La Traviata in Brora

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Opera Hits the High Notes

Who would have believed it but it is true?  Opera Rocks in Brora and East Sutherland.!

The East Sutherland live Arts Charity launched their season of performances on Wednesday 30th January 2019 with a sell-out audience.  In fact, over 30 additional seats had to be found as the excited audience packed the Brora Primary School Hall/Theatre.  People had braved the icy roads determined not to miss a fabulous event.  They had travelled from all across Sutherland, some from as far away as Latheron and Lybster, but perhaps the furthest travelled had driven especially from Elgin and another from Skye!!

Local houses hosted pre-opera drinks parties to put them in the mood and the charity had provided a huge buffet of party food - smoked salmon, pates, savouries of all sorts and delicious puddings and cake as a one-off celebration of the first night at the opera in East Sutherland with a special thanks to Linda's Cafe for their support.

Capaldi's gave everyone a free ice cream, Cocoa Skye (Brora's new cafe sensation) gave everyone in the audience delicious homemade luxury chocolate and Maisies Daisies flower shop provided a stunning welcoming arrangement.

The room was a buzz with over 130 enthusiasts as they enjoyed a welcoming drink, and anticipated curtain up!  And BOY what a curtain up as the performance was streamed live from London's Royal Opera House.  The orchestra played and the real benefit of the newly installed wrap- around sound system came into play- the tone and the sound were superb.  And then the chorus sang and not a soul could look away they were mesmerised even before Violetta played by the wonderful Ermonela Jaho and Flora played by Aigul Akhmetshina and the magnificent , even legendary, Placido Domingo commanded the stage as he played Georgio.

Oh what a night was had in Brora!  To quote just a few:-

Ronnie Sim on behalf of the Kilbraur Windfarm Trustees who were there.

“Fantastic and everything we could have hoped for - we look forward to many great performances, this is exactly what the community needs well done!”

Deirdre Mackay (Highland Council) “a Wonderful evening and huge congratulations on an amazing success”

Monica Main (Lord Lieutenant) “What a joy - the sound, the performances and the whole event was superb”

Peter and Sally Wild (Dornoch) “this really has been a magnificent occasion.  To be able to enjoy music and performance like this here in East Sutherland is a joy!”

Alex Hermiston (Golspie) “simply an inspiration.”

Gillian Stephenson (Helmsdale) “just awesome the whole family loved it”

Wendy Flood (Brora) “the most wonderful night out, Thank you!”

There are stories of people who were so excited they had to take the day off work just to be there.  A lady who came an hour early just to make sure she got a seat, and who was almost brought to tears by the whole performance.

A huge thank you has to go to Beth Christie and her hard-working committee who made all this possible.  Also, a huge thank you to the sponsors: East Sutherland Rotary, BADAG and Kilbraur Windfarm who all played a part in what hopefully was the first of many performances and a long and successful programme of “Live” music at this venue for everyone in East Sutherland.