Scottish Opera launch series of free-workshops in Borders

A SERIES of free workshops led by Scottish Opera have been launched to help build creative skills and increase self-confidence and self-expression, in partnership with The Abbotsford Trust and Live Borders!

‘Sweet Sounds in Wild Places’ is open to anyone aged 18 and over identifying as female, and during the sessions artists from the Company will use music, creative writing, film and photograph to empower those who have been struggling during lockdown.

Forming part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of Sir Walter Scott, his novel The Bride of Lammermoor will be used as inspiration to explore issues such as loneliness, isolation and lack of empowerment, as well as the impact, for good and bad, that landscape and environment can have on our mental health and well-being.

Those interested in taking part have until Friday 17 September to reserve a place, with workshops in Hawick and Galashiels starting on Monday 27 September, and running until Monday 15 November. For more information on the workshops and how to sign up visit

Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education said: ‘The past 18 months has been a challenging time for many people, and even although some things are returning to normal, some of us are left with feelings of loneliness, isolation and anxiety that can make it difficult to re-connect with our usual activities, social circles or with the places where we live and work.

‘If you’re interested in learning more about any of the art forms involved – even if you haven’t tried them before – and are keen to meet others who share similar interests, experiences and concerns in a supportive and friendly environment, please come and join us at the ‘Sweet Sounds in Wild Places’ sessions.’

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. The sessions will take place on Mondays at Heart of Hawick (2-4pm), and Focus Community Centre, Galashiels (6-8pm). For bookings at either venue, please contact Art Services on 01750 726 400 or email

The art work created during the workshops will be displayed in 2022 at a public exhibition at Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, near Melrose. The final part of the project takes place at Abbotsford’s Visitor Centre on Saturday 4 December and Sunday 5 December. Transport will be available by bus, free of charge, to and from a central pick up point in Hawick and in Galashiels. Lunch will be provided.

This project is supported by The Cruden Foundation and Scottish Opera’s Education Angels.

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