It all started here

David McVicar as Fagan - Louise Dunsmore is the urchin standing face-on at the far right.
David McVicar as Fagan - Louise Dunsmore is the urchin standing face-on at the far right.

AN OPERA director from Clarkston has been awarded a knighthood in this year’s Queen’s birthday honours list.

David McVicar has directed opera around the world, but it was at Eastwood Park theatre where it all began.

The former Williamwood high school pupil made his first stage appearance in the school’s production of Olivier Twist in 1983.

Louise Dunsmore from Busby played the part of an urchin in the very same show

She told The Extra: “I read about David McVicar recently, in his capacity as opera director, and was very impressed when I heard about his knighthood.

“That school production of Oliver was my one and only theatrical outing. It was good fun and he was, by far and away, the best thing in it”.

After graduating from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, David formed his own theatre company and then, after a move to London and several commissions, he made his break-through with Scottish Opera’s Der Rosenkavalier.

Since then David has directed opera in many countries including Japan, USA, Germany, Denmark, Russia, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Italy, New Zealand and France.

At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, he is the only modern stage director to have seven of his productions in the House repertoire — most recently Salome which opened there on 31st May. His new production of the large scale opera Les Troyens (The Trojans) by Berlioz opens on Monday, June 25 as part of London’s 2012 Festival of Culture.

Following Les Troyens he goes to Chicago to stage Elektra and then to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to produce Maria Stuarda.

David is a fellow of the Scottish Conservatoire (formerly RSAMD). On May 31 this year he was honoured by the French Government when he was appointed a Chevalier (Knight) de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his outstanding work in the opera houses of Paris, Strasbourg, Aix-en-Provence and Lille.

He told The Extra: “The knighthood is a real honour. Despite my busy work schedule, I still enjoy returning home when I can”.