Top tenor to lead Ruthven masterclass

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EVERY year, Ruthven Parish Festival attracts music lovers from Angus, Perthshire and beyond to the idyllic, riverside surroundings of Ruthven Church.

This year’s programme is currently being finalised but the festival’s management committee has revealed that internationally-acclaimed opera singer Mark Wilde will be holding a singing master-class on Saturday, June 11.

“Ruthven Parish festival’s master-class for singers is open to anyone who loves to sing,” said Anne Duff of Ruthven Parish Festival management committee.

“Whether you enjoy singing operatic arias, Gilbert and Sullivan, Andrew Lloyd Webber, folk songs or simply like singing in the bath, this is your chance to receive personal advice and tips on vocal technique from one of the UK’s top tenors, Mark Wilde.”

Mark Wilde began his singing career as a chorister in Dundee’s St Paul’s Cathedral and was studying at the Royal College of Music when he first appeared at Ruthven Parish Music Festival.

“Mark so delighted the audience at our 1997 Festival, he inspired the founder of Ruthven Parish Festival, Angus Hood, to establish the Festival’s much-appreciated policy of providing talented young musicians with opportunities to perform,” continued Anne.

Since his first Ruthven Parish Festival appearance, Mark has performed as a soloist with, amongst others, English National Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera and at Glyndebourne and the BBC Proms.

“We’re delighted that Mark is returning to Ruthven, both to perform at the Festival and to share his immense vocal experience and expertise with singers of all ages and of all kinds of music,” said Anne.

During the master-class, vocalists are encouraged to sing the song of their choice and can either bring along their own accompanist or be accompanied by Alan Jacques, who regularly accompanies the soloists who perform at Ruthven Parish Festival.

As well as being an opportunity to receive instruction and inspiration from Mark, Anne explained that the master-class will also provide the chance to experience singing solo in Ruthven Church, which is renowned for its excellent acoustics.

“Representatives of choirs, choral and operatic societies will also be invited to attend the master-class and, as they are always on the lookout for promising voices, this might be the first step for anyone keen to follow in Mark’s footsteps,” added Anne.

The master-class starts at 10 am on Saturday, June 11, with places costing £20, which includes a light buffet lunch, and no charge for students.

“Of course,” said Anne, “the day isn’t just for singers. It’s for all music lovers, who are welcome to come along to Ruthven Church to listen to Mark and the singers attending the master-class. It promises to be a wonderful day of songs and singers.”

For more information about the Master-class for Singers with Mark Wilde or to request an enrolment form, call Anne Duff on 01575 560282 or email ruthvenfestival@tiscali.co.uk