Scotland comes to Sydney for The Glenturret Burns Night Supper
The enduring cultural legacy of Scots in Australia will come to life on 25th of January 2020, when a unique Glenturret Burns Night Supper will be held at the Sydney Opera House, as part of the year-long program of cultural and musical events planned for the Year of Scotland in Australia (YOSA 2020).
Heading straight to the airport from their headline appearance at the world-renowned Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, the multi award-winning Scottish band Breabach will make the journey to Sydney to join what will be their only Australian appearance in 2020.
Year of Scotland 2020 events are designed to inspire Australians to discover and celebrate Scottish culture at home, and to visit Scotland to experience ‘the real deal’ in future travels. The Glenturret Burns Night Supper will reimagine the traditional ‘Burns Night Supper’ by showcasing indigenous Australian culture alongside conventional Scottish customs in a once-in-a-lifetime event.
Held in the Sydney Opera House’s Yallamundi Rooms, The Glenturret Burns Night Supper is a four-hour feast that will feature an inventive menu created by Sydney Opera House chefs to honour Scottish traditions – such as haggis – whilst incorporating native Australian flavours. Menu items such as haggis served alongside kangaroo with a root vegetable ecrase and New South Wales pickled mushrooms, vanilla wattle seed mousse with Cutaway Creek raspberries and a honeycomb and oat crumble will be complemented by wine, beer and premium single malt whisky from Scotland’s oldest working distillery, The Glenturret.
Highlights from this night of revelry include rousing recitals of Burns’ poetry; uplifting toasts such as the Piping of the Haggis (where a piper accompanies the haggis around the room before it’s served); the Immortal Memory; the Toast to the Lassies; singing of Auld Lang Syne; and musical performances to honour the life and work of Scotland’s national bard.
Breabach, who scooped the BBC Scotland Traditional album of the year award on the 7th of December 2019, will perform a unique set combining twin bagpipes, fiddle, bass and guitar with Gaelic vocals and step dance. They will be joined by acclaimed Indigenous violinist and vocalist Eric Avery. The event will open with the ancient Indigenous Australian tradition of ‘Calling Country’ with a combination of the bagpipes, the didgeridoo, a gum leaf dance and more. This Burns supper is the first of its kind and is a genuine celebration of two cultures in the iconic venue of Sydney Opera House.
A significant event for Scots both in their homeland and here in Australia, Burns night suppers were first held in July 1802, when a group of friends of poet and lyricist Robert Burns got together to mark the fifth anniversary of his death with a festive feast of haggis and renditions of Burns’ work. The night was such a success, they decided to stage it again to honour Burns’ birthday, beginning a tradition which endures around the world today.
Produced and curated by Showcase Scotland Expo and Woodfordia Inc in partnership with Australia’s festivals and event organisers, YOSA 2020 is backed by VisitScotland, The Scottish Government, The Glenturret whisky, and Creative Scotland.
On YOSA 2020, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Year of Scotland in Australia is a phenomenal opportunity to further Scotland’s enduring relationship with Australia, with musicians from both sides of the globe sharing our dynamic traditional music scene.
“My hope is that new working partnerships will be forged, creating demand for continued Scottish performances beyond 2020, and encouraging our friends Down Under to come to Scotland and experience all we have to offer.”
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland said, “With almost 120,000 Australian residents born in Scotland, and a further two million claiming Scottish ancestry, there’s a deep and genuine shared connection between our two nations. The Glenturret Burns Night Supper is a unique way to celebrate that enduring bond through a combination of indigenous Australian and Scottish music and traditions.”
Breabach said “We can’t wait for this Burns Night, it’s truly original and we are really looking forward to trying the menu! It’s going to be great to play with Eric Avey and The Glenurret is our favourite whisky – they have actually just released a single cask 15-year-old Breabach whisky in celebration of our 15th anniversary, so a huge thanks to them”
John Laurie, General Manager for The Glenturret commented “For many years a dram has been a great way to toast friendship and togetherness, and The Glenturret are delighted to be part of this event which celebrates the coming together of Scottish and Australian culture. With brilliant music, food, and Single Malt Whisky, it’s set to be a great night!”
About the Glenturret Burns Night Supper performers
Breabach is a multi-award-winning Scottish contemporary folk band which performs traditional songs, contemporary tunes and original compositions based on themes including global politics, the media and the natural world using instruments including the bagpipes, whistle, flute, fiddle, guitar and bouzouki. Accolades for Breabach include ‘Best Folk Band’ and ‘Best Album’ at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, ‘Best Group’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and ‘European Album of the Year’ at the Songlines Music Awards.
Eric Avery is a Bundjalung, Gumbaynggirr, Ngiyambaa and Yuin man from NSW and one of the country’s most unique First Nations performers. A violinist, native language singer, composer and dancer, Eric seeks to continue the legacy of traditional tribal singing and has performed at events including Parliament House’s 30th anniversary in 2018 and the Boomerang Festival at Byron Bay Blues Fest. He has also composed for Black Arm Band and danced at Sydney’s Carriageworks.
Tickets for the Burns Night Supper are on sale now: https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/experience/the-glenturret-burns-night-supper.html
To keep up to date with the fast expanding year long programme, more detailed information and ticket links, visit www.yearofscotlandaustralia2020.com and follow @YOSA2020 #YOSA2020.
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