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Former Shetland resident Warren Gillespie will be returning to Lerwick Town Hall to perform some classical favourites with Scottish Opera’s “Emerging Artist” Marie Claire Breen and Japanese pianist Ayako Kanazawa. The concert, on Thursday 31st March, is in support of the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami, and a retiring collection will be held in aid of ongoing relief efforts.

A Little Night Music Poster
A Little Night Music Poster

This is an opportunity for lovers of song and opera to enjoy an evening of professional music making from some of Scotland’s finest emerging artists, all of whom have graduated from Scotland’s National Conservatoire and who have worked with Scotland’s National Opera Company.

Gillespie, who moved to Shetland aged five until joining the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama thirteen years later, will join fellow artists from Scottish Opera in this concert of voice, piano, opera and song. He is finishing his final year of conservatoire training at the RSAMD’s prestigious Alexander Gibson Opera School and, having studied at Brae High School, is delighted to be returning to the island:

“I’ve got such fond memories of growing up in Shetland and welcome the opportunity to put on this concert. It will also be a time to remember the terrible disaster in Japan and to do our own small bit to help.”

Warren is grateful for the support of Shetland Arts in the organisation of this concert: “It’s been a real help to have Shetland Arts supporting this concert and we hope as many people as possible are able to come and support us.

Warren Gillespie
Warren Gillespie

Bryan Peterson, Shetland Arts’ Music Development Officer added: “It’s a real pleasure to work with such talented young musicians and it’s an opportunity not to be missed for local audiences to hear the rising stars of Scottish classical music.

The concert, titled ‘A Little Night Music’ will start at 7.30pm on Thursday 31st March at Lerwick Town Hall. Doors will open at 7pm and tickets are £12 full price, £8 concession and free for students (booking required). Tickets can be purchased from Shetland box office; in person at the reception of Islesburgh Community Centre, over the phone by calling 01595 745 555.


Born in Edinburgh, Warren James Gillespie graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a BMus (Hons) and is now in his second year of the Masters Opera programme at the RSAMD’s prestigious Alexander Gibson Opera School.

Last year he won the Norma Grieg French Song Competition and recent Oratorio work has taken him as a soloist to Dublane Catherdral, Glasgow City halls and Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. In opera he has taken lead roles at the RSAMD’s New Athenaeum Theatre, Glasgow’s Theatre Royal and Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre and has this year sung the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring.

Last year Warren sang with British Youth Opera and at the BBC proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall. He has also featured in masterclasses with Alan Opie, Karen Cargill, John Mark Ainsley, Malcolm Martineau and Julius Drake.

Marie Claire Breen is a recent graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, where she studied under Patricia Hay.

Last year she was the recipient of the Governors’ Recital Prize at the RSAMD, following which she recorded a special performance for BBC Radio Scotland’s Classics Unwrapped show. She recently appeared in the USA at St.Mary’s College of Maryland’s annual ‘River Concert’ series with John Wallace and other internationally acclaimed trumpeters.

She also performed in an RSAMD showcase concert in St. James’ Palace in front of Prince Charles and recently took part in a masterclass with Mark Padmore at the Wigmore Hall, as well as singing in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

Marie Claire is working with Scottish Opera as an ‘Emerging Artist’ for the 2010/11 season.

Japanese born Ayako Kanazawa studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama before starting work as a repetitieur for Scottish Opera. She is a sought after solo pianist, repetiteur and recital accompanist.

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