Media Release: season finale! June 2016

MEDIA RELEASE: 05.05.2016

Mr McFall’s Chamber
20 years of musical adventures season finale

We close our 20th anniversary season 13-17 June 2016 with four celebratory performances of Piazzolla’s masterpiece - Maria de Buenos Aires – a feast for the ears, eyes and tastebuds!

Mon 13 June 2016, Cottier Chamber Project Glasgow
Tue 14 June 2016, The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh
Thu 16 & Fri 17 June 2016, Yorkshire Festival – opening night of the festival

It is set on the streets of María’s Argentine home city with a set of colourful grotesques as characters, from a sleepy sparrow, to a chorus of psychoanalysts, spaghetti-kneaders and brothel keepers.

The role of María, sung by Chilean singer Valentina Montoya Martínez, is an allegorical representation of the particular street culture which gave rise to tango, born in the schemes on the outside of town, carried to the night spots of the city centre, corrupted and confused. She dies but lives on in the streets as a shadow to be, finally, joyfully, reborn at the end of the opera.

Star guests include Argentine bandoneón player, Victor Villena, who also takes on the role of Musical Director, and fellow-Argentine Juanjo Lopez Vidal as the narrator, ‘el duende’. Operatic tenor Nicholas Mulroy joins the cast in the wonderfully diverse tenor roles.

The McFall’s strings will be joined by top instrumentalists for this performance, including Alison Mitchell on flute (principal flautist with the SCO), Malcolm MacFarlane on guitar (Scottish Guitar Quartet), Iain Sandilands on percussion, Phil Alexander (Moishe’s Bagel) on piano, and French tango violinist Cyril Garac.

A specially commissioned film will be used as backdrop for the concert. Shot in Buenos Aires by young Argentine film-maker Géraldine Comte, this backdrop is intended not only to provide a visual feast, but also to introduce the city itself as a character in the opera.

Argentine food and snacks will be available in Edinburgh from earlier in the evening and during the interval. Fine Argentine wine will be available at the Edinburgh and Yorkshire performances.

This production is delivered in a unique version, with a new arrangement written by Robert McFall, who in the past 20 years has contributed over 200 arrangements to the catalogue, and was credited as an Ignition Award winner for his achievements in 2015.

Additional tango activity
In the run-up to these performances, Mr McFall’s Chamber is working with a group of people from the Edinburgh community who will appear on stage as the Speaking Chorus. These ten performers will speak in Spanish, delivering commentary on the story as it unfolds.

After the performance on Tue 14 June, the Edinburgh Tango Society is hosting a milonga at The Counting House in Edinburgh. All audience members are invited to continue their night there, and non-dancers get in free.

Although the performances themselves contain no dancing (as was Piazzolla’s express instruction), tango dance classes will be offered in advance of the performances at Yorkshire Festival, in the beautiful auction house of Tennant’s Garden Rooms, Leyburn. Post-performance, audience members are encouraged to stay for a DJ milonga set where they can practice their steps.

Box Office details

Mon 13 June 2016, 8pm, Cottiers Theatre Glasgow tickets to be launched

Tue 14 June 2016, 7.30pm, The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh and 0131 668 2019

Thu 16 & Fri 17 June 2016, 7.30pm, Tennant’s Leyburn North Yorkshire and 0113 322 3500


1. For more information, press tickets or photos please contact Judith Walsh

2. The performances will be in Spanish, with English translation

3. The Mr McFall’s Chamber strings are: Robert McFall (violin), Brian Schiele (viola), Su-a Lee (cello) and Rick Standley (double bass).

4. Mr McFall’s Chamber records with Delphian Records, Scotland’s most innovative independent record company and Gramophone’s ‘Label of the Year 2014’.

5. Mr McFall’s Chamber gratefully acknowledges support from Creative Scotland Lottery Funds, PRS for Music Foundation, the Hope Scott Trust, the RVW Trust, The Robertson Trust and all its supporters.

6. Mr McFall’s Chamber is a registered charity, number SC0283438

7. Mr McFall’s Chamber is governed by a board of trustees, and managed by Artistic Director Robert McFall and General Manager Judith Walsh. Contact details in the header.

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Mr McFall’s Chamber is a registered charity: SC028348

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