Deeside pupils to tell Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter

Scottish Opera's Primary Schools Tour The Tale o' Tam o' Shanter
Scottish Opera's Primary Schools Tour The Tale o' Tam o' Shanter
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Pupils of Durris, Drumoak and Crathes Schools are to host a stop in Scottish Opera’s current tour with Tam o’ Shanter.

On Monday, March 6 members of the national company will rehearse and perform an opera based on Robert Burns’ iconic poem with pupils from the three schools.

Scottish Opera’s annual Primary Schools Tour hit the road in January with The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter, a show created to re-introduce young people to the works of the celebrated Scottish poet.

Written especially for children in primaries five, six and seven, the fast-paced adventure features original lyrics by Ross Stenhouse and music by Karen MacIver, who also wrote the music for Scottish Opera’s popular family show, The Little White Town of Never Weary (2016), and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (2016), a specially composed piece for Scottish Opera’s youth company, Connect.

Schools are provided with high quality teaching resources, including a teachers’ support pack, to help introduce the songs from The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter to pupils in advance. A team of Scottish Opera performers and arts education specialists then spend a day rehearsing and preparing the pupils for a choreographed, fully-costumed performance of The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter for family and friends.

The show follows a farmer named Tam o’ Shanter as he makes his way home from Market Day with his faithful horse Meg. As the night grows darker, the rain falls and the wind shrieks through the branches of the trees, he finds himself outside the church where he discovers a coven of witches dancing. Fascinated, Tam stops to watch, but suddenly one of them spots him, and he and Meg must run for their lives.

Scottish Opera’s director of outreach and education, Jane Davidson said: “Our children’s operas make learning both enjoyable and challenging, giving pupils the opportunity to participate in a high-quality, day-long music theatre workshop that ends with a performance for parents and guests.

“Originally commissioned in 2002, this vibrant interpretation of Burns’ iconic poem enables a new generation to explore the culture, identity and language that remain key to the enduring appeal of Scotland’s most famous poet.”

This year’s Primary Schools Tour The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter is supported by many individuals and organisations, including the Aberdeen Endowments Trust, the Gannochy Trust and the Robertson Trust.