One of the UK’s most exciting opera stars is supporting plans to create a digital Skills academy and entertainment complex in Helensburgh.
Soprano Lee Bisset, who is starring in the only complete Ring cycle to be performed in the UK during this year’s Wagner bicentenary, has become an ambassador for the £2m Heroes Centre project.
Lee, who won critical acclaim for her ‘mesmerising’ debut as Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre at Longborough Festival Opera in 2010 ,went to school in Helensburgh and studied at the RSAMD in Glasgow (now the Conservatoire of Scotland).
She believes the plans to turn a deserted Victorian warehouse in the town into a four storey state-of-the-art digital media and entertainment centre will help to widen access to the arts.
Lee said: “As a professional musician I want to see as many people as possible, of all ages, have easy and affordable access to the arts, of every kind, including Opera.
“I am delighted that the plans for the Heroes Centre include the streaming of live events from around the globe.”
Phil Worms, founder and director of the Heroes Centre project, said: “Music, film and television has inspired many people from Helensburgh to achieve extraordinary things so we couldn’t be more proud or delighted that Lee Bisset is supporting our vision.
“Lee epitomises everything that we want the spirit of the Heroes Centre to convey. A member of the local community, who has, through a combination of hard work, determination and natural talent, followed a dream to reach the top of her chosen profession. Everyone has the potential to be whatever they want to be provided they have a supportive environment in which to thrive.”
The Heroes Centre will house a digital academy offering courses in digital media and production with facilities that local businesses can also access for web promotion and marketing.
On the ground floor it will have a 170-seat cinema complex and 50s diner that will be open all year round for the local community.
Lee added: “Digital technology plays a hugely important role in the music industry now. It is used for recording, sampling, live streaming, lighting and composing. It is now an inextricable part of all our everyday lives and it’s vital that everyone has the opportunity to engage and feel comfortable with it.”
Lee will reprise her role of Sieglinde at Longborough Festival Opera in June and July this year as well as singing the parts of Freia and Gutrune in the only complete Ring cycle to be heard in the UK during this year’s Wagner bi-centenary. Future projects include Senta for Dorset Opera, and the title role in Puccini’s La fanciulla del west for Virginia Opera in the USA.