JUly 2016

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg  -+-  La Traviata  -+-  Richard II

At One With Music  -+-  Jazz Nairn  -+-  Edinburgh Quartet

And finally…..


My apologies for this month’s eNewsletter being a few days late but I was rushing about like a mad thing last week, and the fact is that July, as usual, does not have a lot to offer.  Allow me to say a few words about some of my travels.  On 15th June I was in the Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh to hear my friends violinist Lana Trotovsek and flautist Boris Bizjak taking part in a celebration of 25 years of Slovenian independence.  Go onto their websites and listen to them.  Stunning musicians both and I’m delighted to say that they are both coming to Inverness to play for ICM on Thursday 20th April 2017.  Other highlights were Musick Fyne with their Northern Lights programme in Pluscarden Abbey on Saturday 18th June (what a fantastic acoustic and sound.  World Class!), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the Badenoch Centre in Kingussie on Friday 24th June, Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra playing the jazz greats of the 20s and 30s in Crail Community Hall on Saturday 25th as part of the East Neuk Festival and then the following day in the same venue the virtuosic Kosmos Ensemble with two sets from their repertoire of world music.  Kosmos will be in Inverness on 10th November.

As there are only a few July events I’ll preview everything chronologically rather than leaving the screenings to the end.





                  TUESDAY 12th JULY at 6.00pm

The biggest opera production Glyndebourne has ever staged, and one of the most spectacular, Die Meistersinger features an 80-strong orchestra, 80 chorus members, 36 actors, and enormous sets built on a huge scale. It is a cornerstone of the operatic repertoire, one of Wagner’s greatest works and about the only one that does not end with the stage covered in bodies.

Running time:  4 hours 50 minutes

Director:  David McVicar

Cast:  Gerald Finley (Hans Sachs), Amanda Majeski (Eva), Michael Schade (Walther von Stoltzing).

http://strathpefferpavilion.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Bohemia-640x640.jpg?timestamp=1467737326949LA TRAVIATA by GUISEPPE VERDI






TUESDAY 12th JULY at 8.00pm


Scotland’s Opera Bohemia returns with one of the world’s most loved operas, La Traviata. Verdi’s masterpiece tells the tale of the famous courtesan, Violetta who commits the cardinal sin of falling in love. Scottish favourite Catriona Clark (Violetta) and rising star Thomas Kinch (Alfredo) lead a cast of some of Scotland’s finest home grown talent, including Aaron McAuley, making his company debut in the role of Germont, and star of Gianni Schicchi, Andrew McTaggart as Baron Douphol. Including the famous Brindisi, and Sempre Libera, this intimate and gripping new production by Douglas Nairne is not to be missed. Sung in Italian with English subtitles and accompanied by piano and violin.


Tickets from Ticketweb or the Pavilion Box Office (01997 420124)  Adults £15; Concessions £12;  Children £6.


It is unfortunate for opera lovers that these two performances, Wagner and Verdi, are at the same time.  Make your choice, a recorded screening from a privately funded opera festival or a live performance from an enterprising and imaginative company of young Scottish artists that has been touring to venues throughout Scotland for the past seven years since Douglas Nairne and Alastair Digges founded the venture.  For some obscure reason, in the latest round of awards to Regularly Funded Organisations, Creative Scotland decided that Opera Bohemia does not need financial support.  Believe me, they do.









SUNDAY 17th JULY at 1.00pm

Woe, destruction, ruin, and decay; the worst is death and death will have his day.
Act III, Scene II

Simon Godwin delivers a dynamic portrayal of a play filled with both violence and comedic irony. Starring Charles Edwards (Downton Abbey, Philomena), Godwin’s production delves into the meaning of kingship and the rising powers that can destroy it.   Tickets £12 from Eden Court Box Office.  01463 234234 or www.eden-court.co.uk or in person.

ALICE ALLEN (cello) and COLIN SCOBIE (violin)




FRIDAY 22nd JULY at 1.00pm


Cellist Alice Allen is making quite an impact on the Scottish musical scene, playing regularly with the major orchestras as well as filling the cello chair in the Brodick Quartet.  While she is no stranger to Eden Court this will be her debut for At One With Music.  Alice will be joined by violinist Colin Scobie of the famous Maxwell Quartet for this 55 minute lunchtime concert which will feature one of the most revered pieces for cello and violin, the Duo, Op 7 by the Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály.

Tickets £6 for Adults and £1 for Children at the door from 12.30pm.


Jazz Nairn





SATURDAY 23rd JULY at 8.00pm

Join the great jazz trombonist Roy Williams and trumpeter Enrico Tomasso, supported by Tom Kincaid on piano, Jim Swinnerton on bass and Jack Cotterill on drums for this latest Jazz Nairn promotion.

Roy Williams began his career during the British trad jazz movement of the 1950s and he has been a mainstay of the tradition ever since, playing in bands with the likes of Terry Lightfoot, Alex Welsh and Humphrey Littleton.  He is a great improviser who remains popular on the mainstream jazz scene.

Leeds born Enrico Tomasso is very much a trumpeter in the Louis Armstrong style.  In fact Enrico met and played for the great Armstrong when he was only seven years old.  With both parents being professional musicians, Enrico and his brother and sister formed the Tomasso Family with them to tour the northern club scene before moving to London to study and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  In the 1980s he was a member of the Pasadena Roof Orchestra and was a regular guest with Acker Bilk.  He has won the Best Trumpet three times in the British Jazz Awards, most recently in 2013.

Tickets: £15, Students £3 on the door or from Nairn Community Centre Box Office on 01667 453476.



THURSDAY 28th JULY at 7.30pm   


FRIDAY 29th JULY at 7.30pm


‘The Apprentice’ is an exciting new scheme devised by the Edinburgh Quartet for exceptionally talented young string players.  Its objectives are to offer the unique opportunity to experience playing in an established, professional string quartet, and to ultimately provide a platform to help launch a career in chamber music. Thirteen talented young musicians from throughout the UK took part in the audition in April, which was won by Emily Pond (viola) who will join the EQ  in a performance of Dvoƙák’s Quintet Op 97 in a series of public concerts which will take place this summer, including these two concerts in Boat of Garten and Strathpeffer.


Tickets for the Boat of Garten concert from Ann Napier on 01479 831213 or ann.nap@btinternet.com  £10 for TOMS members or £12 for non-members.  Free admission for school pupils.


Tickets for the Strathpeffer concert £10 (Concessions £8) from Strathpeffer Pavilion in advance on 01997 420124 or at the door on the night.





This is Mendelssohn on Mull Week during which fourteen exceptionally talented young string players are chosen from conservatoires around Europe and taken to the beautiful Isle of Mull where they are mentored by a team of six highly experienced chamber musicians under the direction of Levon Chilingirian.  Concerts (free admission, but donations welcome at the end) are given in several venues around Mull and Iona during the week, with a final concert in St John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Oban at 7.30pm on Saturday 9th July.  The concert will end with a performance by all the students, mentors and other MonM staff of Jonathan Cohen’s version for strings of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture.  So if you happen to be in the Oban area this coming weekend………….


And a date for your diary.    Cromarty Youth Opera has become something of a fixture in that lovely Black Isle community since it was founded by Edward Caswell in 2013.  Every August youngsters from the area come together to design, rehearse and give three performances of an opera.  They raise the standard year by year and for their fourth production the will be presenting Henry Purcell’s masterpiece Dido and Aeneas in Cromarty West Church at 7.00pm on Wednesday 10th , Thursday 11th and Friday 12th August.  Admission is free but ticketed, available from Cromarty Stores, 15 Bank Street, Cromarty (01381 600550).  More information next month.


Have a great July, and stop doing those rain dances!