Song for Haddo 2020: Fables and Foibles

Thursday 8th October 2020

Venue: Haddo Arts YouTube Channel

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Event information

On Thursday October 8th A Song for Haddo returned as the finale performance in the 2020 Haddo Arts Festival, as a joint Haddo Arts and McOpera response to the challenges and restrictions of the Covid pandemic and a refusal to deprive the children and young people of Aberdeenshire the opportunity to perform together.

Despite both singing and the playing of wind instruments being forbidden in schools or in groups due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the McOpera composers and musicians worked with children, young people, tutors and teachers from Aberdeenshire’s schools and East Lothian children’s choir Dunbar Voices to create a project celebrating music-making. This trailer gives an insight into how we did it: Preview

Following a specially devised series of pre-recorded videos, masterclass sessions and musical tracks for the classroom and at home, a cast of 148 singers, wind and string players took part in an online musical re-imagining of 7 of Aesop’s fables, taken from the series of Russell’s paintings in Haddo House. These stories were used as springboards into text, images and music to inspire us to keep our heads, learn about ourselves and respond creatively to challenging times amidst frenetic social media activity and advancing technology – something which our Hare in particular found very difficult to do!

In the final piece of  Fables and Foibles,  the performers were joined by string players from previous projects in a massed orchestration of A Song for Haddo (composed in 2017).

Fables and Foibles – A Song for Haddo 2020 had over 1.3k views in the 3 weeks following its premiere.

A Song for Haddo  project was supported by: Udny Community Trust Company Ltd and the David & June Gordon Memorial Trust


Stories (The Fox and the Grapes & The Bear and the Bees)
The Crow and the Pitcher
The Parliament of the Owl
The Stag Looking into the Water
Tortoise and Hare
The Dog and the StickA Song for Haddo           

Songs by Moira Morrison: Stories; Parliament of the Owl; Tortoise and Hare; A Song for Haddo 

Instrumental Music by Peter Kemp: The Crow and the Pitcher; The Stag Looking into the Water; The Dog and the Stick


New Deer Primary School (Primary 5/6 and Primary 6/7)
Pitmedden Primary School (Primary 7)
Rayne North Primary School (Primary 6/7)
Dunbar Voices
Alford Academy
Ellon Academy
Inverurie Academy
Kemnay Academy
Meldrum Academy
Westhill Academy


Other Haddo Arts Events

Haddo Arts Festival 2020

It’s All Music Folks!

Myrtle Throgmorton’s Haddo House Tour

Haddo Children’s Theatre “Dazzle”

Harvest Festival Service