We are delighted to welcome our talented new group of singers to the 20/21 Emerging Artists programme: Scottish soprano Catriona Hewitson, French mezzo-soprano Margo Arsane, Chinese tenor Shengzhi Ren and Scottish baritone Arthur Bruce.

Despite an uncertain year for the arts sector, we are thrilled to once again be able to offer a group of young artists a period of full time work at the beginning of their careers. The Emerging Artists programme was originally set up to nurture outstanding young singers and has continued to do so for 11 years, offering specialist coaching, diverse performance experience and professional guidance.

For the first time since the programme began in 2009 we will have representatives of the four main voice types, soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor and baritone, which will make for some exciting opportunities as they embark on the programme with us.

We are also pleased to welcome baritone Arthur Bruce back as The Robertson Trust Scottish Opera Emerging Artist for a second year, fresh from an incredible performance as Schaunard in the company’s 5-star production of La bohème

Meanwhile, soprano Catriona Hewitson will start the programme in Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared, streaming live online on Sunday 20 September as part of the Lammermuir Festival. 

All four singers will also perform in an online version of our established Opera Highlights production- with hopes to tour to theatres around Scotland in Winter/Spring, subject to government advice and guidelines.

Here’s what the group had to say about their upcoming season with Scottish Opera:

Mezzo soprano Margo Arsane said: ‘I am very excited to be joining one of the UK's top opera companies, and even more so Scottish Opera, which is known for being so welcoming and warm. I am particularly looking forward to the variety of experiences I will gain as an Emerging Artist – which will give me the opportunity to work on the main stage with a team of exciting international guest artists, and therefore gain valuable exposure in the industry. As a young singer at the start of my career, having access to high-quality mentorship and music coaching from Scottish Opera’s in-house and visiting teams is invaluable. I deeply admire what Scottish Opera has been able to do since the Covid-19 crisis hit - they have shown such creativity in adapting to these troubled times, so it is humbling and exciting to get to be part of this team.’

Soprano Catriona Hewitson said: ‘It is completely overwhelming to have the opportunity to grow and work with a national company like Scottish Opera. I am also so excited to get to know Glasgow and see more of Scotland. I have spent the last decade in England so it is so lovely to be home again.’

Tenor Shengzhi Ren said: ‘As a singer from the East, ever since I began my studies it has been my dream to sing and perform in a national opera company. I am very honoured to have been chosen to join the Emerging Artists Programme at Scottish Opera, where I will have the opportunity to work with so many wonderful singers, conductors and directors. I am really looking forward to rehearsals and performances, and believe it will be a great journey.’

You can find out more about our Emerging Artists here.