of the RCS 2018 Concerto Competition.
Music: Plug Festival
The annual festival of experimental new music is back with a bang with ten concerts, more than 50 composers and special guest artists. It’s a diverse, sonic feast where contemporary jazz meets classical, live musicians pair with electronics on the RCS multichannel sound system and the Craig Armstrong Prize brings new works from Alex Mackay, Electra Perivolaris and Aidan Teplitzky. Visiting artists include Red Note, Brodick Quartet, Glasgow New Music Expedition (GNME) with Plug composer-in-residence Philip Venables, Singh Quartet and pioneering electronic musician, Vessel (Sebastian Gainsborough). It runs from May 3.
Opera: UK staged premiere of Dead Man Walking
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland brings the UK staged premiere of critically acclaimed opera Dead Man Walking to Glasgow. The thought-provoking production – a true story of redemption – is based on the book by Louisiana nun Sister Helen Prejean, who becomes the spiritual adviser to a convicted murderer on death row. The opera, by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally, runs from May 18.
Dance: Modern Ballet Graduation Performance
A thrilling mix of classical and contemporary works with newly commissioned pieces and repertoire from leading choreographers including Christopher Hampson, Scottish Ballet’s Artistic Director/Chief Executive, Diana Loosmore and Owen Montague with music from the Broen Ensemble. The annual showcase, from June 13, features students from all three year groups of the BA Modern Ballet degree course, which is delivered in partnership with Scottish Ballet.
Exhibition: Production Arts and Design Showcase
All RCS ballets, operas, musicals and plays are made possible by the tireless work and attention to detail of Production Arts and Design and Production Technology and Management students. This showcase, from June 26, includes examples of set and costume design, scenic painting and construction and propmaking with pieces originally created for RCS productions, as well as personal projects. The event is curated by the students of the BA Production Arts and Design programme and is supported technically by volunteers from the BA Production Technology and Management degree course.
Drama: Blue Stockings and San Diego
Jessica Swale’s Blue Stockings, from May 17, is the story of four young women fighting for their right to university education in 1896. David Greig’s San Diego, from May 29, is an unnerving and unpredictable play inspired by his first trip to America. Both productions, performed by final year BA Acting students, will be staged in Glasgow and London’s Arcola Theatre.
Drama: On The Verge festival
A festival of big ideas and small material resources, this is a step into the unknown and an invitation to audiences to share in the exploratory processes of emerging artists from the MA Classical and Contemporary Text and BA Acting programmes. It’s at Stereo and The Old Hairdresser’s from June 11.
Musical Theatre: Pippin and Candid Cabaret @ The Tron
Pippin is a young man searching for meaning and significance in his life. The award-winning Broadway production follows Pippin as he dives into mess, magic, love and despair in this circus of self-actualization. It runs from May 21 (preview) in The National Piping Centre.
Candid Cabaret @ The Tron, from June 6, is a sparkling selection of solo cabaret performances, everything from pop and rock to jazz and blues, in the intimate setting of the Tron Theatre’s Vic Bar.
Exchange Talks: a series of free public events in which members of staff, academia and the professions share their research insights on art, society and issues that matter. Jess Thorpe has been working with men and women in Scottish prisons for ten years. Her talk on April 22 explores the potential of devised theatre as a radical act of community and as a vehicle for dialogue and connection in the context of incarceration.
Music: Traditional Music Vocal Showcase and Masters Performance
Traditional Music students present an evening of acoustic song at Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church on May 3 which focuses on Scots and Gaelic repertoire. On May 10 at RCS, Masters students from the Traditional Music department perform their end-of-year recitals as part of this impressive showcase.
Music: Jazz Orchestra: Sketches of Spain
Sketches of Spain draws freely on J. Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and the result is a vivid reimagining in stunning orchestral colour. The concert, on May 2, features guest soloist, trumpeter Gerard Presencer, and is directed by Professor Tommy Smith OBE.
The Royal Conservatoire is committed to making performances accessible to as many people as possible. There is a programme of performances which are captioned, British Sign Language interpreted and audio described. For D/deaf and hard of hearing patrons, the Deaf Theatre Club offers tickets for any accessible performances for £5. Concession prices are available and the Tickets26 initiative gives those under 26 access to any performance for just £5 (conditions apply). View the What’s On guide and book tickets at www.rcs.ac.uk/boxoffice.