Rossini’s opera in fine voice

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus is one of Scotland's finest vocal ensembles. Fresh from last year's critically acclaimed performance of Rossini's Zelmira at the Festival. the


BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY AND MATT SWEENEY Will Oldham (for Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy is he) has always created idiosyncratic American folk sounds with a blackly humorous lyrical bent. His latest collaboration with guitarist Matt Sweeney has a certain amount of meat added to the songs’ bones, but the dark heart of the Prince remains intact. Here we peruse some of his finer slices of wordsmithery.

1 The Mountain Low ‘If I could fuck a mountain / Lord. I would fuck a mountain / And I'd do it with a woman in the valley.’

2 New Partner We got a new partner. hello / Now the sun's fading faster. we‘re ready to go / There's a skirt in the bedroom that‘s pleasantly low.’

3 My Home Is the Sea ‘l have often said / That I would like to be dead / In a shark's mouth.‘

4 I am Drinking Again 'I am drinking again / I’m on my seventh cold glass of gin / Life is a tribute to you. and so is dying / And drinking in this way / To die is what I'm trying.’

5 Rich Wife Full of Happiness “A shark and a dog now you're laughing / The dog licks the shark dry in your photographing / And l lick you dry until you're laughing / My finger is in your behind.‘

(Doug Johnstone)

til Queen ’3 Hall, 668 2019, 27 Aug. 77.30pm, £75.50.

chorus returns with one of the composer‘s lesser known operas. Ade/aide di Borgogna. Probably one of the most successful operatic composers in his time. Rossini wrote it about the medieval Italian Queen Adelaide who is being hounded by a warlord Berengario. She marries his rival the German emperor Ottone and eventually triumphs over her enemy - give or take some fights here and there. As was his style. the opera contains some outstanding moments for the chorus and. while nonetheless beautiful. second-fiddle beauty for the soloists.

Conducted by Giuliano Carella. the part of Adelaide is sung by Majella Cullagh (pictured). an Irish soprano whose engagements have included work with the Royal Danish Opera. Welsh National Opera and Opera North. She is joined by Jennifer Larmore who brings to the part of Ottone her experience singing Handel. Mozart. Rossini. Bellini and Donizetti and appearing in every majOr opera city in the world.

A rarely performed opera from one of the great operatic composers. Ade/aide di Borgogna promises to be one of the highlights of the Festival. (Hazel Davis)

I Usher Ha/l. 473 2000. 79 Aug. 7. 300777, 5760—535.


Finger-style guitar tag team

John Renbourn teams up with Clive Carroll in a feast of finger~style guitar wizardry. Carroll recently released his second CD and has been making a big impression in recent times. but Renbourn already has the heavyweight CV tucked away in his locker. not least his part in Pentangle.

Teaming up with another guitarist is no new experience for him. His list of collaborators over the years includes Bert Jansch. Stefan Grossman and the late Isaac Guillory. His roots lie in folk. but he is by no means limited by it.

‘I realised early on that it was more convincing when I played music that came from our own stock of tradition. but the kind of music | write and play often doesn't fit comfortably in the folk category. It's more like a niche in the contemporary scene.‘

(Kenny Mathieson) I Reid Hall, 662 8740. 25 Aug. 7pm. £70 (£8).



Foxy chanteuse tackles the dark side 0000

‘My favourite colour is red.‘ purrs Camille O'Sullivan. With a scarlet ribbon round her waist and a bottle of blood-coloured wine next to her. and the announcement mid-set that “you might just have guessed that I‘m going to be up to no good this evening', it's no empty boast. Covering the songs

Western soundtrack. Morricone's challenging works are presented here as organised chaos and delivered with a befitting. jovial intensity.

While the musicianship and arrangement are of the highest order. each member of the troupe utilising a boggling array of traditional instruments and less conventional props. enormous fun is had recreating the sparse soundtrack abstractions. sound effects. and (for want of a better word) dialogue.

By no means for fans alone.

(Mark Edmundson)

I Queen's Hall. 668 2079. until 27 Aug, 70pm. £72.50—i‘7360

(£7 7.50—C72.50).

THE MAGNETS Moments of magic from this a cappella mix tape .00

of Jacques Brel. Nick Cave and Tom Waits. which she says she loves for being poems set to music. Camille makes them her own sultry show stoppers. while astOundingly retaining their original ‘clutching a bottle of bOurbon at closing time in a dimly lit bar‘ husky earthiness.

(Emma Newlands)

I Spiege/ Garden, 226 0000. until 28 Aug (not 22. 23 or 24). 8pm, £70.


Pardners and gringos in virtuoso performance musicianship 0000

There's nothing cheap (although the show must have been to put on. given the lack of instruments) about six-man vocal harmony group the Magnets. being as they were among the toast of last year's Festival. Vocally they're

From the opening cricket chirps and intense middle distance stares of its five multi-instrumentalists. the Ennio Morricone Experience is an hour of pure performance music. drama and comedy. The master of the Spaghetti

l“ l Q i .-, Hi ho poets? Heard it all before? Well, not quite. mu @Vfigflwgg‘ Wipllian: is one of those artists - and as a celebrated actor, musician and poet, he justifies the description - who defies being boxed in. Fresh off a tour with Nine Inch Nails of all people, his sound is somewhere between a juddering rock robot and fluid, hyper- real hip hop beats. A real ear opener. (Mark Robertson)

Cabaret Vo/taire, 0870 769 0700, 22 Aug. 7pm. £9.

Part of T on the Fringe. see Our Offers Page on page 8 for ticket giveaways.