Jane Davidson, Director of Outreach and Education at Scottish Opera, was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2017 Honours List. She received her award at an investiture ceremony at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh earlier today (Tuesday 4 July).
Jane has been with Scottish Opera’s education team – established in 1971, making it the oldest education and outreach unit of any opera company in Europe – since 1984. She is responsible for the formulation of policy for the Company’s education strategy, and for the commissioning of new works for education and outreach projects.
She has commissioned over 30 new works for Scottish Opera including a trilogy of works for under 5s: BabyO, SensoryO and KidO, which toured the UK, the Middle East, Hong Kong and New Zealand, playing to over 20,000 people between 2010 and 2015. She co-commissioned BambinO, with Manchester International Festival and Improbable, which has its world premiere in Manchester this week.
Between 2010 and 2014, Jane led a collaboration involving arts organisations across five continents to create an international youth opera; Anamchara: Songs of Friendship. The world premiere was presented as part of the cultural celebrations surrounding the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Jane has been involved in a range of training and best practice initiatives for young opera artists via RESEO (European Network for Opera and Dance Education). She has initiated partnerships with the Scottish Government, the British Council and a wide range of other international cultural organisations including Cape Town Opera, Calgary Opera and the Yuva Ekta Foundation in India.
On receiving her award, Jane said: ‘I’m delighted and extremely touched to receive this honour in recognition of the work that Scottish Opera’s unique outreach programme has achieved in Scotland and internationally. Not many of us are fortunate enough to spend their working life in an environment that is constantly evolving, packed with creativity, artistically inspiring and full of new challenges – and that’s just an average day! To the many talented artists, teachers, theatre makers and practitioners with whom I have been privileged to work, thank you for the journey.’