Top Glyndebourne Opera stars come to Kippen

Top Glyndebourne Opera stars come to Kippen


On Saturday 23rd March the “Classics @ Kippen” audience were treated to an utterly sublime concert given by Hannah Sandison (soprano), Annabella Ellis (mezzo soprano) and pianist Chavdar Mazgalov. Hannah and Annabella, both now based in London, studied with Kathleen McKellar Ferguson at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They both met at Glyndebourne in 2015 and are now forging very successful singing careers.  We are so grateful to them for making the trip north and for giving freely of their time and services.


The programme included operatic arias and duets by Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart and Rossini, songs by Schumann and Mahler and ended with some classic musical theatre. It was a case of “the show must go on” when Hannah’s back “went” during the first half of the concert. As a result Hannah, 5 months pregnant, didn’t have the physical strength to sing her two Puccini arias at the beginning of the second half so, with no fuss at all, Bulgarian born pianist, Chavdar, who studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London, added an exquisite solo piano piece by Schubert and Annabella sang an extra impromptu aria! Thankfully, the paracetamol kicked in and Hannah was able to sing the lighter, last few, pieces at the end of the programme. This was a performance of the highest calibre and was received and acknowledged as such by an extremely enthusiastic audience. Many people said that this would even “convert” them to listening more to opera!


Our eighth C@K concert since 2012, this was the first concert using our own staging, which was purchased with the proceeds of the concert last Summer. The staging now lives under the stairs in the Church and is there to be used in our community at other Church- based events. After expenses, we have raised just under £700 and have decided that the priority is to use this money to buy some simple lighting for the stage and then, if possible, either an extra set of steps or an elegant backdrop/curtain for the staging. Our next concert will be for charity. Watch this space for further details!


A concert like this doesn’t just happen. “Classics@Kippen” are eternally grateful to all those who helped in so many ways to make this event the huge success that it was. A huge thank you goes to those who made time on Saturday morning to help set up the stage and move the piano (no mean feat!) and then clear up after the concert, those who gave meals and hospitality, sold tickets, distributed leaflets, took photographs of the event and helped on the night greeting people at the door and serving wine. A very special thank you goes to Kevan Leith ( who maintains our website and helps with all things IT, John Fulton and Grant Coubrough for being on hand throughout the day to help with everything in the Church and to a very generous donor who gifted all the wine for the interval.  Also, and not least, a huge thank you to all of you who came to the concert because without an audience there is no concert! We do indeed live in a very “giving” village. Thank you to everyone who supports us. We appreciate it so much.


Classics@Kippen look forward to many more successful nights like this of high-class music-making in our beautiful Parish Church. Check out our website for more information and do contact us if you would like to be involved in any way or added to our mailing list.

Kathleen McKellar Ferguson