Two Young Company members, Ruaraidh McBain and Dillon McFarlane, standing either side of a piano

We are pleased to announce that two members of Scottish Opera Young Company (SOYC), Dillon McFarlane (left) and Ruaraidh McBain, have been awarded our Audition Bursary Prize, funded by The Leverhulme Trust this year. Ruaraidh, 17, joins SOYC for the first time this year, whilst Dillon, 21, has been with SOYC for a number of years.

Over the next four years, the prize money will be used to provide financial support in the form of bursaries and scholarships to dozens of young people across Scotland who face financial and geographic barriers to access our annual Scottish Opera Young Company programme. This funding will enable more of Scotland’s young singers to take part and develop their talent through our specialist music training and performance programme. Part of this funding includes the Scottish Opera Young Company Audition Bursary Prize, which covers the membership fee to join the Young Company.

Chris Gray, Young Company Artistic Director said: 'The Leverhulme Best Audition Prize is our opportunity to support SOYC auditionees who show outstanding potential. This year’s auditions were excellent across the board, including old and new faces, so awarding this Prize was particularly difficult. Both Ruaraidh and Dillion showed great preparation, whilst bringing fresh ideas to standard audition repertoire. They were also required to reimagine and present a monologue which they both did with great flair and imagination.’

Our Young Company, for 17 to 22 year-olds with a passion for performance, gives aspiring young singers and stage managers a unique and practical introduction to the world of opera. Rehearsing throughout the year, Young Company members work with a range of opera professionals – including directors, choreographers, conductors and vocal coaches – to hone their skills, culminating in their own fully-staged production. Those aged 14 to 17 can also get involved with SOYC Gateway which is for 14- to 17-year-old aspiring singers.

For  more information about Young Company visit:

Congratulations Dillon and Ruaraidh!