Tom Cunningham: Music; Alexander McCall Smith: Text
Alan Borthwick: Artistic Director; David Lyle: Musical Director
The two short operas ‘The Tumbling Lassie’ and ‘Dandie Dinmont’ are collaborations by the composer, Tom Cunningham, and writer, Alexander McCall Smith.
‘The Tumbling Lassie’, written in aid of anti-trafficking charities, deals with an extraordinarily moving real-life case of a young girl, an acrobat, kept as a slave in late seventeenth century Scotland. ‘Dandie Dinmont’ was written to mark the tenth anniversary of the Walter Scott Historical Fiction Prize. This is based on Walter Scott’s novel ‘Guy Mannering’, which features Dandie Dinmont, a Borders farmer, after whom the famous breed of terriers is named. Six professional soloists will be supported by Dandie’s "children", all pupils from Melrose Primary School, and a professional instrumental ensemble.
‘The Tumbling Lassie’ was premiered in Edinburgh in 2018, and ‘Dandie Dinmont’ was first performed at the Borders Book Festival in 2019.
Alan McLean, QC, said: “Thanks to Sandy McCall Smith, Tom Cunningham and many other generous supporters, 'The Tumbling Lassie' is developing a new life of her own, 330 years after she was declared free by the Court of Session. It is very exciting that her story is inspiring so many people and we hope that the results will include raised awareness of the problems today, and more funds for our charities that fight for those who still suffer from modern slavery and people trafficking.”
There will be a retiring collection in aid of the ‘Tumbling Lassie’ appeal, run by the Tumbling Lassie Committee, seven advocates who work together to raise awareness and funds for charities fighting against modern slavery and people trafficking and to help survivors in Scotland and beyond.