Aberdeen University composers Pete Stollery, Miriama Young and Paul Mealor will premiere newly commissioned works at Scottish Opera's Five:15 Operas Made in Scotland this May.
These composers have teamed up with leading academics at the University. Professor Alan Spence has penned Zen Story, with music from Miriama Young. The mini opera is based on a Japanese parable, a tale of the well-known Zen master, Hakuin. In the story, a young girl falls pregnant and accuses Hakuin of being the father of her child. Hakuin deals with the situation with courage and compassion, pushing through to a resolution that is as unexpected as it is enlightened.
Professor Davidson has collaborated with Pete Stollery and Paul Mealor to create 74 Degrees North, set in the arctic on the last day of the brief summer before the snows return and the temperatures plummet. A young Orcadian scientist is visiting the graves of Franklin’s 1840’s disastrous expedition. He is in awe of the landscape, inspired to study it in the footsteps of the Victorian explorer John Rae. Suddenly he realises he is being watched.
After a troubling encounter with a stranger, the scientist starts to reflect on his own perceptions of place as the opera develops into an impassioned dialogue and the young scientist’s own perception of northern places is changed forever.
Five:15 will open on Saturday May 15 in Elphinstone Hall, King’s College, 7.30pm. Two further performances follow on Sunday May 16. The show will then tour to Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre and on to Òran Mór, Glasgow.
For further details, and tickets, click here