The Vanishing Bridegroom

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The Vanishing Bridegroom by Judith Weir

Director: Lee Blakeley

Conductor: Timothy Dean

Designer: Adrian Linford

Lighting Designer: Mary Fisher

Production Manager: Davy O’Neill

Assistant Conductor: Michael Bawtree

Saturday 25, Monday 27, Wednesday 29 June and Friday 1 July 2005 7.15pm


There will be no interval.


The Inheritance and The Disappearance are taken from Popular Tales of the West Highlands Vol 2, (1860) ed. J F Campbell of Islay. The Stranger is taken from Carmina Gadelica Vol 2, (1900) ed. Alexander Carmichael. The majority of text is taken directly from these sources, from poetry collected in further volumes of Carmina Gadelica, and from other Celtic sources. All the literary sources for this piece – stories and poetry – were originally collected orally, in Gaelic.

I The Inheritance

Told by Donald Macintyre, a cottar, Benbecula, 6 September 1859


Bride Emma Smith

Lover Luis Garcia

Bridegroom Patrice Lamure

Doctor James Arthur

Narrator Douglas Nairne

Dying Man Abram Edewards

Youngest Son Christopher Elliott

Middle Son Austin Gunn

Eldest Son Anders Östberg

Bride’s Father Aaron McAuley

Robbers Nuno Miguel de Aurujo Pereira, Ross McInroy

Good Robber Dominic Peckham

A man dies, but his legacy is missing: one of his three sons must have stolen it, but which one? The Doctor investigates by telling the sons the following parable:

A woman, forbidden to marry her lover, is unwillingly married off to a richer man. When the richer man learns of her forbidden lover, he sends her back to him. But when she arrives, the forbidden lover, on learning of the marriage, sends her back to her rich husband. On her way back through a thick wood, she is robbed, but in the end one of the robbers has an attack of conscience and takes her home safely to her rich husband.

“Now”, asks the Doctor of the three sons, “out of all the people in this parable, whose behaviour do you most admire?” “The rich husband” says the eldest; “The forbidden lover” says the next; “The robbers who got away with all the money” says the youngest – and sure enough, it is he who has stolen the legacy.

II The Disappearance

Told by Widow M Calder, a pauper, Sutherland 1860


Three Women Michelle Foster, Alexandra Cassidy,Louise Collett

Wife Emma Smith

Husband Patrice Lamure

Friend Luis Garcia

Policeman James Arthur

The Bride and Bridegroom of the previous story emerge as the central characters of this piece. On the birth of their daughter, the husband leaves to fetch the Priest who will christen her, but on the way he is lured away into a brightly lit hillside, and is not seen again. His best friend, who accompanied him on the journey, is accused of murder; but begs a stay of execution to watch for him at the scene of disappearance. Many years pass before the husband is spotted, as young as when he disappeared, having spent the intervening time in the company of fairies, in the ‘land of the young’. He is snatched back to real life, but will not believe any time has passed at all until he sees his now fully grown-up daughter, whose christening he had originally set out to arrange.

III The Stranger

From South Uist c.1871


Stranger Orlando Mason

Father Patrice Lamure

Preacher Abram Edewards

Daughter Rowan Hellier

Mother Emma Smith

A handsome, prosperous stranger arrives, and woos the daughter, now a young woman. Her parents urge her to adopt this offer of marriage; but the girl is suspicous of the stranger’s curious physical characteristics and unnatural abilities. A passing preacher puts her right about the stranger’s identity - he is obviously the Devil, making one of his frequent visits to the North of Scotland. The preacher shows the girl to a sanctified spot of earth, on which she must stand when the stranger returns. The Devil, prevented from reaching the girl by the barriers of sanctity, throws off his disguise and assails her with the worst perils of the Highlands - inclement weather and voracious insects - but eventually he has to retire defeated, while the sanctified ground blooms beautifully.


Maria Brown

Alex Cassidy

Phil Curtis

Rebecca El Attar

Anna Flannagan

Warren Gillespie

Julian Guidera

Elysia Leech

Melissa Lunn

Aaron McAuley

Ross McInroy

Nuno Miguel e Aurujo Pereira

Jamie Munn

Alison Muslek

Douglas Nairne

Carlos Nogueira

Dominic Peckham

Lisa Swayne

Grace Trinnaman

Clare Tucker

Ryan Wallace

Jane Wilkinson

Chorus Master: James Grossmith


Judith Weir is one of Britain’s most wide-ranging composers. She studied composition with John Tavener whilst at school in London, and at Cambridge University with Robin Holloway. For six years she taught composition at Glasgow’s University and RSAMD and she has also held visiting professorships at Oxford and Princeton. She is an active advocate of new music for school-age and adult amateur performers.

Her interest in theatre, narrative and folklore has resulted in three full length operas, A Night at the Chinese Opera, The Vanishing Bridegroom and Blond Eckbert; and theatrical collaborations with Sir Peter Hall, Caryl Churchill and Peter Shaffer. Together with storyteller Vayu Naidu, Judith has created a blend of storytelling and music entitled Future Perfect which has toured England and India. A new instalment was completed and included in a tour by the BCMG in May 2005.

Works composed for specific artists include, a 50-minute song cycle commissioned and performed by Jessye Norman in Carnegie Hall, New York and at the BBC Proms; We are Shadows, written for Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO orchestra and its three choruses (winner of the 2000 South Bank Show Music Award); an extended series of chamber works for Judith’s long-time collaborators, the Schubert Ensemble, recently released on a double CD by NMC; and The Voice of Desire, a collection of songs written for Alice Coote.

Recent successes include a major orchestral work The Welcome Arrival of Rain for the Minnesota Orchestra and the ensemble work Tiger Under the Table for the London Sinfonietta. Judith’s latest opera, Armida; written for television in collaboration with film-maker Margaret Williams and commissioned by Channel Four TV, will reach television screens in Autumn 2005.

From 1995 to 1998 she was the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Composer in Association; and from 1995 to 2000 she was the Artistic Director of the Spitalfields Festival in London. She is spending the first half of 2004 teaching at Harvard University, as the Fromm Foundation Visiting Professor of Music.

Judith Weir’s music is published exclusively by Chester Music Ltd. and Novello and Co. Ltd.

Lee Blakeley Director

Lee Blakeley was born in Yorkshire, England. He studied directing, acting and singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and at Glasgow University.

Whilst studying he directed several drama productions, winning the Gordon Bottomley Directing Award. He also assisted Philip Prowse at the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre and David McVicar at the RSAMD in drama and opera productions. On leaving College, he directed his first music theatre production - Gigi - in Glasgow. He went on to gain experience as Company Manager and Producer of several shows.

Lee Blakeley moved to London in 1996, where he directed a student première of A Grand Night for Singing at the Royal Schools of Music.

He also researched the acclaimed CD-ROM, The Art of Singing. Other projects as dramaturg include Les Contes D’Hoffmann for De Vlaamse Opera, a new production of Billy Budd at the Lyric Opera Chicago and script reading and development for ACT Theatres in London’s West End.

For Opera North, Lee directed a “90 Minute Don Giovanni” in Newcastle in 1999. In 2000 he assisted David McVicar in the Glyndebourne Touring Opera production of La Boheme for which he also produced the English-language surtitled version seen on Channel 4 television on Christmas Day, later revised for performances by Scottish Opera in 2004. He devised and directed Damned and Divine at the Coliseum for the English National Opera Studio in 2000.

In 2001 he re-staged Manon for Opera New Zealand, directed the world première production of Handel’s Clori, Tirsi E Fileno in London’s Heaven club for Covent Garden Festival and directed workshop performances at the Royal Scottish Academy where he directed Cavalli’s La Calisto in 2002. That year began with a contemporary opera joint project for the English National Opera Studio and the National Opera Studio and he later revived Carmen for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He directed Le Nozze di Figaro for British Youth Opera at London’s South Bank Centre that autumn.

In 2003 he worked on Die Zauberflöte with David McVicar at the Royal Opera House (also revival director later in 2003) and revived Les Contes D’Hoffmann in Antwerp and Manon for Houston Grand Opera.

Productions in 2004/05 included Faust (with David McVicar) and Lee Blakeley directed its highly praised revivals at the ROH, Monte-Carlo, Lille and Trieste; he worked on the revival of Carmen for Glyndebourne Festival and later revived it in Tenerife.

Future plans as director include: a new production of The Merry Widow for De Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp and Ghent in 2006, and the British premiere of Tobias Picker’s Therese Raquin at the Linbury/Royal Opera House.

Adrian Linford Designer

Adrian trained at Wimbledon School of Art and works in opera and theatre both here and abroad.

Recent opera work in the UK includes: Cosi fan Tutte for Grange Park Opera, which also toured with Pimlico Opera around the UK last Autumn and Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins as part of an integration project with inmates at Ashwell and Coldingly Prisons.

Other opera work includes: Albert Herring at the Aldeburgh Festival, Nabucco and Cosi fan Tutte for Opera West in Ayr, Orlando (Cambridge Handel Opera), Il Seraglio (English Touring Opera) and the set designs for Il Trovatore for the Bastille in Paris, directed by Francesca Zambello.

Theatre work includes: Stars in the Morning Sky for RADA, Carol Churchill’s Fen, The Promise and a new play on the Kray Twins Inside the Firm at the Queens Theatre, Lorca’s When Five Years Pass which won the Edinburgh Fringe First award and productions of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie and Camino Real.

Adrian has designed extensively in Singapore and South East Asia on productions of Coward’s Blithe Spirit, the musical They’re Playing Our Song with Lea Salonga which toured to Manilla and Kuala Lumpur, Yasmina Reza’s Art and a world premiere of a musicial “who-done-it” A Twist of Fate with the Raffles Hotel which has it’s second revival in October.

Adrian has been associate designer for opera productions in Australia, Vienna, Zurich, Leeds (Opera North) and London (English National Opera and Covent Garden) and worked with the artist Anish Kapoor on his designs for Idomeneo for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

He had a close association with the late Maria Bjørnson and realized her set designs for Les Troyens at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and the world premiere of Rachael Portman’s The Little Prince for Houston Grand Opera in 2004 with revivals across America with Skylight Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and New York City Opera.

Currently Adrian is working with Lee Blakeley on a new production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw as well as designs for Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.

MICHAEL BAWTREE Assistant Conductor

Michael Bawtree was born in Devon in 1975. He studied at Christ’s College, Cambridge University, graduating in 1997 with a degree in music; in the same year Michael became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, winning three prizes as a result of the examinations. In September 2004, Michael moved to Glasgow to take up a two-year postgraduate scholarship at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama studying orchestral conducting with Dr Alasdair Mitchell. He has conducted the Suffolk Sinfonia, the Sinfonia of Birmingham and all the RSAMD orchestras. In January he was Assistant Conductor for the RSAMD production of Verdi’s Falstaff; in March he was Music Director for performances of Britten’s church parable Curlew River at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. In July, he will be traveling to India for a month to work with the Chamber Orchestra of the Calcutta School of Music, sponsored by the British Council. For five years Michael was Assistant Director of Music at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Suffolk. With the Cathedral Choir he broadcast frequently on BBC Radio, toured twice to America and made three CD recordings. Whilst in Suffolk he was also active as a choral trainer, running two choirs and working with the Bury St Edmunds Festival Chorus and the Britten-Pears Chamber Choir. As an accompanist, Michael has worked with many conductors (including Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Paul Daniel, Nicholas Kraemer and Stephen Layton) and performed with the City of London Sinfonia, the Britten Sinfonia and the band of the United States Air Forces in Europe. Solo organ recital engagements have taken Michael to twenty British cathedrals as well as to New England, California, Bermuda and Switzerland. In September 2003 he was invited to perform in Copenhagen as part of a festival of English music. Future engagements include concerts in Edinburgh, Connecticut, Virginia, South Africa and at Washington National Cathedral. He is also one half of the Busch-Bawtree piano duo, a collaboration born in 2000 with American composer Richard Busch which has included annual duet recitals both sides of the Atlantic, most recently in Connecticut in February; he returns to New England in August for another season of concerts.

James Arthur (Doctor / Policeman)

James was born in Essex and was awarded a music scholarship to Ampleforth College in 1993. During a gap year he sang as a choral scholar at Guildford Cathedral before reading music at Durham University. Whilst at Durham he was a cathedral choral scholar and was also awarded the Sir Thomas Beecham scholarship for performance. Since 2002 he has been studying with Peter Alexander Wilson at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He has completed a Postgraduate Diploma and a Masters in Performance and is currently on the MMus Opera course. He is in demand as a soloist across the UK and future performances include Britten’s Curlew River at the Edinburgh Festival.

Alexandra Cassidy (Woman)

Alexandra is a fourth-year undergraduate at the RSAMD and is studying with Stephen Robertson. She was the soloist in Feldman’s Rothko Chapel at the Usher’s Hall, Bartok’s Village Scenes with Ilan Volkov and the BBC SSO on Radio 3. She was also a soloist on a recording of Daquin’s Le Douze Noëls. Since coming to college she has appeared in many opera choruses. This year she understudied Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. Before coming to the RSAMD, Alexandra studied with Pamela Cook and was a member of Cantamus Girl’s Choir, winning numerous competitions including Llangollen’s Choir of the World title.

Louise Collett (Woman)

Louise is currently in her third undergraduate year, studying under the tuition of Kathleen McKellar-Ferguson. Since commencing her degree here, Louise’s successes include ‘winner’ of the Jean Highgate Scholarship, finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for Young Singers competition and joint ‘winner’ of the Governers Recital prize 2005.

Abram Edewards (Dying Man / Preacher)

American born but French bred, Ace returned to the States and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music from California State University at Sacramento where he was very active in the Opera department performing such roles as Danilo in The Merry Widow by Franz Lehár, Bob in The Old Maid and The Thief by Gian Carlo Menotti, the title role in Orpheus in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach, and Henrik in A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim. After starting as a baritone performing scenes from Don Pasquale, Pelléas et Mélisande, Les Mamelles de Tiresias, and The Rape of Lucretia, he is finishing his Master of Opera degree at the RSAMD as a tenor, studying with Peter Alexander Wilson.

Christopher Elliott (Youngest Son)

Northumbrian tenor Chris Elliott started his singing as a boy chorister at Durham Cathedral. Having gained a Masters in English, he spent 6 years working in London and Sydney as a headhunter before returning to Glasgow to study with Peter Alexander Wilson. He has appeared in a wide variety of concerts, oratorios, opera and venues across the UK, Europe and beyond, and is a current recipient of the Scottish Opera Gavin Boyd Memorial Award. After appearing in Curlew River at the Edinburgh Festival he will start on the Opera Course at the RSAMD in September.

Michelle Foster (Woman)

Michelle is twenty-three and studies at the RSAMD with Jane Irwin. She graduated with first class honours in 2003, and completed a Master of Music performance in 2004. During her period of study, Michelle was awarded several prestigious awards from organisations such as The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, The Musicians Benevolent Fund, The Ruby and Will George Trust and The South Square trust, as well as a travelling scholarship to Canada from the Canadian Scottish Philharmonic Foundation. In September she will commence study at the Alexander Gibson Opera School in Glasgow, with assistance from the Mary Garden Scholarship Fund and the Sir Richard Stapeley Educational Trust.

Recent concert engagements include a recital with Sir Thomas Allen, Patricia MacMahon, Lisa Milne, Peter Wilson and Malcolm Martineau. She has also performed throughout Canada and Europe in recitals for the Schubert Society of Germany, The Canadian Scottish Philharmonic Foundation in Toronto, Scottish Executive, Channel Four and the Conservatorio di Monopoli, as well as concerts at House for an Art Lover, and performances of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem. Michelle was a semi-finalist in this year’s YCAT selection. Operatic roles include Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni, Female Chorus, The Rape of Lucretia, Alice Ford, Falstaff and Fiordiligi, Cosi fan Tutte. Future engagements include Handel’s Israel in Egypt at the York Minster, and a recital with Graeme McNaught at Glasgow’s West End Festival.

Luis Gracia (Lover / Friend)

Tenor Luis, born in Lisbon, completed his BMus(Hon) degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he studied with Laura Sarti. He completed his Masters of Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2003 where he received the Thomas Sivewright Catto Award. Luis was awarded the Leverhulme scholarship 2004/05 and is studying at the Alexander Gibson Opera School completing his Masters of Opera at RSAMD, studying with Peter Alexander Wilson. Luis received acclaim for his performances of scenes at the Spoletto festival in Italy in 2003 and performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the direction of Guido Ajmone-Marsan in 2004. Roles performed in part include; Il Duca (Rigoletto), Ferrando (Cosí fan tutte) the title role in Idomeneo, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Lensky (Eugene Onegin), teh title role in Faust, Fritz (L’amico Fritz), Rodolfo (La Boheme). His performance of Benedict (Beatrice et Benedict) and Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore) prompted a review in the Herald describing Luis as ‘a lyric tenor that really impressed’. Luis’ busy oratorio schedule includes the performance of works such as Messiah (Handel), Magnificat (Buxtehude), Réquiem (Verdi), Petite Messe Solenelle (Rossini), Magnificat (Vivaldi). Luis has recently appeared as Fenton (Falstaff) and for Haddo House Opera he appeared as El Remendado and covered Don José in his critically acclaimed performance of the 2005 production of Carmen. Soon after he made his Don José debut in Fife. During the Summer 2005 he will perform with British Youth Opera as Romeo in Romeo and Juliette (Gounod) (cover).

Austin Gunn (Middle Son)

27 year old Tenor, Austin’s most recent performances in opera and scenes include Bardolfo, Nemorino, Des Grieux, and Don Ottavio. Oratorio performances include Bach’s St John Passion at St John’s Smith Square directed by Peter Schreier, Handel’s Messiah with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Dorset youth Orchestra combined, Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins at The Stables, Wavendon with Cleo Lane and Hilary Davan Wetton, Caldara’s Stabat Mater and Schutz’s Musicalische Exequien at St John’s Smith Square with Hilary Davan Wetton, Haydn’s Nelson Mass at Kings College, Cambridge conducted by David Wilcocks, Mahler Symphony with Andre Martin, and recitals at venues throughout the UK including St Paul’s, Covent Garden, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Kensington Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Austin also sang as a guest artist in Zurich Ballet’s production of Mozartina at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. Recording credits include Glory Revealed for Newcastle Cathedral Choir, an album of experimental music for the University of Westminster, and as the singing voice of a German soldier in the American television series Band of Brothers directed by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks.

Rowan Hellier (Daughter)

Mezzo Soprano Rowan has received a First class BMus honours degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama studying under the tuition of Patricia Hay. She will continue her studies at the Guildhall School of Music in September. Operatic roles include Mercedes, Carmen (Bizet) for Haddo House Opera; understudy for Mistress Meg Page, Falstaff (Verdi) RSAMD; Nancy, Martha, (Flotow),Haddo House Opera and understudy for Nerone, L’Incoronatione di Poppea (Monteverdi), RSAMD. Recent concert engagements include Mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, at the Younger Hall, St.Andrews and Polwarth Parish Church, Edinburgh. During her time at the Academy she has been chosen as the soloist in L’Enfance du Christ (Berlioz) with the RSAMD Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Simon Wright, and as the soloist in Chansons Madecasses (Ravel) with cellist Robert Irvine. Rowan is supported by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, The Sir James Caird Travelling Scolarships Trust and Intrepid Security Solutions.

Patrice Lamure (Bridegroom / Husband / Father)

Patrice is currently studying on the Advanced Master of Opera course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow, under the tuition of Patricia McMahon.

In opera scenes at the RSAMD, Patrice has performed the roles of Zurga from Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Claudio from Béatrice et Bénédict, Don Giovanni, Dancaïre from Carmen, Figaro from Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Eugene Onegin and Junius from The Rape of Lucretia. Patrice has also performed the role of Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and understudied the role of the Count from Le Nozze di Figaro in the RSAMD productions. His operatic roles this year at the RSAMD have included Ford in Falstaff by Verdi and Pelléas in Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy.


Aaron is currently in his third year (BMus) at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama studying under the direction of Alan Watt. Aaron began his career as a treble in the Glasgow Youth Choir at the age of five. He then joined the National Youth Choir of Scotland where he gained valuable experience and learned to relish the technical challenges of singing in a choir. His solo career has taken him around the country performing such works as Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Mozart’s C minor mass and Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ (Polydorus). He has toured the Scottish Isles performing for Herriot Watt University. Other performances include the sheriff in Flotow’s Martha. Understudies include Verdi’s Falstaff (Pistola) and Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (Arkel). Aaron was also asked back by the Glasgow Youth Choir to appear as a guest artist.

Ross McInroy (Robber)

Ross, a 24 year old bass-baritone from Arbroath won a scholarship to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where he studies with Alan Watt and Peter Alexander Wilson. Now in his fourth year of his degree, his busy schedule includes opera productions and the Academy Chamber Choir. Ross is also featured as a soloist with the National Youth Choir of Scotland on their CD of Scots Songs and is a choral scholar at Paisley Abbey. Previous solo engagements include Handel’s Messiah with the Scottish Opera orchestra, Bach’s Magnificat, Fauré Requiem, Dvorak’s Te Deum, Beethoven’s Mass in C and the arias in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Forthcoming engagements include Bach’s St. John Passion and Haydn’s Stabat Mater with Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society. Next year, Ross will continue his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London, on their postgraduate preparatory opera course.

Orlando Mason (Stranger)

Orlando was born in London in 1976 but grew up in Austria. After studying conflict resolution and moral philosophy at St. Andrews and Trinity College Dublin he worked as a journalist before returning to his first loves, music and performing. He began ormal voice studies with George Gordon at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2003, where he is been supported by the Catto Sievewright Memorial Settlement. A member of the Irish National Chamber Choir and the Opera Ireland chorus in 2000/01, he has sung in masterclasses with John Tomlinson, Philip Langridge and Malcolm Martineau. He has performed on BBC Scotland, RTE and ORF (Irish and Austrian radio and television) and national television in Trinidad. He recently performed Purcell’s Hail Bright Cecilia! alongside Dame Felicity Lott at the Brucknerhaus in Linz, and will be travelling to the Bayreuth Festival this summer on a Wagner Society of Scotland scholarship. His concert repertoire includes the Messiah, the Mozart and Verdi Requiems, the Creation, Berlioz’ L’Enfance du Christ, as well as Lieder, French and Russian songs. On the opera stage, Orlando has performed Sarastro (The Magic Flute), Polyphemus (Acis and Galatea), Seneca (Poppea) and Arkel (Pelleas et Melisande). He will be appearing in Richard Strauss’ Salome and Salieri’s La Cifra for Cologne Opera in 2005/06.

Douglas Nairne (Narrator)

Twenty one year old Douglas was born in Kirkcaldy and is currently in his third year studying singing with Stephen Robertson. Douglas led the National Anthem at Scotland’s televised home games, in the Autumn Series and RBS 6 Nations Rugby Tournament. Recently he sang Dancairo in Carmen with Haddo House Opera.

Anders Östberg (Eldest Son)

Swedish baritone Anders is in his first year on the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama’s Opera course, where he studies with Peter Alexander Wilson. On his graduation form Birmingham Conservatoire last year he was awarded a First Class BMus (Hons) degree after four years of singing studies with Henry Herford. He was especially pleased to be awarded the Principals prize for outstanding contributions to the life of the Conservatoire. Major operatic roles include the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin for New Youth Opera, Bartolo and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro for Opera!, and Giove in La Calisto at the Conservatoire. Anders has appeared as a soloist in Birmingham’s Symphony Hall; in Brahms’ Requiem with the CBSO and twice as the High Priest in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the ECO. As a recitalist Anders has toured Sweden, Slovenia, and Britain and he has also won the Reginald Vincent Lieder Prize, the John Ireland Prize and the Gordon Clinton English Song Prize. Recent oratorio engagements include Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Haydn’s The Seasons, Brahms’ Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem and Steiner’s Crucifixion.

Dominic Peckham (Good Robber)

Born in Southampton, twenty-two year old Dominic was a scholarship singing student at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester studying with Deborah Catterall and is currently in his third year studying Singing at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama under the tuition of Stephen Robertson. Dominic has been a member of The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain since 1994 and now works with Laudibus. Dominic is currently Assistant Conductor of The National Youth Training Choir of Great Britain and he has recently been appointed as Musical Director of The Edinburgh Singers. Recent engagements include: The Armed Man - Jenkins (The Royal Festival Hall) with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Light Of The World tour with Cappella Nova, Haydn’s Creation (Dunblane Cathedral), Scarlatti’s Stabat Mater for Stephen Cleobury and a tour of Verdi’s Falstaff with The RSAMD Opera School. He won The RSAMD Jean Highgate Competition under the adjudication of Roderick Williams and was a finalist at The Hampshire Singing Competition adjudicated by Sarah Walker. This Summer marks Dominic’s principle debut at the RSAMD as The Good Robber in Judith Weir’s The Vanishing Bridegroom at The New Athenaeum Theatre, Glasgow and he will join the cast of The British Youth Opera in their London West End performances of Romeo and Juliette this August. Dominic is proudly sponsored by Intrepid Security Solutions.

Emma Smith (Bride / Wife / Mother)

After completing her undergraduate degree at Huddersfield University, Emma moved to Glasgow to continue her studies at the RSAMD where she obtained a Bachelor of Music (Hons) and a Master of Music in Opera. She is currently in her final year of the Opera course under the tutelage of Stephen Robertson. During her time at the Academy Emma has covered roles such as Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Elettra in Idomeneo, and Diana in La Calisto. In Opera Scenes she has performed Tatyana in Onegin, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles. Concert work includes Mozart’s Requiem, Rossini’s Messe Solennelle, Bach’s St Matthew & St John Passion, Schubert’s Mass in G and Haydn’s Little Organ Mass. Emma is supported in her studies this year by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust.

Yvonne Carruthers (Deputy Stage Manager)

Yvonne was born in Glenrothes, Fife and is 21 years old. Having a passion for all aspects of theatre and music, Yvonne is currently in her third year of the Technical and Production Arts course. During her time at the Academy, as well as working on The Vanishing Bridegroom, Yvonne has worked on various opera scenes and also a Scottish translation of Tartuffe specialising as DSM. Yvonne was also Sound Designer for Shakespeare in the City festival 2004 and also The Life of Stuff.

Dave Evans (Technical Stage Manager)

This is Dave’s last Academy production, but his first role as Technical Stage Manager. He has found his role to be a great experience and has revelled in the challenges he has faced. With the onset of graduation, Dave has found himself freelancing in the entertainment industry as Lighting Technician, Event Technician and Pyrotechnician. On leaving the Academy, Dave would like to continue working in theatre and live music events.

Mary Fisher (Lighting Designer)

In her final year at the RSAMD, Mary has specialised in lighting design and electrics. Within this time she was Lighting Designer for Tartuffe and recent Contemporary Theatre Practice productions. She also spent a month with Paule Constable in London working on the English National Opera’s production of La Clemenza di Tito and Don Carlos at the Gielguid Theatre.

Gavin Gilligan (Stage Manager)

This is Gavin’s major stage management allocation in the RSAMD, having previously worked on smaller shows as SM and on Howard Barkers The Bite of The Night as DSM. His studies in stage management have been complemented by theatre design projects, the most recent of which was for Andorra by Max Frisch and directed by Adrian Osmond. The Vanishing Bridegroom is a challenging and exciting introduction to the world of Opera.

TERHI KEMPPAINEN (Production Electrician)

Terhi is just finishing her second year at the RSAMD TPA department and this is her first senior role on a production. Before starting at the Academy, Terhi has worked at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry within stage management and completed a tour of Heaven Can Wait as Guitar/Sound Technician. In the future Terhi would like to pursue a career in stage management and electrics.

Gemma McGeadie (Scenic Artist)

Gemma graduates from the RSAMD in three weeks after specialising in design and applied arts. She has enjoyed the challenges of working in the scenic art department for The Vanishing Bridegroom.

Petya Manahilova (Paintframe Manager)

For this project Petya has taken on the role of Scenic Manager, overlooking the process from costing and budgeting to time management and team leadership. Some of her previous experience includes Assistant Scenic Artist at the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, working on Sleeping Beauty and Look Back in Anger.

Roslynne Manson (Costume Maker)

Roslynne has spent the last twelve weeks in the wardrobe department, her chosen specialist subject. From Adrian Linford’s fantastic designs, she was responsible for constructing the Wedding Dress for Emma Smith in The Vanishing Bridegroom, a challenging but incredibly rewarding project. She has thoroughly enjoyed her final year at the RSAMD. She is looking forward to graduating and progressing into a professional position in a wardrobe department for either theatre or film and TV.

Ronnie Murphy (Prop Manager)

This is Ronnie’s final allocation in the RSAMD. He has chosen to be the Props Manager for the end of year shows. He is finding it a challenging, enjoyable and educational experience. He is looking forward to the challenges the real world might bring in the area of prop making.


FLUTE Jessica Quinones Lindsey Ellis (Piccolo)

OBOE/ Louisa MacPherson

COR ANGLAIS Sarah Turner

CLARINET Leasha Hillhouse Linsay Wilson Jennifer Stephenson (Bass)

BASSOON Alastair Collins Victoria Scott

HORN Kirsteen Kelman Christopher Owen Jessica Ortony Craig MacDonald

TRUMPET Jonathan Thompson David Collins

TROMBONE Michael Owers Gavin Proctor Andrew Foden

TIMPANI Nicola Miles


Student Production Team

Stage Manager Gavin Gilligan

Deputy Stage Manager Yvonne Carruthers

Assistant Stage Managers Hazel Blue Dawn Ellis

Lighting Designer Mary Fisher

Technical Stage Manager Dave Evans

Stage Technician Will Potts

Assistant Stage Technicians Mike Offland Natasha Jiggins Katie Hutcheson

Production Electrician Terhi Kemppainen

Assistant Electricians Kris Le May Ashleigh Riley Daniel Bonarelli

Props Manager Ronnie Murphy

Assistant Prop Makers Kim Soep Liz Slucas Graham Burn

Scenic Manager Petya Manahilova

Scenic Artists Rebecca Hamilton Mika Handley Gemma McGeadie

Assistant Scenic Artists Katie Hutcheson Ashleigh Riley Liz Slucas Ross McMillan Alistair Arthur Anthony Kerr

Costume Maker Roslynne Manson

Wardrobe Assistants Fiona Crawford Alison Cowan Natasha Jiggins Daniel Bonarelli Kimberley Soep Ianin Levee Elizabeth Slucas

Workshop Crew Gilliam Armstrong Jane Seymour Jorgen Isaksen Jennifer Earl Paul Froy Ken Petrie

The RSAMD would like to thank the following individuals and companies for their support:

Glasgow School of Art

Clydebank College Catering Department

Robert at Watson Norie

Lady Tess Gibbs


Head of Opera Timothy Dean

Head of Vocal Studies Christopher Underwood

Head of Orchestral Studies David Davies

Assistants to the Head of Orchestral Studies Amanda Galasso Susan Johnston

Secretary to the Opera School Anita Dick

Repetiteurs Andrew Griffiths* Darren Hargan

  • Andrew is the recipient of the MBF Repetiteur Fellowship, shared between Scottish Opera and the RSAMD.