Opera set for Oban Dis­tillery – what a dram fine idea

The Oban Times - - LEISURE -

In a first for Scot­land, a new opera, Nav­i­gate the Blood, is be­ing per­formed in dis­til­leries across the coun­try – and is set to come to Oban.

Sian Evans has writ­ten a story set in a small fam­ily dis­tillery about a cou­ple whose son has dis­ap­peared in mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances.

Per­formed against an in­dus­trial back­ground, Nav­i­gate the Blood is tour­ing re­gions where there is no ac­ces­si­ble opera house giv­ing many peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to see live opera for the first time.

In a pow­er­ful new part­ner­ship, Scot­tish indie-folk band, Ad­mi­ral Fal­low, pic­tured, has joined forces with com­poser Gareth Wil­liams, push­ing their col­lab­o­ra­tive boundaries in new creative di­rec­tions to cre­ate the mu­sic for this opera.

Work­ing with Gareth and Sian, as well as clas­si­cal opera singers, they have em­braced an in­tense writ­ing process, re­sult­ing in an ex­cit­ing first new work of mod­ern opera by th­ese tal­ented and ver­sa­tile mu­si­cians.

Dis­till­ing is an in­dus­try that em­ploys, di­rectly and in­di­rectly, 41,000 peo­ple in Scot­land.

The past 10 years have seen a growth not only in the dis­till­ing of whisky but also a mas­sive in­crease in the pro­duc­tion of gin, with 70 per cent of the gin be­ing pro­duced in the UK now be­ing dis­tilled in Scot­land. Two mil­lion tourists vis­ited Scot­tish dis­til­leries last year.

Told against this back­ground of in­dus­try and em­ploy­ment, this new pro­duc­tion of singing, mu­sic, the­atre and sto­ry­telling has been cre­ated to re­flect the lives of the dis­tillery com­mu­nity in Scot­land.

Tour­ing to the tra­di­tional dis­till­ing re­gions of Low­lands, High­lands and Is­lands, it is de­signed to be rel­e­vant to the peo­ple liv­ing there and to wel­come, en­gage and en­ter­tain new au­di­ences for opera in Scot­land.

The opera will be per­formed at Oban Dis­tillery on Novem­ber 8. It will then visit Glen Sco­tia Dis­tillery, Camp­bel­town, on Novem­ber 11 and Ard­na­hoe Dis­tillery, Isle of Is­lay, on Novem­ber 16.

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