IN response to Dr Brian Mucci (Letters, November 6) who pleads "let us have more classical ballet", the launch of our exciting 2020/21 season has been greeted with great enthusiasm. We value comment and discussion and hope that our work – on stage, and beyond – continues to inspire our audiences.

Next year we present two classical ballets true to their tradition: Sir Kenneth McMillan’s dramatic The Scandal at Mayerling and Peter Darrell’s ever-popular The Nutcracker. We also reprise David Dawson’s ambitious modern take on Swan Lake, and in a month we will premiere a new, sumptuous production of The Snow Queen – which we hope will become a staple family ballet "classic".

We pride ourselves on being respectful to tradition, while also offering something fresh and new. Our ambition remains to connect with the broadest possible audience across our nation. This year we celebrate Scottish Ballet’s 50th anniversary with the company’s biggest commissioning programme ever; presenting three world premieres and committing to building one new full-length work every year of five years. We have also made five very special Wishes come true, and sent our Wee Hansel & Gretel to the furthest reaches of Scotland.

All of this is a huge, yet welcome, challenge to the company requiring passion, dedication and commitment. We hope people from across Scotland, and beyond, will continue to be inspired by Scottish Ballet’s passion, as we embark on our next 50 years.

Christopher Hampson, CEO/Artistic Director, Scottish Ballet, Glasgow G41.

The smoking gun

ONCE again, Max Cruickshank (Letters, November 13) enables us to pause for thought; that perhaps e-cigarettes were never really a smart intervention for the cessation of tobacco smoking – and rather, a cynical strategy to maintain Big Tobacco’s profits, aided by the gullibility of naïve harm reductionists.

Indeed, one factor in smoking addiction which e-cigarettes have never addressed – and actually accentuate – is the "ritual" surrounding the act of smoking; anyone can confirm this for themselves by simply observing someone smoking an e-cigarette, billowing vapour around good style.

This one factor alone must be an obstacle to actually quitting the smoking habit; thus, I wonder how many people have just transferred their addiction from smoking tobacco to vaping with e-cigarettes.

Philip Adams, Crosslee.

Goodwill hunting

WITH winter taking its grip on us, people may be unaware that according to Shelter figures, in 2018-19, 36,465 homeless applications were made, and 29,894 households were assessed as homeless by their local authority. This equates to a household losing their home every 17.5 minutes.

So let's forget this moronic General Election for one second, and bring ourselves back to reality.

Let us remember the "season of goodwill" is upon us, and is all about giving to those less fortunate than ourselves, in this heavily commercialised run up to Christmas.

Feel happy we can spread some Christmas cheer, with no expectations of anything in return – whether it’s volunteering at homeless soup kitchens, food banks or refuges.

Quite simply, "do unto others, as you would have them do unto you".

Jill Ferguson, Glasgow G11.

All good folk

I READ with interest that folk singer Karine Polwart will feature on tour songs from Scotland which articulate the social and political landscape of the nation and its people spanning the past 50 years ("How songs from the past shine a light on troubled times today", The Herald, November 13)

I hope she will include the controversial 1968 The Pill, the Pill – they’re going to bless the Pill”, by Glasgow folk hero and songwriter the late Matt McGinn (1928-1977), recognising the social revolution of the introduction of the contraceptive pill, and for light relief the catchy Sam the Skull (The Glasgow Cat) by Harry Hagen, variously recorded by Matt McGinn, Alastair McDonald, Gaberlunzie and others.

R Russell Smith, Kilbirnie.