Stage is set for Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s special royal day
Scotland’s national conservatoire is set for a right royal day tomorrow (Friday, May 3) when His Royal Highness, The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay pays an official visit to the world-leading performing arts institution ”¦ and a famous graduate also gets a welcome home.
His Royal Highness, who is the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Patron, will meet students from a range of disciplines and see some of their creative and performance work. The Royal Conservatoire will welcome back actor and graduate Sam Heughan, lead actor in the hit TV drama Outlander. Sam will meet with His Royal Highness during his tour and will later host a Q&A session with acting students.
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) is one of Europe’s most multi-disciplinary arts education environments, teaching music, drama, dance, production and film. It is the only institution in the United Kingdom to offer an honours degree in Traditional Music and is the first UK institution to offer a performance degree in British Sign Language and English. Committed to widening access, RCS works in partnership with The Prince’s Foundation to deliver progressive teaching in strings and modern ballet to children and young people in Ayrshire from Dumfries House.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to have a Patron who is passionate about the value of the arts to society and is committed, as we are, to the vital importance of early access to and progression in arts education. The arts have such a crucial role to play in the current and future well-being of individuals, communities and society as whole and this visit is a chance to celebrate the creative and performing arts at the Conservatoire and the strong commitment of our Patron.
“I’m also delighted that Sam Heughan is able to join us for this special occasion. Sam is a fantastic role model and I hope he too enjoys his visit. It’s always a pleasure to welcome our graduates back home to RCS to share their experiences with current students.”
During his visit, His Royal Highness will have the opportunity to meet students and staff and see at first hand the artistry and creativity of the institution’s professionals-in-training. He is expected to visit the Conservatoire’s New Athenaeum Theatre to see the technical fit-up for an opera production and will be given a taster of a percussion masterclass.
Scotland’s national conservatoire received its royal prefix in 1944 from King George V. The then-Queen Elizabeth assumed the role of Patron, a role in which she continued as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother until her death in 2002. During her patronage, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother officially opened the Conservatoire’s purpose-built Renfrew Street building in 1987. She also received the institution’s first honorary doctorate at Clarence House on 17 November 1994 to mark her Golden Jubilee as Patron. Following in his grandmother’s footsteps, The Duke of Rothesay became Patron in 2003.
Sam Heughan has enjoyed continued success on stage and screen since graduating in 2003. He is the star of hit TV period drama series Outlander, playing lead character Jamie Fraser, a role which has earned him a string of awards. He recently co-starred as a secret agent in the comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me alongside Mila Kunis and Justin Theroux and will be back on the big screen in Bloodshot, based on the Valiant Comics’ superhero of the same name, and SAS: Red Notice, based on the book by Andy McNab.
Sam, who was born in Dumfries and Galloway, is a global brand ambassador for Barbour and has designed a limited edition collection inspired by his Scottish roots.
Image above: His Royal Highness is pictured with BA Modern Ballet students at the launch of Dumfries House in 2016.