At the Intercontinental Hotel on George Street at lunchtime on Tuesday the air was filled with the beautiful voice of Scottish Opera soprano, Catriona Clark. Pianist Toby Hession could not be seen outside on the balcony, but Ms Clark entertained passers by with Spargi d’amaro pianto from Lucia di Lammermoor, an opera based on Scott’s novel, The Bride of Lammermoor.

in the wake of the pandemic, Scottish Opera will feature the novel, The Bride of Lammermoor as a creative stimulus and inspiration to explore issues such as loneliness and isolation. ‘Sweet Sounds in Wild Places’ aims to empower women who have been struggling during lockdown and to help build creative skills, as well as increase self-confidence and self-expression.

The hotel boasts a historical connection to Scotland’s beloved Sir Walter Scott and was originally a collection of five prestigious townhouses. James Ferrier and his family lived at Number 25, with many literary links including Sir Walter Scott, who was also a well-known friend of novelist Susan Ferrier and was regularly entertained at the family home.

InterContinental Edinburgh The George will welcome back Scottish Opera next year to host a curated exhibition of the artwork created throughout the ‘Sweet Sounds in Wild Places’ sessions.

Kieran Quinn, Hotel General Manager InterContinental Edinburgh The George said: “It is hugely exciting to host Scottish Opera at InterContinental Edinburgh The George, both to support the launch of Scottish Opera’s ‘Sweet Sounds in Wild Places’ as well as commemorate Sir Walter Scott. 

“This world-class performance is not only a nod to Sir Walter Scott, whom had a personal connection to the historical building of this hotel, but also highlights that InterContinental Edinburgh The George is open, following the many challenges faced by the hospitality industry.

“The impact from the pandemic has left many people with feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety and it is important that we support them. We look forward to our partnership with Scottish Opera, and to welcoming them back to host a selection of the artwork created during their ‘Sweet Sounds in Wild Places’ workshops.

Jane Davidson, Director of Outreach and Education, Scottish Opera said: “The past 18 months has been a challenging time for many people, and even although some things are returning to normal, some of us are struggling with mental health and well-being which can make it difficult to re-connect with our usual activities, social circles or with the places where we live and work.

“At times like this it is important not to undermine the power of opera and the ability individuals have to connect with the art forms involved. We thank InterContinental Edinburgh The George for its support in our ‘Sweet Sounds in Wild Places’ sessions and look forward to celebrating the artwork created during the workshops with them later in the year.”