Anthropocene wins Large Scale New Work category at the Scottish Awards for New Music 2020

Anthropocene, our gripping work commissioned from composer Stuart MacRae and librettist Louise Welsh, triumphed in the Large Scale New Work category at this year’s Scottish Awards for New Music.

The awards were broadcast on You Tube on April 14, and presented by broadcaster and tenor, Jamie MacDougall. Anthropocene was up against Conquest of the Useless by David Fenessy, and Trumpet Concerto by Thea Musgrave.

The world premiere of Anthropocene, which tells the story of an expeditionary team of scientists who become trapped in the frozen Arctic wastelands, took place in January 2019 at Theatre Royal Glasgow, before it toured to King’s Theatre, Edinburgh and London’s Hackney Empire.

Stuart MacRae said: ‘I’m delighted and honoured to have received the Large Scale New Work award for Anthropocene at the 2020 Scottish Awards for New Music!

‘Writing this opera and being involved in its creation was a joyous and fulfilling experience, as well as a great challenge, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with the whole team at Scottish Opera over many years. The Company has shown such extraordinary commitment to enabling me to develop as an opera composer, and I could not have wished for better support in bringing this new work to the stage.

‘I’d also like to thank our fantastic cast, music staff, and all the incredibly dedicated people working behind the scenes; conductor Stuart Stratford and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, director Matthew Richardson, designer Samal Blak, movement director Kally Lloyd-Jones and my amazing librettist Louise Welsh. Thanks also to PRS for Music for sponsoring the award.’

Anthropocene is the fourth collaboration between MacRae and Welsh, a partnership initially born of the 15-minute opera Remembrance Day in 2009. The composer-librettist team went on to create Ghost Patrol in 2012, which won a South Bank Sky Arts Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award, and 2016’s The Devil Inside, based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The full performance of Anthropocene is available to watch from today until 15 May on OperaVision, where you can find a wide array of full-length opera productions to view on demand for free.

The film of Anthropocene, directed for OperaVision by Jonathan Haswell and produced by Andrew Lockyer, was made at a performance at London’s Hackney Empire last February.

More information about Anthropocene is available on our website

Thanks to New Music Scotland for going ahead with the awards at such a challenging time. For the full list of award winners, visit