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Silver City Pop-Up Operas

Silver City Pop-Up Operas featured 3 newly commissioned site-specific operas which took place in key historic sites across Aberdeen as part of Silver City Stories on 1st & 2nd July to celebrate the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. These operas were linked to stories and/or historic figures and places associated with the city including the Jacobite uprising, the tragic tale of Fittie’s harbour master, and the Great Scottish Witch Hunt in the 16th century. The operas were composed by Phillip Cooke, Errollyn Wallen and Joe Stollery.

These immersive operas varied in length from 5-10 minutes, allowing them to be performed multiple times over the weekend in public spaces by a mix of local performers from the University of Aberdeen and young professionals from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Silver City Stories was an event which showcased, celebrated and debated the history and heritage of Aberdeen and its People. The event was supported by Aberdeen City Council, The University of Aberdeen and Visit Aberdeenshire.

The Engine Room by Errollyn Wallen

The Engine Room is based on the true life story of the crash of the ship The Brilliant into Aberdeen Harbour in 1839.

Mither Kirk by Joe Stollery (music) and Ruth Rose (words)

This short opera is set during the Great Scottish Witch Hunt in the 16th Century. It tells the tale of a woman named Aileen who makes a pact with the devil to restore her bed-ridden child to health again. Her pact leads to devastating consequences.

The King and His Shadow by Phillip Cooke (music) and Peter Davidson (words)

The King and His Shadow is a brief re-enactment of a dramatic proclamation of James Francis Stuart (the Old Pretender) as the rightful King of Scotland at Mercat Cross in Aberdeen by The Earl Marischal and his men.

Although the 1715 Jacobite Rising, as with all the others, was unsuccessful, the romantic notion of the event still resonates today, and Peter Davidson’s evocative libretto captures this beautifully.

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