One of Scotland’s most exciting young sopranos, Marie Claire Breen, is the guest of honour at the Eglinton Burns Club’s annual dinner at Irvine’s Menzies Hotel on Friday, January 18.
Marie Claire, who grew up in Saltcoats, studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she won the Norma Grieg Prize for French Song, The Governors Recital Prize, and was the winner of both the Ye Cronies Opera Prize and the A Ramsey Calder Debussy Prize.
During her years as a “Scottish Opera Emerging Artist”, from 2010 to 2012, Marie Claire’s attractive voice and captivating stage presence led to her casting in roles that included Vixen in The Cunning Little Vixen, Venus in Orpheus in the Underworld, Dewman/cover Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Paggio in Rigoletto.
Most recently, she has been covering the role of Frasquita in English National Opera’s new production of Carmen directed by Calixto Bieito.
In what is a glittering line-up for the club’s 54th annual dinner, Father Willie Boyd of St Mary’s, and a past president of Irvine Burns Club, will propose “The Immortal Memory”, and Gordon Cree, a highly professional musician and entertainer from the Irvine Valley, will toast “The Lassies” – with the Reply coming from Annie Small, who is carving out a big reputation within the Robert Burns International Federation.
The familiar figures of Andy Morris from Glasgow and his wife, Margaret, will be making a very welcome return as entertainers, and with local piper Jim Butler in the Chair for this year’s dinner, Roddy McLeod MBE, one of Scotland’s leading pipers and Principal of the National Piping Centre in Glasgow, will become the club’s honorary piper – even if only for one night!
Tickets for one of Ayrshire’s best-loved Burns suppers are still available from Andrew Howat on 01294 217129 priced at £32.50 each.