Absolute Classics bring opera to the region

Opera comes to the region this month in a spectacular quartet of special festive performances from Absolute Classics.

Opera Bohemia’s Amahl and the Night Visitors brings the magic of Christmas to Langholm, New Galloway, Gatehouse and Thornhill in a beautiful story of a disabled boy, a star and three kings.

Described by The Herald as “truly one of the most exciting new opera companies in the country”, Scotland-based Opera Bohemia began in January 2010 when Douglas Nairne and Alistair Digges decided they would create a production of Puccini’s La Bohème to be performed in their home towns and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

After the overwhelming success of their initial performances, they decided to take La Bohème further and toured around Scotland.

The experience the young cast and audiences shared was very special and, following feedback from audience members around the country expressing their enthusiasm and desire to see more productions, Opera Bohemia was formed.

Now in its fifth year, the troupe has added highly successful performances of Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin to its achievements.

The company has performed at over 20 venues across Scotland with highlights including the first opera at the new Beacon Arts Centre Theatre (Greenock) and an invitation to perform Madame Butterfly in London.

The performance took place in Middle Temple and helped raise over a quarter of a million pounds for the Muir Maxwell Trust. 2013 saw the formation of the Opera Bohemia Ensemble, a chamber orchestra showcasing some of Scotland’s most talented young musicians.

The orchestra played for the company’s August performances of Eugene Onegin.

The group is comprised of passionate individuals, driven by their love for their art and their enthusiasm to increase the availability of opera to a wider audience. They continue to tour their operas to more remote areas of Scotland where the opportunity to experience their modern interpretation of these famous operas, performed by rising operatic stars, has proved hugely popular.

Opera Bohemia will perform Amahl and the Night Visitors at the Buccleuch Centre, Langholm on Thursday, 10 December; The CatStrand, New Galloway, on Friday, 11 December; the Cally Palace, Gatehouse of Fleet, on Saturday, 12 December; and at 3.30pm on Sunday, 13 December, at the Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel, Thornhill.

Advance tickets, £12 adults and free to the under 26s, from www.absoluteclassics.co.uk