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Ayrshire Opera Experience


David Douglas - Acteon


Ayrshire Tenor David Douglas trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal Northern College of Music. He has gained considerable experience performing for some of the worlds most prestigious companies in Grande Motets by Rameau and mondeville for the Les Arts Florissants,  Hyppolyte et Arice by  Rameau for Glyndbourne Festival Opera conducted by William Christie, Medea by Charpentier for English National Opera conducted by Christian Curnyn, the title role in Actéon by Charpentier for Dartington Advanced Opera conducted by Robert Howarth and  Asterion in Nais by Rameau for The Britten Pears Artist Program conducted by Christophe Rousset.     


On the concert platform David has performed throughout the Uk in the British Music Festival concert, Schumann festival Concert (RNCM); Mozart requiem (Chesterfield Philharmonic and The Sage, Gateshead); Bach Magnificat, Vivaldi Magnificat (Bollington Festival); Saint-Saens Oratorio de Noel (Bolton Choral Union); Monteverdi Vespers, Finzi For St Cecilia (Levens Choir); Bach Christmas Oratorio (Dumfries Choral); Orff's Carmina Burana (Royal Liverpool Philharmonic), Stravinsky’s Les Noses (Salford Opera Action Project and Future Fires); Messiah (Belfast Philharmonic); Paul Spicer Easter Oratorio (Northern Chamber Orchestra).


David is an experienced vocal coach and animateur who enjoys working in community music and outreach projects. A pilot in the Singing Doctors project for Welsh National Opera, Assistant Director of the Ayrshire Infinity Choir, Vocal Coach for Ayrshire College and Creative Director of the Ayrshire Opera Experience.


David's roots come from scottish traditional music which he has returned to in the making of his debut solo album, which includes his own songs and arrangements. Performance highlights include, A Scottish Journey at the Royal Northern College of Music, The Red Lion Folk Club, St Margaret's Episcopal Church recital series, Folk for Folk Festival, Burns Meets the American Song Book and Burns to Bernstein (Robert Burns Birthplace Museum) and headlining the 2014 & 2015 Alloway sessions.

Siobhan McAuley - Diana

Siobhan McAuley has been immersed in musical performance from an early age. From the age of five she was a member of the prestigious Glasgow Youth Choir under the direction of the renowned Dr. Agnes Hoey OBE, and performed as a soloist until the age of seventeen, touring throughout Europe and further afield. Siobhan made her debut with Scottish Opera at the age of thirteen singing the role of First Boy in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and ‘the child’ in Puccini’s La Boheme.


Siobhan is also a successful traditional musician, winning the world championships in whistle at the age of twelve, fourteen and eighteen and was given the opportunity to play on the bigger stage where she has performed alongside some big acts such as The Pouges, Sean Kean and Phil Cunningham.

Siobhan continued her vocal training at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (Conservatoire of Scotland) and worked under the direction of Patricia McMahon and Margaret Izzat. During her time at the Academy Siobhan followed her passion for the voice by working as a vocal coach for ITV’s Stars in Their Eyes.


After leaving her studies she furthered this by going on to become vocal coach on tours of Joseph, Dr. Dolittle, Half a Sixpence and Annie. More recently Siobhan has led the highly acclaimed cast of Londons West End hit show The Lion king.

Alongside her professional coaching Siobhan has a passion for the development of music within the community and has worked with various projects throughout Glasgow facilitating singing and composition workshops, highlights include working with PEEK (Possibilities East End Kids) where she led a group teenagers to write and record their own song and perform on Glasgow’s Clyde one FM.  Siobhan continues her development of music within the community as founder and director of the Ayrshire Infinity Choir. 

Colleen Nicoll - Daphne/Junon

A versatile and ‘enchanting’ (Glasgow Herald) soprano, Colleen Nicoll is currently studying a Masters in Vocal Performance at Trinity Conservatoire of Music under the tuition of Laureen Livingstone and Jean Paul Pruna. Colleen is generously supported by The Hope Scott Trust, The Trinity Laban Hardship Fund and The Kathleen Trust.


Colleen Has performed in numerous operatic productions; recent principal roles include Daphne (Actéon- Charpentier) Yum Yum (The Mikado – Gilbert and Sullivan) Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore – Donizetti) Head Hen and Owl (The cunning Little Vixen – Janáček) and Susan (Company – Sondheim).


In Operatic Scenes Colleen has performed Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Britten), 1st Lady (The Magic Flute – Mozart) Foresters Wife (The cunning Little Vixen – Janáček) Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro- Mozart) and Blanche (Dialogues des Carmélites – Poulenc)


Colleen also has experience performing modern music, working frequently alongside composers. Recently she performed a new opera by Omar Shahryar The Sweeper of Dreams at the Tete a Tete festival in London.


Colleen has a busy concert diary, recently performing a solo recital with pianist Andrew Johnston for Perth Festival of the arts as well as Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Hayden’s Nelson Mass as part of the Edinburgh Festival and Handel’s Messiahin Glasgow and Crieff.


Recently Colleen has gained a place on the mentor scheme with English National Opera and is also on the Student Scheme with the London Philharmonia Chorus.

Future engagements include Giannetta in a touring production of L’elisir d’amore (Donizetti), Daphne in a touring production of Actéon (Charpentier), The Countess in A Dinner Engagement (Lennox Berkeley) and Eurydice in Gluck’sOrphée et Eurydice in opera scenes at Blackheath Halls. 

Aimee Toshney - Arethuze

Praised for possessing a voice of 'outstanding' quality (Lynne Dawson, noted soprano) and an 'obvious stage presence' (TyneOut, 2014), soprano Aimee grew up in Ayrshire, immersed in Scots song and  touring with the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra to Australia, New Zealand and Germany as a teenager. After graduating from Glasgow University (MA Music 1st class hons with prizes in French and Music, MA Musicology with full scholarship) she undertook performance studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, singing the lead soprano role of 'Romilda' in the RNCM's production of Handel's Xerxes and graduating with distinction in 2012.


Since graduation, Aimee has sung with companies including Wexford Festival Opera (recital soloist and chorister), Focus Opera ('Carmen', Carmen), Grange Park Opera (cover 'Second Niece', Peter Grimes), Young Opera Venture ('Susanna', The Marriage of Figaro) and British Youth Opera (Paul Bunyan). Future plans include reprising the role of 'Aréthuze' for the Ayrshire Opera Experience (Actéon meets Tam O'Shanter), 'Annina' for Heritage Opera's La Traviata and Bach's St. John Passion in Manchester.


Aimee is equally experienced on the concert platform and enjoys sharing her love of music through outreach work, most notably with Leeds Lieder and Jessie's Fund children's charity. She is currently training with English National Opera on the prestigious Opera Works training scheme, kindly sponsored by the Hope Scott Trust and the Arts Trust of Scotland.

Alexandra Shrinivas - Hyale

Scottish Soprano Alexandra Shrinivas began her training studying Music at Aberdeen University, graduating in 2011 with a BMus single honours degree, specialising in vocal performance.


In Aberdeen she performed in many concerts involved with the University concert series, and many other professional engagements in and around the local area. Notable performances include recitals as part of the local Word Festival in 2010 and the St. Andrews Cathedral concert at noon series, in 2010 and 2011. This is where her interest in operatic performance developed, and where she then took part in many musical productions playing a variety of roles. Performances include the 2011 Production of Carmen by the Aberdeen University Opera Society, Patience by the  Aberdeen University Gilbert and Sullivan Society and The Fairy Queen by the Aberdeen University Baroque ensemble, playing the role of Night. 


Alexandra played an active part in many choral groups round the country, singing with the Aberdeen University Chapel Choir and Choral society, where she performed as part of the ensemble and as a soloist on occasion. She was a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland for 4 years, travelling with them to Germany in 2010, as well as taking part in concerts around the country, including performances as part  of the Music Nation celebration for the 2012 Olympics and in the London Festival Hall in 2011. She was a member the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus in 2012 and with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus, performing at the opening concert at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012.

Kieran Begley

Burns to Bernstein Soloist 

Kieran is currently a Musical Theatre student at the Fame Academy of Performing Arts in Glasgow.


Theatre credits include: ‘Three’s a Crowd’ (All or nothing), Scotland’s leading aerial dance theatre company; ‘Cinderella’ (Beacon Arts Centre); ‘HMS Pinafore’ (Carl Rosa Opera) International touring opera company; Robert Martin in ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ (Fame Academy of Performing Arts) and Aladdin in ‘Aladdin: A Panto for Grown-up’s’ (Scotch Broth).


Future engagements include ‘The Stardust Dining Experience’ (Lounge, Largs), ‘The Addams Family’ (Regal, Bathgate) and ‘Three’s a Crowd’ (Chamber Chamber Project).

Craig Judge

Burns to Bernstein Soloist

Craig has been singing and making music since he was a child. He began as a guitarist at the age of 12 taking lessons at the Yamaha School of Music in Kilmarnock and then after taking up classical guitar and finally then moving on to vocal studies. 

Initial studies were with the celebrated tenor Willam Strachan in Cumnock,Ayrshire and this then led to several appearances with Opera West and Ayrshire Voices which were his first steps into concert singing and choral work. 

Craig studied at Strathclyde University under Marilyn J.Smith on the Ba Applied Music degree course.Here he sang with the symphony orchestra,performed song cycles and leider repetoire at the lunchtime recital series and in his second year was chosen to represent Scotland along with 3 other singers at the Campus Cantat festival'01 in Dortmund and Dusseldor, Germany. 

After completing his studies,Craig has focused on teaching and performing around Glasgow and Scotland over the last few years and has been on stage at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with the Glasgow Phoenix Choir and worked with Tram Direct in Glasgow on Live at the Shed.

Karen McCluskey

Burns to Bernstein Soloist

Scottish Soprano and Songwriter Karen McCluskey is a professionally trained vocalist who has made the transition from Pop into singing Opera and Classical Repertoire. Karen trained privately with Patricia MacMahon RCS, LRAM. ARCM FRSAMD and Prof. Theresa Goble, AGSM.


Since undertaking her classical training Karen has performed with Scottish Opera, Citizen’s Theatre, Ayrshire Opera Experience, The Orpheus Club, Gaiety Theatre,  Ayr Philharmonic  Opera, The Sixteen Choral Pilgrimage Tour (workshops), James MacMillan's Cumnock Tryst Chorus, Kilmarnock Choral Union.  


Most recently, Karen completed an ABRSM Vocal Diploma and  has enjoyed intensive  voice studies at AIMS International Music School, Jackdaws and Yorkshire’s Art of Song, where she has sung  and enjoyed professional coaching  with an array of respected opera professionals. Karen graduated in 2010 with an HND in Acting and Performance and has enjoyed many performances as an actor and also as an extra for film and TV.  


Opera rôles studied include Handel’s Semele, Vivaldi’s Irene, Bajazet,  Despina and Dorabella in Mozart’s beloved Cosi fan Tutti, plus Susanna from Marriage of Figaro and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.  Musical theatre performances include Lucy from Jekyll and Hyde, Killer Queen from We Will Rock You, Emma Tell Me On a Sunday and Yum Yum from the Mikado.


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