Fife pupils explore Burns’ classic poem

Robert Burns
Robert Burns

Primary school pupils across Fife will rehearse and perform an opera based on Robert Burns’ iconic poem Tam o’ Shanter throughout February and March.

Scottish Opera’s annual Primary Schools Tour hits the road with The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter, a show created to re-introduce young people to the works of the celebrated Scottish poet.

Written especially for children in primaries 5-7, the fast-paced adventure features original lyrics by Ross Stenhouse and music by Karen MacIver.

Schools are provided with high quality teaching resources, including a teachers’ support pack, to help introduce the songs from The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter to pupils in advance. A team of Scottish Opera performers and arts education specialists then spend a day rehearsing and preparing the pupils for a choreographed, fully-costumed performance of The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter for family and friends.

The show follows a farmer named Tam o’ Shanter as he makes his way home from Market Day with his faithful horse Meg. As the night grows darker, the rain falls and the wind shrieks through the branches of the trees, he finds himself outside the church where he discovers a coven of witches dancing. Fascinated, Tam stops to watch, but suddenly one of them spots him, and he and Meg must run for their lives.

Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera’s director of outreach and education, said: “Our children’s operas make learning both enjoyable and challenging, giving pupils the opportunity to participate in a high-quality, day-long music theatre workshop that ends with a performance for parents and guests. Originally commissioned in 2002, this vibrant interpretation of Burns’ iconic poem enables a new generation to explore the culture, identity and language that remain key to the enduring appeal of Scotland’s most famous poet.”

Performance diary:

February 13 – Wormit School, February 14 – Tayport Primary School, February 27 – Duloch Primary School, February 28 – Falkland Primary School, March 20 – St Paul’s Primary School, March 21 – Markinch Primary School, March 22 – Dunnikier Primary School, March 23 – Lochgelly Primary School and March 24 – Castlehill Primary School.

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