Cenerentola Ugly Sister – Emma Morwood

Edinburgh International Festival Opera Project – La Cenerentola

Now an annual project for the International Festival, in 2018 Edinburgh International Festival’s Opera Project explored La Cenerentola, Rossini’s effervescence telling of the Cinderella story.

Created by soprano Emma Morwood, the project saw a potted, English language version of the opera taken into nine schools, and one care home, across Edinburgh. This distilled version of La Cenerentola both told the story of Rossini’s piece whilst introducing the audiences to the music of opera and styles of singing used in the piece, breaking down barriers to the artform. For these performances Emma sang the role of the ugly sister, Clorinda and was joined by tenor Joseph Doody, mezzo-soprano Beth Taylor, baritone Doulas Nairne, and Andrew Brown who accompanied all performances on piano.

All schools who received an in-school performance were then invited to bring a group of pupils to the full production of La Cenerentola from the main International Festival programme. Over 150 young people attended the opening night of Opéra de Lyon’s production of the Opera at Festival Theatre, expanding their understanding and experience of the art of opera.

This was the fourth consecutive year of the opera project with previous years showcasing the operas Die Zauberflöte (WA Mozart); Così fan tutte (WA Mozart); and La bohème (Puccini). 2019 sees another exciting opera (yet to be announced) coming to schools and the Edinburgh International Festival, so watch this space!


Kirkcudbright Festival of Light Launch and World's Smallest Opera House

Kirkcudbright Festival of Light

Emma and her duo partner Jonathan Fisher were delighted to perform the opening concert at the inaugural Kirkcudbright Festival of Light. As well as performing an evening recital, they gave a workshop at Kirkcudbright High School, including musical warm-up games and a masterclass for the singing students.

In Kirkcudbright, Emma and Jonathan also performed in a building known as ‘the smallest opera house in the world’. It is actually a converted beach hut on the sea front which has been painted to look like the inside of an opera house. There is a piano within, but the seaside climate doesn’t do much for the tuning, so Jonathan managed to play the accompaniment to ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ in the original key in his right hand, with his left hand playing down a semi-tone, in order to make the piano sound a little more in tune…

The recital programme included Liszt’s beautiful settings of Victor Hugo texts. You can hear one of them here. (link to a recording I’ll send you… is that possible?)