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Opera star in the making

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Opera star in the making

A TEEN singing sensation from Annandale is warming up her vocal chords for her debut with Scottish Opera later this month.

Catriona Arthur, 16, from Waterbeck, is a new recruit to Scottish Opera’s Young Company and will be joining for the full season.

A pupil at Lockerbie Academy, Catriona has been singing for seven years, starting at Rainbow Tribe while at primary school, then with Zelda Hill at the Music School in Gretna. However, for the last year she has been receiving lessons from the renowned vocal teacher and opera specialist Pat McMahon in Glasgow.

Catriona auditioned for Scottish Opera earlier this year, while she was still 15, and was delighted to be selected. She said: “I’m the youngest of the new intake and will be singing alongside others up to the age of 23. It is an amazing opportunity and I was shocked and delighted to get in.

“My interest in singing opera really took off after taking masterclasses with Nicky Spence, he arranged for me to be assessed by Pat and has been a huge influence in my singing development.”

The Young Company gives aspiring singers, instrumentalists and stage managers a unique and practical introduction to the world of opera under the tutelage of artistic director Johnathon Swinard. He said: “The Young Company exists to give exceptionally talented young singers the chance to create and perform opera at the highest standard, working with professionals who have years of experience in the industry.”

Catriona will get the chance to work with a range of opera professionals, including directors, choreographers, conductors and vocal coaches, to hone her skills. And she will be part of The Young Company Ladies, who will sing alongside the professional chorus and orchestra of Scottish Opera in a concert performance of Puccini’s Edgar on Sunday October 28. Furthermore, the full Young Scottish Opera Company will be working towards performing Gluck’s Orfeo and Euridice in Greenock in April.

Catriona said: “I’ll be spending a lot of time in Glasgow over the next few months. We are rehearsing every fortnight on a Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday, plus attending various performances by the Main Company and being given exclusive behind the scenes access to how opera is produced.”



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