This year is the 25th anniversary of the Bruce Millar/Gulliver Prize which is awarded to young opera singers and to a promising talent working offstage in opera, whether in direction, design or other technical areas. The first winners of the awards were Bass-baritone Stephen Gadd and director David McVicar.
To mark the occasion, the Bruce Millar Trust, set up by Ainslie Millar to commemorate his son, who was a light entertainment director with the BBC, has doubled the value of both awards from £5000 to £10,000. The contest for the singing prize is open to the public and takes place on Sunday from 3pm, in the Stevenson Hall at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, tickets £10.
Each of the UK's major conservatoires nominates one candidate for the award and this year there are five sopranos (Anna Rajah, Bryony Williams, Chrina Gansch, Louise Kenemy, and Lauren Fagan) and one tenor (Tristan Llyr Griffiths) performing. The young singers will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Lemalu, Kate Royal, Lucy Crowe and Nicky Spence - all previous winners of the award.
Lisa Stansfield to go on tour
Lisa Stansfield, whose comeback recording, Seven, looks set to feature in the top 10 of the album charts this week, has announced a ten-date UK tour in September, with a single Scottish date at Glasgow's O2 Academy on Saturday September 13. The new album, written and recorded with her songwriting partner Ian Devaney, will form the core of the set, but hits from her quarter-century career, including the global smash All Around The World, are promised. Tickets are on sale now.
Smith releases first solo EP
EDINBURGH-BASED pianist Jamie Smith has released his first solo piano recording, Kinesis, an EP featuring four improvised pieces covering various styles of jazz from straight-ahead to contemporary. Smith, who has previously released well-received acid jazz tracks under the name Outerattik, cites inﬂuences including Esbjörn Svensson, Bill Evans, Benny Green, Bud Powell, Keith Jarrett, Neil Cowley, and the Bad Plus's Ethan Iverson and has made Kinesis available through iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and other digital outlets.