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A Wild and Majestic Night at the Museum with Scottish Opera

Wednesday 25 September, 2019

Burns and Beethoven will collide in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland on World Opera Day.

Wild and Majestic: An Evening with Scottish Opera: 6.30pm, 25 October 2019

National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh


Burns and Beethoven will collide in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland on World Opera Day in a special performance by Scottish Opera to celebrate works by some of the world’s great operatic composers, inspired by Scotland’s Romantic past.

The event is in association the National Museum’s critically acclaimed exhibition, Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland. One of the highlight objects in the exhibition is the manuscript score of Robert Burns’ Highland Harry, set to music by the hand of Ludwig Van Beethoven. It will form part of the recital, along with Schumann’s Burns settings, Schubert’s Ossian settings and, performed on the anniversary of his birth, Bizet’s Nous voilà seul (La jolie fille de Perth). [NB Full programme appended below]

Dr Stuart Allan, Keeper of Scottish History and Archaeology at National Museums Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to host this performance in collaboration with Scottish Opera. It really brings to life a key point made in the exhibition, Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland, about how a particular idea of Scotland, with its roots in Ossian and Burns, later made even more popular by Sir Walter Scott had a widespread influence on European Romanticism.”

Wild and Majestic: An Evening with Scottish Opera will be performed by Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists, soprano Charlie Drummond and baritones Arthur Bruce and Mark Nathan, accompanied on piano by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark. 

Derek Clark, Head of Music at Scottish Opera, said:

“We are delighted to be performing at the National Museum of Scotland, and it’s especially pleasing to give the three young singers from our Emerging Artists programme, which is now in its 10th year, the chance to bring this music to life.”

Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland (until 10 Nov) tells the fascinating story of how tartan, bagpipes and rugged, wild landscapes became established as enduring, internationally recognised symbols of Scottish identity and how Scotland became established in the popular imagination as a land of wilderness, heroism and history.

Through rich displays reflecting the colour and flamboyance of the Highland image, over 300 objects tell the story of key developments such as the aftermath of Culloden, the Ossian controversy, the over-turning of the ban on Highland dress, the pageantry around King George IV’s visit to Edinburgh in 1822, the Highland tourism boom, and the creation of a Romantic idyll for Queen Victoria at Balmoral. 

Wild and Majestic: An Evening with Scottish Opera, is at 6.30pm on Friday 25 October. Tickets are on sale now, priced £22.50, available at

The exhibition Wild and Majestic: Romantic Visions of Scotland is sponsored by Baillie Gifford Investment Managers and runs until Sunday 10 November.

Scottish Opera will also be appearing at the National Museum of Scotland this Saturday (28 September, 12pm and 3pm) with the touring production, Amadeus and The Bard. In the show, a cast of singers and instrumentalists blend traditional Burns folk tunes with music from some of Mozart’s most popular operas, from the magical and mystical in The Magic Flute and Tam O’Shanter to the heartfelt declarations of love in Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and A Red, Red Rose.

Baillie Gifford logo                                             


For further information and images contact Bruce Blacklaw, Press Office, National Museums Scotland, 0131 247 4165,

24 Sep 2019

Full Programme:

Charlie Drummond* – soprano

Arthur Bruce* – baritone, The Robertson Trust Scottish Opera Emerging Artist

Mark Nathan* – baritone

Derek Clark^ – piano

*Scottish Opera Emerging Artists

^ Head of Music, Scottish Opera

Three Ossian settings, Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

  1. Ossians Lied nach dem Falle Nathos (MN)
  2. Kolma’s Klage (CD)
  3. Das Mädchen von Inistore (AB)

Three Burns settings, Robert Schumann (1810-56)

  1. Jemand (My heart is sair) (CD)
  2. Niemand (I ha’e a wife o’ my ain’) (MN)
  3. Dem roten Röslein gleicht mein Lieb (My luve is like a red, red rose) (AB)

Highland Harry, Arr. L van Beethoven (1770-1827) (CD)

Piano Solo – Ballade in D minor, Op.10 no.1, Johannes Brahms (1843-97)

Duet: Nous voilà seul (La jolie fille de Perth), Georges Bizet (1838-75) (CD/AB)

Scena ed Aria: Perfidi!...Pietà, rispetto, amore (Macbeth), Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), (MN)

Aria: Oh! Would that I again could see (Jeanie Deans) (CD), Hamish MacCunn (1868-1916)

Aria: Sulla poppa del mio brich (La prigione d’Edimborgo) (AB), Federico Ricci (1809-1877)

Duet: Soffriva nel pianto…Se tradirmi tu potrai (Lucia di Lammermoor) (CD/MN) Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)

Notes to editors

  1. National Museums Scotland is one of the leading museum groups in the UK and Europe and it looks after collections of national and international importance. The organisation provides loans, partnerships, research and training in Scotland and internationally. Our individual museums are the National Museum of Scotland, the National Museum of Flight, the National Museum of Rural Life and the National War Museum. The National Museums Collection Centre in Edinburgh houses conservation and research facilities as well as collections not currently on display.
  1. The National Museum of Scotland is the most popular attraction in the country outside of London (source: Association of Leading Visitor Attractions). The National Museum of Scotland was awarded ‘Gold’ Level Green Tourism Visitor Attraction status in 2016.

  2. Bheireadh Oifis nam Meadhanan eadar-theangachadh Gàidhlig den bhrath-naidheachd seachad do bhuidhinn mheadhanan bharantaichte. Cuiribh fios do dh'Oifis nam Meadhanan airson bruidhinn air cinn-latha freagarrach.
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