Montrosian sings in Messiah

Jay Cowan who will be singing in Handel's Messiah in Aberdeen
Jay Cowan who will be singing in Handel's Messiah in Aberdeen

A Montrose man will be the youngest bass singer in a special choral performance in Aberdeen this Christmas.

Jay Cowan (28), formally known as Nick Cowan, will be performing in Aberdeen Choral Society’s 60th production of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in the city’s Music Hall on Tuesday (December 17).

The former Montrose Academy pupil, who now lives in Aberdeen and is studying law at North East Scotland College in the city, said: “Singing is something that I do for fun.

“My love for choral singing came from when I noticed Montrose Operatic Society were holding auditions when I was around 18 or 19. I went along and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ because it was the only song I knew by heart.”

Mr Cowan joined the town’s operatic group, as well as performing with the Montrose Panto Group starring in productions of ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘My Fair Lady’ in the town.

He added: “Last year I sang with a choir at Gilcomston Church, on Union Street in Aberdeen, and afterwards I was asked to join the choral society.

“Rehearsals for Handel’s ‘Messiah’ are intense and there has been a lot of going home and practising.”

Mr Cowan concluded: “I’m looking forward to being on stage again in front of a bigger audience, as there will be about 1,300 people watching.”

Also performing in ‘Messiah’ is Glasgow-based tenor Chris Elliot who graduated from RSAMD Opera School, and studies with Nicolai Gedda in Switzerland, and Arthur Levy in New York.

Swedish mezzo-soprano Christine Sjolander will also be singing. Of her recent performance of Dido in ‘Dido and Aeneas’ with John Lubbock and The Orchestra of St John’s, The Oxford Times wrote: “Sjolander’s beautifully suspended account of Dido’s Lament kept me firmly anchored in another world”.

Aberdeen Choral Society’s performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ starts at 7.15 p.m. at the Music Hall, Union Street, Aberdeen. Tickets are available from the Aberdeen Box Office on 01244 641122.