The Maiden Stone

Outdoor opera by Joe Stollery and Catriona Yule

Friday 5 September & Saturday 6 September 2014
1pm & 3pm

Bennachie Centre, Chapel of Garioch (map)

Tickets £5.50 (under 26 free of charge)
from Bennachie Centre or Aberdeen Box Office

Review by Alan Cooper

Jillian Bain Christie (soprano) – Marn
Colin Brockie (baritone) – Dirk/Devil
Stuart Jack (treble) – Loki
Kay Ritchie (flute)
Aden Mazur & Ruth Earnshaw (violins)
Mark McNamee (viola)
Peter Davis (cello)
Jeffrey Wang (percussion)
Schoolchildren from Oyne, Inverurie Market Place, Keig, Monymusk and Chapel of Garioch schools

The Maiden Stone is an opera composed by Joe Stollery based on the legend of the Maiden Stone with words by Aberdeen poet Catriona Yule. Legend has it that a stranger (the Devil) disguised as a man (Dirk) asks for the hand of a maiden (Marn) in marriage. The maiden challenges the stranger to build a path to the top of Bennachie before she finishes baking a batch of bannocks... but who will win? Bannocks and boulders come alive and are played by local schoolchildren who have been working hard with Margaret Hearne on movement/dance and Pete Stollery, Joe's father, on the music. Aberdeen-born soprano Jillian Bain Christie will play Marn and Colin Brockie from Ellon will play Dirk/Devil and they will be accompanied by a string quartet, flute and percussion.

The performance involves walking to a number of locations on the lower slopes of Bennachie where there is wheelchair access.

Joe Stollery

Composer Joe Stollery had a piece premiered at last year's Sound Festival by Richard Craig (flute) and Joanna Nicholson (clarinet).

Catriona Yule

Librettist Catriona Yule lives in Aberdeen and works as an English tutor. She is a poet, short story writer and playwright. Her collection of poetry and short stories Night Train was published by Blue Salt Publishing in 2012. Her first poetry collection Shedding Skin was published by Koo Press in 2007 and reprinted in 2011. Her first full length play Birdhouse was performed at the WAC New Play Festival in February 2009.

Website: Catriona Yule

Jillian Bain Christie

Originally trained as an illustrator, Jillian Bain Christie studied music in Aberdeen and London. Jillian is originally from Aberdeen and is now based in London and Paris. She is currently studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire with Joan Rodgers and Helen Yorke.

Website: Jillian Bain Christie

Colin Brockie

Colin Brockie was born in Ellon and after studying singing at North East Scotland Music School and in Manchester, he is now emerging as one of the most exciting new voices on the circuit. He is a regular performer at the Sound Festival and sings with the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus.

Website: Colin Brockie

Listen to Joe Stollery and Catriona Yule on the Literature Show archive, talking about this project on 1 March 2014.

Promoted by


Supported by

Maiden Stone Crowdfunding
Bennachie Centre
Bailies of Bennachie
North East Writers

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