Header Statement

NOISE is an exciting new performance company for Scotland, led by Artistic Director James Robert Carson. Based in Glasgow, NOISE is committed to the promotion of opera as an innovative and dynamic art form. Our vision is to develop new audiences for opera, and to break down barriers to this genre.  Commissioning and promoting largely Scottish based writers, composers and performance artists, NOISE creates portable productions that tour nationally and internationally to novel performance spaces.

NOISE inspires existing opera audiences and generates new ones.  Working within different communities around Scotland, we commission new operas and aim to immerse audiences in unique performance experiences. The company launched to wide acclaim as part of the Merchant City Festival in 2011, with the premiere of Gareth Williams exciting new opera The Sloans Project.  NOISE continue to perform this wonderful new opera on different platforms, as well as commissioning new opera projects of ingenuity.

New Chairperson – Rosenna East

Noise is happy to announce that Rosenna East has been appointed as the new Chairperson of Noise. Rosenna is both a violinist in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a music correspondent for the Herald Scotland. Having served on the Executive Board of the SCO for six years until 2012, Rosenna was chosen to participate in the Clore Foundation’s programme for Leadership in the Arts. We are delighted to have her heading up the Board, and look forward to working with her.

Rosenna smaller head shot

Britannia Project – Gareth Williams

The Britannia is the oldest existing music hall in the world and it is situated at the east end of Argyle Street. It is where Stan Laurel made his stage debut. NOISE intends to follow up its highly successful collaboration with Gareth Williams and make an opera about the Britannia. The building itself is wonderfully atmospheric and due to the great work of Judith Bowker is still kept alive as a place of entertainment.

Upcoming Events

At NOISE opera we are always thinking about another event, venue or even just an idea that will one day turn into a fully fledged project so keep up to date with all upcoming noise opera events by joining our mailing list. You can also keep up to date with NOISE on twitter and Facebook.

Gareth Williams

Originally from County Armagh, Gareth moved to Glasgow after studying music at Queen’s University, Belfast. He completed his Masters in Composition in 2000 at the RSAMD, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 2002. In 2008 he completed his PhD in Composition at the Academy, studying with Gordon McPherson, and now teaches in the composition department. Over the last few years Gareth has been active as a composer at the RSAMD, producing work for groups such as the Hebrides Ensemble, Scottish Opera, the Paragon Ensemble, Symposia, the Black hair Ensemble, and the London Sinfonietta. He was the winner of the British Conservatoire Composers Forum 2000, and in 2004 he won the Dinah Wolf prize for composition. His work has been featured in the Edinburgh Festival, the St Magnus Festival, Opera to Go,and the York late Music Festival.

In December 2004 Gareth was one of six composers who launched the Ken exhibition in Glasgow, organising a weekend festival of contemporary music and art, whilst composing, producing and performing an hour-long piece of music theatre. The piece, Dead Duck, was an exploration of nostalgia and contained images, objects and music that dated back to his childhood. The use of personal and popular material is a strong characteristic of his work and he performs regularly as a singer/songwriter and piano player. His first opera, Love in the Blue Corner, was premiered at the Plug Festival in May 2006 and received five stars in the Glasgow Herald. In 2008 Gareth worked with Irish writer Bernard MacLaverty to create The King’s Conjecture for Scottish Opera which led Scottish Opera to re-commission the composer for their 2009 season to create another work – White was premiered in February in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

New works in 2009 included Soft Rains, for solo soprano, six part choir, organ and taiko drums, commissioned to commemorate the building of the Clyde Tunnel in Glasgow, and three new opera scenes written and performed at the LibLab 2009 in Toronto, by Tapestry Opera. One of these scenes was another collaboration with Bernard MacLaverty, and all three scenes were performed again in Russia in March 2010. Gareth is now composer in residence at Scottish Opera.

The Sloans Project

As part of the Merchant City Festival 2011 “The Sloans Project”, an inspiring new opera by Gareth Williams, was performed winning great acclaim from audiences, press and media. BBC news, The Glasgow Herald and The Scotsman reported on this groundbreaking piece of music theatre; an opera fusing the line between audience as spectator and participant. The opera took place in the vibrant venue of Sloans Bar and Restaurant, Glasgow’s oldest pub situated in the heart of the city centre and set over three sumptuous floors.

Sloans is situated amidst winding lanes of jewellery shops and is often the place to which newly betrothed couples come to celebrate their pledge to spend their lives together. Sloans has played host to many weddings, birthdays, christenings, ceilidhs and wakes and so with such a rich history of life experience, Gareth Williams and librettist David Brock, decided to base an opera upon these stories. This tale of life’s cycle of love, marriage, birth and death is based upon letters sent in by the public for whom Sloans has played a real role at key points in their lives. This opera belongs to the people of Glasgow as it is THEIR story. Those for whom Sloans has become part of their personal history have contributed their stories in interviews and these personal stories become a part of the performance. From the first sound of glasses ringing the opening chord of the opera to the last heart wrenching scene the audience, transfixed, travel through each room of the pub as the stories unfold.