This activity aims, through the showing of a number of DVDs, to deepen participants’ knowledge of significant works and icons in the world of opera and ballet. There will be in-class Group Quizzes.

The leader: Patrick Shaw

This language teacher’s fascination with opera began while singing in St Andrew’s University Choir. He went on to perform at several world class opera houses and now shares with members of U3A International his vast knowledge as a performer and aficionado of the subject to deepen participants’ knowledge of significant works and icons in the world of opera and ballet.

Patrick retired from active performing several years ago with a season at the Arena di Verona, where he performed on the same stage as Andrea Bocelli and Cécilia Gasdia. During his performing years Patrick appeared with The Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera and the Opera National de Paris.

Patrick was born into a musical Scottish family in 1951. His mother was a professional pianist, while his father was a member of Glasgow’s renowned Orpheus Choir. Patrick attended The Glasgow Academy and quickly showed an interest in sport and music. He captained the school swimming team and enjoyed rugby, but he got great pleasure from singing in the school choir and Madrigal Group.

In 1969, Patrick enrolled at St Andrews University, the oldest university in Scotland, and it was there that he had the privilege to sing in the University Chapel Choir under the British musician and composer Cedric Thorpe Davie.

On Graduation, Patrick gained employment with the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). After passing his Association of the Institute of Bankers Exams, he was posted to Hamburg, subsequently to Hong Kong and then to Tokyo to work at an English language school, where one of his pupils was the celebrated Japanese conductor, Tadaaki Otaaka.

Patrick took up a full-time teaching position which allowed him to work at a number of universities, teaching a variety of subjects ranging from Elementary to Advanced Phonetics, the History of the English Language and Business English. It was around this time that he began working with foreign opera companies that were touring Japan and this gave him the opportunity to mix with some of the genre’s most revered performers. He began working at La Scala in Tokyo in the late 1980s. Their principal sponsor advertised in the Japan Times for foreigners wanting to perform in Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Patrick was chosen, 

Today, his time is largely divided between the UK, the Far East and Fuengirola. His opera classes are informative and fun and will be welcomed by U3A International members.  

Patrick has dedicated much of his life to music and the arts and he obviously gains great pleasure from helping other people understand and appreciate opera. He believes passionately in the maxim that ‘Art should flow through the blood of all young people’.

To Contact the Organiser: Patrick Shaw

Start Date: October 2, 2020

Day: Friday

At: 2:00pm Until: 3:30pm

Max Attendees: 40

Frequency: Fortnightly

Location: Sala Marbella in the Hapimag Resort, Camilo Jose Cela, Marbella

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