Scottish soprano Marie McLaughlin to lead Samling Artist Programme Masterclass at Marchmont House.

Scottish soprano Marie McLaughlin has enjoyed a distinguished career spanning more than four-decades at the top of the operatic profession. She returns to Scotland on Saturday 2 March to share her experience and insights in an up-close and personal afternoon of song and opera in the exquisite Arts and Crafts music room at Marchmont House in the Borders.
Marie McLaughlin has collaborated with some of the world’s greatest conductors including Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Sir Antonio Pappano, Leonard Bernstein and Giuseppe Sinopoli, and appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Opéra National de Paris and Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals. She’ll be joined on stage by pianist James Baillieu and writer and director Susannah Waters. 

James Baillieu is one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation, specialising in song and chamber music and appearing across the world with artists including Benjamin Appl, Lise Davidson, Ian Bostridge and Dame Kiri te Kanawa. At the start of his career, James took part in the Samling Artist Programme and now regularly returns to Samling Institute as a leader to guide the next generation of musicians. Susannah Waters has been telling stories through opera, dance, theatre and literature, first as an opera singer and subsequently as a stage director and writer. 

Marie, James and Susannah will work in masterclass with eight young artists who are on the brink of impressive international careers. Together, leaders and artists will coach, challenge and channel their talent, giving a unique glimpse behind the scenes of classical music, showing the creative process in action and demonstrating what it takes to give a truly world-class performance.

Marchmont House is a Grade-A listed Palladian Mansion, with later refurbishments by Scotland’s finest Arts and Crafts architect Sir Robert Lorimer, and stunningly restored by its current owners. The house is only open to the public for special events such as this and as Marchmont’s guests, the audience will be invited to take refreshments in the exquisite reception rooms along with the artists and leaders.

This event comes at the end of an intensive residential week that many previous participants have described as ‘lifechanging’. Crucially, the Samling Artist Programme is provided at no cost to the artists – talent and dedication are the only criteria for admission. Tenor Hugo Brady who is currently studying at the Royal College of Music and is one of the lucky few to have made it through the rigorous selection process for this year’s programme said:

‘It has always seemed to me that during the Samling weeks, Marchmont House becomes a little bubble of music making, text, and artistry. I’m looking forward to being enveloped in that, surrounded by colleagues and leaders whom I admire, digging deeper into music which I’ve known for a long time, and exploring other music which is newer to me’.

During the week, the eight young artists on the programme have been refining every aspect of their artistry under the guidance of the leadership team and taking inspiration from the art that surrounds them in the house and from the visual creative artists resident on the Marchmont estate. Over the course of the week, the Samling Artists and their leaders build up a unique trust and rapport, making this final public event a masterclass like no other. 

Saturday 2 March 2024, 1.30 – 4.30pm
Tickets £22

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