Alumni Karen Cargill and Catriona Morison join RCS students for Wagnerian epic at Edinburgh International Festival

Alumni Karen Cargill and Catriona Morison join RCS students for Wagnerian epic at Edinburgh International Festival

Published: 27/03/2019

Internationally-acclaimed Scots opera stars Karen Cargill and Catriona Morison are to join forces with current students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for a major performance at the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival.

Scottish mezzo-sopranos and Royal Conservatoire alumni Karen Cargill and Catriona Morison will take to the stage alongside RCS Voices, an elite group of current and former students of Scotland’s national conservatoire conducted by former RCS Head of Opera Timothy Dean, for a concert performance of Richard Wagner’s opera Götterdämmerung. The epic drama brings Wagner’s epic Ring cycle to a close with tales of betrayal, murder, vengeance and finally, the destruction of the world.

Recent roles for Karen include Erda in Das Rheingold with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde with Opéra national de Montpellier and Waltraute in Götterdämmerung at the Royal Opera House, London.

Catriona is fresh from performing as Charlotte in Werther with Bergen National Opera and Wuppertaler Bühnen and Cheurbino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro with Cologne Opera.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, will also perform at the Edinburgh International Festival concert alongside students and alumni of the Royal Conservatoire, which is consistently recognised as one of the world’s top performing arts education institutions.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “This performance of Wagner’s epic Götterdämmerung will be a momentous occasion, bringing two of our superb alumni together alongside our elite student vocal ensemble, RCS Voices and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which itself contains many of our staff and graduates. This performance is a wonderful showcase of Scotland’s artists and artistic training taking place as it does at the heart of one of the world’s finest arts festivals.

Arbroath-born mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was the winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award. In 2018 she was awarded an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Music, from Scotland’s national conservatoire.

Karen performs in concert halls and opera houses all over the world. She regularly sings with the Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Rotterdam and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, Dresden Staatskapelle, London Symphony and Philharmonic Orchestras and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, working with conductors including Donald Runnicles, Yannick Nézet-Séquin, Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniele Gatti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Daniel Harding, Robin Ticciati and Edward Gardner.

Winner of the 2017 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Main Prize and joint winner of the Song Prize, Catriona Morison was the first British artist to win the highly coveted award. In 2017, she was awarded an Honorary Professorship by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. At the beginning of season 2016-17, Catriona joined the ensemble of Oper Wuppertal, where she has sung roles including Maddalena (Rigoletto), Hänsel (Hänsel and Gretel), Nicklausse (The Tales of Hoffmann) and Clarice (The Love for Three Oranges).

The performance of Götterdämmerung takes place on 25 August at 4pm in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. Tickets are available via the Edinburgh International Festival website.

You might also be interested in reading


An evening of Gaelic and Scots Song from the nation’s brightest new voices

A new song, written by one of Scotland’s leading traditional musicians, will be unveiled at a concert at RCS this week, which will showcase some of the nation’s brightest new voices. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Traditional Music department will stage A Showcase of Gaelic and Scots Song, an hour-long concert on Thursday 22 February