St Andrews University’s first live show in new state of the art £12.5m music centre

An environmental murder mystery will mark the first opera to take place in the ground-breaking new £12.5m music centre at the University of St Andrews.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 11:55 am

Locust: The Opera, a one-hour chamber opera by Anne Guzzo, will be performed at the Laidlaw Music Centre on Sunday October 31 at 4:00pm by singers from the Prairie STEAM Collaborative and Colorado Chamber Orchestra and Opera, alongside a group of Scottish musicians including associate teachers at the music centre.

The performance coincides with the start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP 26).

The opera, which premiered at the US National Museum of Wildlife Art in Wyoming, USA, and has been performed in Agadir, Morocco, now comes to Scotland with an environmental mystery at its heart.

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Locust: The Opera- the first opera to take place in the ground-breaking new music centre at the University of St Andrews.

Including opportunities for audience participation, Locust explores the mystery of why the enormous gatherings of locusts which plagued 19th century farmers in the US disappeared.

Chris Bragg, head of programming at the Laidlaw Music Centre at the University of St Andrews, said: “It’s a great thrill to be able to bring together musicians from both sides of the Atlantic to perform this new mini-opera so relevant to contemporary discussions about how we care for the natural world.

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“Anne Guzzo’s gorgeous music and the engaging narrative will ensure this is a wonderful and thought-provoking way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and Ashley Carlisle, the opera’s art director, has created magical costuming that will enchant the audience with the spectral locust.”

The £12.5m Laidlaw Music Centre at the University of St Andrews

The Laidlaw Music Centre is a state-of-the-art facility.

The new building allows the university to provide first class facilities for talented students who study music at the highest level alongside their main academic studies.

Funded through philanthropic support from donors, it includes three rehearsal rooms, ten practice rooms, a recording suite, a library and one of the finest chamber recital halls in Scotland, the McPherson Recital Room - which is where Locust: The Opera will be performed.

The room features a specially designed moveable floor that allows adjustment for each performance and a reverberation chamber to ensure the best possible acoustics for a huge variety of musical situations.

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