AN OPERA written Scots, English, and Gaelic nearly 100 years ago will receive its Scottish premiere in Irvine later this month.

The Seal-Woman, which was written by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Granville Bantock and was first performed in Birmingham in 1924, will be performed at the Harbour Arts Centre on September 29 and 30.

With parallels to the Little Mermaid, the Celtic story follows the titular Seal-Woman as she falls in love with a fisherman and finds she cannot return to the sea.

The production, by the Scots Opera Project, will provide the first ever recording of the play, as despite being performed in London in 1974 and broadcast live by the BBC there are no existing recordings of the play.

David Douglas, the company’s creative director, said: “Normally we would take an opera that is originally in German or English and we would translate it ourselves, but this piece is already in Scots - it’s got all the language, all the music and all the text that we need.

“The opera is based on songs that been passed down for generations that have then been taken used for this piece. It’s really ingrained in Scottish culture.

“It was so hard to find. I had been looking for it for a couple of years but during lockdown I had a bit more time on my hands, so I was able to go and send emails. Eventually I found it in the Edinburgh Library.

“We’re bringing the opera back to life and it’s a big challenge, but we’re really excited to pull it together.”

Playing the titular Seal-Woman, Sioned Gwen Davies has been singing professionally for a decade and is one of Scottish Opera’s main house vocalist.

Sioned Gwen Davies will play the titular Seal-Woman

Playing opposite Davies is Michael Longden, who graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a masters in vocal studies and who now teaches junior classes at his former alma matter.

A community chorus comprised of Ayrshire residents will also be performing in the production.

Douglas added: “Hopefully this can be a wee legacy for North Ayrshire because they helped produce it as we’re working with singers from the community.

“We’re really bringing top quality artists and I do believe that there is an opera audience in Ayrshire.”

Scots Opera has performed many operas throughout the years, such as The Jolly Beggars, Orpheus, and Dido and Aeneas – the latter of which was nominated for a Gaelic Cultural Award and a Scots Language Cultural Award.

The company also has a school outreach programme where school children can perform mini versions of operas.

General admission tickets for The Seal-Woman cost £12 while concessions cost £10.

Tickets can be booked at the Scots Opera website.