A charity concert to support a worthy Scottish charity is taking place this weekend.
On Sunday, 24 February, Bravehound and McOpera (Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland) will present their annual concert in St Mary’s Church, Arisaig commemorating the sinking of the Glenart Castle hospital ship in 1918 and the lives of all of those from the village who have died in war.
Conducted by John Marshall, a professional orchestra and professional singers will bring a meaningful performance of Mozart’s Requiem to a rural Scottish community.
John said: ‘I am delighted to be returning to Arisaig for this commemorative event, which is so important for the community.’
One of the soloists for the concert, Fiona MacDonald, is an opera singer and founder of the Bravehound initiative, which matches veterans with companion dogs to support their rehabilitation and provide therapy for those diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Fiona was inspired to set up Bravehound in memory of her great aunt, nurse Mary McKinnon, originally from Arisaig, who was killed on the hospital ship Glenart Castle in 1918, and also from regularly performing at commemoration concerts and events for military charities.
Fiona said: ‘At Bravehound we believe that supporting current veterans is the best way to honour the lives of those who died in the First World War. I’m delighted that a group of 20 veterans that we support in our Bravehound centre at Erskine, Bishopton, will travel to St Mary’s Church, Arisaig to be part of this commemoration. We are also grateful to Father Stan, and to the London Taxi Charity and Fares4Free for making the event possible.’
Bravehound was voted as the UK’s best voluntary project at the 2017 National Lottery Awards and is a finalist in the 2019 Soldiering On Awards.
The musicians for the concert will come from the ranks of Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland (McOpera).
A spokesman said: ‘McOpera are delighted to be participating in this event commemorating the sinking of the Glenart Castle and honouring the lives of those lost in war from the village of Arisaig. As musicians, we know no better way to pay tribute than to do so performing Mozart’s sublime Requiem Mass.
‘Long term supporters of the work of the Glen Art Charity and Bravehound and passionate advocates for the power of music to enrich and inform our daily lives, our collaboration with Fiona Macdonald has become a fundamental part of our musical remit.’
The choir for this performance are all professional singers, taken from the ranks of singers from the chorus of Scottish Opera, professional operatic friends and recent RCS vocal graduates.
Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland (McOpera) was formed in the spring of 2012 by musicians from the Orchestra of Scottish Opera and has developed a wide portfolio of activity ranging from operatic productions, bespoke recording projects, orchestral performances and community outreach projects across a wide social and cultural demographic.