This year World Opera Day celebrates the next generation of talent, so we invite you to take a closer look at some of our superb Emerging Artists over the last decade.

Our Emerging Artists programme has to date supported 33 singers and 55 young artists including composers, costume designers, repetiteurs and directors. The programme is a stepping stone for young artists who have graduated from their studies and are looking to hone their craft and start their professional careers. Scottish Opera offers a year of guaranteed work, while developing their skills with the support from our staff and the top opera professionals who work with us.

Past EA’s include soprano Jennifer France, tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas, baritone Ben McAteer, repetiteur Jonathon Cole-Swinard and composer Gareth Williams, all of whom have gone on to achieve great success out with the company and have since returned to work with us on various projects over the years.

We are delighted that we have the opportunity to continue working with these talented artists even after their time as EA’s ends. Ben McAteer is currently starring in our production of The Gondoliers alongside our happy go-lucky gondolier and 2019/20 EA Mark Nathan, current EA Catriona Hewitson and 2019/21 EA Arthur Bruce.

Former EA composer Gareth Williams is working with us on our Breath Cycle project, aimed at helping sufferers of Long Covid, using breathing and singing techniques to improve lung function.

We have also been very fortunate to have our Emerging Artists help us create our first digital operas as part of the Scottish Opera: On Screen programme. In June 2020, Emerging Artists Mark Nathan, Arthur Bruce and Charlie Drummond along with Composer-in-residence Samuel Bordoli collaborated on our first ever digital film, The Narcissistic Fish, launching what has become a programme of seven online films during the pandemic. The collection includes Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Live in South Lanarkshire and Opera Highlights, all of which starred Emerging Artists, including Margo Arsane and Shengzhi Ren.

This year we welcome our new Emerging Artists, with soprano Catriona Hewitson returning, alongside two new singers, mezzo-soprano Lea Shaw and tenor Glen Cunningham, while Toby Hession continues as the Emerging Artist repetiteur.

The Emerging Artists programme is fully funded by our Emerging Artists Benefactors & Supporters, The Robertson Trust and Elizabeth Salvesen – we are extremely grateful to all of them.