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Published: 28 November 2015

By Andy Ross

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Hirda - a Shetland opera

This weekend we were very lucky to see Hirda, the new opera in Shetland dialect. 

The opera with music by Gareth Williams and Chris Stout, libretto by Sian Evans and directed by James Robert Carson, was showing in Unst and we went across for the evening. And what a good everning it was. The Haroldswick Hall, with its intimate atmosphere and good acoustics, suited the opera very well, and it was so good to hear dialect sung in a way that was understandable and clear. The simple story was well told, the singing and playing was good, and the music was clear and, with hints of Shetland tunes coming through every now and then especially with Chris Stout's playing, the whole thing was a real treat. 

If you get a chance go and see this. I would love to see it playing in some of the larger cities (surtitles obligatory, I would think!) because this opera captures a little bit of life in the islands with a unique flavour. Congratulations NOISE (New Opera in Scotland Events) who presented Hirda, the cast, crew and writers.