Saturday 17th June 2023

10.30am – 11.00am: Meet & Greet
Relax in the comfort of the Cathedral Library with your fellow opera aficionados whilst you are welcomed to the Festival Retreat by its Director and Artists.

11.00am – 12.00pm: Behind The Scenes with Derek Clark
Join Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, as he goes behind the scenes and explores the music to be performed during the Festival.

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Lunch*
Enjoy a freshly prepared lunch in the Cathedral’s Refectory.

2.00pm – 3.00pm: Lunchtime Recital – “Music from the Pit”
An enjoyable lunchtime concert of operatic instrumental music performed by Scotland’s leading professionals. Includes performances by violinist Kanako Ito (Associate Leader, BBCSSO), internationally renowned pianist Fali Pavri, cellist Martin Storey (Principal Cellist, Orchestra of Scottish Opera), oboist Amy Turner (Principal Oboe, Orchestra of Scottish Opera) and the Argyll String Quartet.

3.30pm – 4.30pm: Open Masterclass with Derek Clark
Hear the stars of tomorrow, today! Observe Derek Clark working with two up and coming opera students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

5.00pm – 6.00pm: Pre-Dinner Drinks Recital*
Join our conductor/pianist Leonardo Catalanotto and our singers for a pre-dinner drinks recital. Treat yourself to a glass of champagne whilst enjoying a live performance of Don Giovanni’s “Champagne Aria” – or perhaps a Bellini cocktail whilst hearing “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s “Norma”. We hear a glass of Rioja pairs beautifully with Carmen’s “Habanera”. Presented in collaboration with Isle of Cumbrae Distillers Ltd.

6.00pm – 7.30pm: Dinner*
Enjoy a delicious, candlelit three course meal in the Cathedral’s Refectory.

8.00pm – 9.30pm: Opera Gala Concert
An unforgettable evening of operatic delights from our singers, conducted by Leonardo Catalanotto with Derek Clark at the piano and the Argyll String Quartet. Enjoy classics from “The Marriage of Figaro” and “La Boheme” with everything in between. Featuring a dazzling intermezzo performance of Sarasate’s fiendishly virtuosic “Carmen Fantasy” by Tamás Fejes (Assistant Leader, RSNO) 

Sunday 18th June 2023

9.00am – 10.00am: Breakfast*
Start off the day with a beautifully cooked or continental breakfast in the Cathedral’s Refectory.

10.15am – 11.00am: Artist Q&A Session
Enjoy a relaxing Sunday morning in the company of a selection of artists from the Festival – an opportunity to ask them questions about their career and their art.

11.30am – 12.00pm: Morning Recital –  “Quartet, Coffee & Cake”
Indulge in a mid morning treat of cake and Quartet – an intimate recital in the Cathedral Library presented by the Argyll String Quartet. Hear a rare live performance of one of Donizetti’s String Quartets – these underplayed gems are full of character and operatic melodies that the composer is famous for.

12.30pm – 1.30pm: Lunch*
Enjoy a freshly prepared lunch in the Cathedral’s Refectory.

3.00pm – 4.30pm: Closing Opera Gala Concert
Conducted by Leonardo Catalanotto and accompanied by the Argyll String Quartet and Derek Clark on piano, our singers will be joined by a chorus to conclude the Festival. Enjoy a selection of arias and duets alongside choruses such as the “Easter Hymn” from Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” and the rousing Brindisi from “La Traviata.”

Festival Programme Events, artists and repertoire are subject to alteration.

All concerts and events are open to the general public. Please contact us for ticket information.

Those who have purchased a Full Board Residential Package, a Weekend Dining Package or a Weekend Events Pass will have priority choice of seating at concerts and events that are open to the general public. 

All ticket holders with have full access to the Cathedral Library and Common Room areas during the Festival.

*Only available to those who have purchased a Full Board Residential Package or a Weekend Dining Package. A limited number of places for lunch and dinner at the Cathedral may be available for those who have purchased a Weekend Events Pass.

Please contact us to enquire.