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Paisley Abbey
Sat 28th of September
Tickets £10 (available on the door)

The Scots Opera Project present an hour long concert version of the new opera Tannahill by Alan Fleming-Baird.

The opera is based on the life of Paisley’s weaver poet Robert Tannahill.

Robert Tannahill was born in Castle Street, Paisley, the sixth of nine children of a silkweaving family. The family later moved to 11 Queen Street in Paisley, which remains the meeting place of Paisley's Tannahill Club. He became an apprentice silkweaver at the age of 12, but in the spare time he had he extended his basic education, teaching himself to read music and write poetry.

As a fully qualified weaver Tannahill moved to work in Bolton in Lancashire, but in 1800 he returned to Paisley to support his family during the illness of his father. In 1802, Tannahill began to publish his work. Frail, and with an injured right leg, he would often write about the countryside around Paisley, and more widely, in poems such as "The Braes of Balquhidder" and "The Flower O' Leven Side". His work appeared in a number of journals, including the Scots Magazine.

In 1803, Tannahill founded a Burns Club in the Sun Tavern in Paisley's High Street. Amongst those who attended were the author James Hogg and the local poet Robert Allan.

Robert Tannahill published a collection of his work in 1807. This was successful and led to him becoming well known as the Weaver Poet. After another collection if his poems was rejected by an Edinburgh publisher, Tannahill fell into a deep depression, burning many of his manuscripts before drowning himself in a Paisley canal on 17 May 1810. In 1883 a statue of Robert Tannahill, paid for by public subscription, and by a series of concerts featuring his work, was erected near to Paisley Abbey.

The concert will be performed by three professional singers, a female community chorus and a chamber ensemble.

Tannahill - David Douglas
Jessie - Colleen Nicoll
Archibald - Colin Murray

Composer - Alan Fleming-Baird
Musical Director - Andrew Johnston
Director - David Douglas

David Douglas
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 World's most prestigious companies including: Les Arts Florissants, Glyndbourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, Dartington Advanced Opera, The Britten Pears Young Artist Program, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, The Dunedin Consort and Opera North. David enjoys taking a lead role in community music and outreach projects. He piloted the Singing Doctors project for Welsh National Opera and formed the arts organisations, Ayrshire Opera Experience and The Scots Opera Project.

David’s Scots Opera Project roles including; Actéon in Charpentier's Actéon at the The National Trust of Scotland’s Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, The Gaiety Theatre Ayr, The Birnam Arts Centre and a special performance at The Robert Burns Humanitarian Awards and Orpheus in Charpentier's The Descent O' Orpheus Tae The Underwarl at NTS’s The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, The Barrfield Theatre as part of the Largs Viking festival and a performance run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Harbour’s Arts Centre, Irvine and the Birnam Arts Centre.

Colleen Nicoll
A ‘silvery’ (opera Magazine) and ‘Enchanting’ (Glasgow Herold) Soprano, Colleen Nicoll recently completed a Masters in Vocal Performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance with distinction studying with Laureen Livingstone and Jean Paul Pruna. Colleen also studied on the Mentor Scheme with English National Opera and was a finalist in the Elizabeth Schumann Lieder Competition.

Colleen has performed roles in numerous operatic productions including the title role in Handel’s Semele, Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream- Britten), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro – Mozart), Diana (Actéon- Charpentier), Yum Yum (The Mikado – Gilbert and Sullivan), Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore – Donizetti), Lady Dunmow (A Dinner Engagement – Lenox Berkeley).
In 2016 Colleen sang the role of Tytania in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the MInack Theatre, including a special performance for HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

She recently made two role debuts as Queen of the Night and Dido with the Scots Opera project in world premieres of new Scots Language translations of Mozart's The Magic Flute and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

Colin Murray
Colin Murray is a recent graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Colin’s notable operatic engagements include the title role in the RCS production of Ullman’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Harry Easter in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Le Roi Mark in a rare staged performance of Frank Martin’s Le Vin Herbe, Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and Father in Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel in a performance opening the Saint Magnus Festival on Orkney. Colin has performed principle roles in all five of Rossini's Venetian Operas, most recently Blansac in La Scala di Seta touring Britain and Italy. Colin has appeared with the choruses of Scottish Opera, the Grange Park Opera Festival and the New Generation Festival in Florence where he also covered the role of Belcore in L’Elisir D’Amore.

Colin is an in-demand concert soloist and recitalist. He works regularly with many of Scotland’s premier choral societies and recently delivered a prestigious gala recital at Glamis Castle. Furthermore, he is a passionate and award-winning ensemble singer: part of the first vocal ensemble ever to win the Governor’s Recital Prize for Chamber music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Colin is an alumnus of the National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Andrew Johnston
Andrew Johnston has performed as a chamber musician and soloist in Britain and abroad, including concerto performances of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto no. 1, Grieg Piano Concerto and Beethoven Piano Concerto in Kiev, Ukraine. He gained his Masters Degree in Musicology in 2006 from the University of Edinburgh, and has participated in masterclasses with Norma Fisher, Berndt Goetzke, Leon McCawley, Radoslav Kvapil, Yonty Solomon, Martimo Tirimo and others. In 2007 he gave a recital and masterclass in Latvia as part of a course on piano pedagogy, and in 2009 and 2010 he was on the faculty of the Chetham’s International Piano Summer School. He performs regularly with ensembles such as the Edinburgh Quartet, Rose Street Quartet and the Calton Consort. He also works regularly with soprano Colleen Nicoll (with whom he has recently recorded a CD of contemporary Scottish classical song) and tenor David Douglas, as well as being Musical Director of the Scots Opera Project. Following a period living and working in London, he has now settled in Highland Perthshire where he has a thriving teaching practice alongside his performing activities.

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