Scholarship puts spotlight on opera at the Royal Conservatoire

Future generations of Scottish opera stars have been given a major boost with the creation of a new scholarship at the internationally renowned Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Mary Garden, the Aberdeen born soprano who rose to world fame in the early 20th century

Photograph by: PD-USMary Garden

Funded by hospitality entrepreneur Maurice Taylor, owner of Holiday Inn hotels and La Bonne Auberge brasserie in Glasgow’s Theatre land, the move is aimed at encouraging emerging talent.

The newly established Maurice Taylor Opera Scholarship at the Royal Conservatoire will sponsor an opera student selected by RCS for three years.

Mr Taylor’s relationship with the Royal Conservatoire stretches back over 10 years. He first became involved when, together with fellow businessman, Frank Hitchman, he helped establish the Mary Garden Scholarship, a fund for young opera students named after the Aberdeen soprano who rose to world fame in the early years of the 20th century.

“It’s no surprise that the Royal Conservatoire is one of the top institutions in the world for performing arts education,” said Mr Taylor.

“Having that level of training for the performing and production arts is fantastic for the city of Glasgow.

Maurice Taylor who has funded a new scholarship for opera students at the Royal Conservatoire Scotland

Maurice Taylor

“On a personal level, opera is one of my weaknesses, so it is a great pleasure to be in a position to assist. These students study so intensively that, by the end of the day they are exhausted. That in itself makes juggling a part-time job very difficult so the scholarship will allow them to focus solely on their art.”

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland said that regardless of their personal circumstances scholarship support is essential in enabling emerging artists of the greatest potential to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

“We’re incredibly grateful to caring individuals like Maurice Taylor who show their love and support for the arts through helping the next generation of artists hone their craft at Scotland’s national conservatoire,” he added.