THE ROYAL SCOTTISH NATIONAL ORCHESTRA and the RSNO Junior Chorus have combined forces to perform a new opera by Scottish composer Edward Maguire, which can be seen in the Tramway, Glasgow this weekend. "Cake Talk" takes a light-hearted look at all things Scottish. Set in a mythical land, the action opposes the Fixers, who are creating a Scotland which is organised, predictable and bland, and their enemies the Scoffers, addicts of Irn Bru, Tunnocks Tea Cakes and the Bay City Rollers.
Librettist Marianne Carey and designer Jane Andrew and six members of the orchestra have been working with pupils from Bellahouston, Langside, King's Park and Our Lady of the Annunciation primary schools in Glasgow on creative arts projects based on the new opera. The children have created their own world of Fixers and Scoffers, writing poems, building models and composing their own music. The results will be on display in the foyer before the performance.
The conductor is Christopher Bell, chorus master of the RSNO Junior Chorus, and the production is directed by Anne Tiffney. "Cake Talk" can be seen at the Tramway, Albert Drive, Glasgow on November 8 at 7.30pm and November 9 at 6.00pm.
CLASS ACT is coming to the Travers Theatre, Edinburgh again. A project which gives fourth, fifth and sixth year students the opportunity to work with professional playwrights, directors and actors, it culminates in a public performance on November 27 and 28 of the plays written by the students. Playwrights David Harrower, Louise Ironside, Mike Cullen and Ann Marie di Mambro have all assisted . For tickets to the free performances, tel: 0131 228 1404.
GLASGOW'S OPEN MUSEUM department launches its latest loan exhibition this month, and it's one which is likely to appeal to teenagers. The contents of this mini-show, which can be borrowed, free of charge, by schools, community centres and libraries, are all displayed behind perspex within a giant, five-foot tall Doc Marten-style boot. Artist David McCracken says his inspiration for the big, bright red boot came from the stresses and pressures of life, and how different people cope with them.
Using a surprisingly wide variety of museum and everyday objects, this thought-provoking exhibition puts the boot into everything from drugs, television and big business to governments and law enforcement agencies. For further information about The Big Boot and other Open Museum loan exhibitions, tel: 0141 427 2725.
THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY'S production of "The Comedy of Errors" is coming to the MacRobert Centre, Stirling next month. Recommended as an "ideal first visit to a Shakespeare play", the production will be staged in the University of Stirling's sports hall with matinees on December 4 and 6, 2pm and evening performances on December 3 and 7, 7.30pm. For information about an insight session with a "page to stage" demonstration for 12-year-olds and up, tel: 01786 461081.
SCOTTISH BALLET'S production of "The Nutcracker" opens in Hull on November 19 and thereafter tours to Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Blackpool. In the run-up to the tour, Scottish Ballet has joined forces with East Renfrewshire Council for a two-week dance and performance project for 10 schools in the area, who have created their own choreography for sections of this ballet and the autumn productions of "Troy Game" and "Four Seasons". Further information from Scottish Ballet, tel: 0141 333 1092.
Inspiration for young artists at ABERDEEN ART GALLERY, where the 1996 BP Portrait Award Exhibition is receiving its only Scottish showing this month. Sixty-three portraits chosen from over 700 entries to this prestigious art competition (top prize Pounds 10,000) are on display, including the prize winner, a portrait of the artist wearing an earring by James Hague. The show gives visitors a chance to see a wide range of styles by up-and-coming painters from all over Britain. Further information, tel: 01224 646333.
For the past six weeks a group of young composers from Glasgow and Edinburgh have been working on a project to create sound tracks for animated films by students at Edinburgh College of Art. Under the direction of Craig Armstrong, who composed the music for the films "Goldeneye", "Batman Forever" and "The New Saint", the project, Music for Moving Pictures has involved pupils from James Gillespie and Tynecastle high schools and an amateur ensemble, the REALLY TERRIBLE ORCHESTRA.
The culmination of these activities is a showing of the films accompanied by the Really Terrible Orchestra and players from the SCOTTISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA conducted by Cecilia Weston in the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh on November 9 at 1.00pm. Tickets free of charge are available from the Queen's Hall box office.
FIRST BITE theatre in education company is currently touring schools and youth clubs in former Lothian, Strathclyde and Central regions, Fife and Dundee, with a new production called "Insideout". The 50-minute production uses mime, movement, acrobatics, text and original music to explore the themes of alcohol, smoking, illegal substance use, teenage pregnancy and attitudes towards the opposite sex.
This month's tour is fully booked, but schools interested in contacting the company which specialises in developing lifeskills through drama and runs training days for teachers, should write to First Bite, Church Hall, St Columba's by the Castle, Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2PW, or tel: 0131 225 7993.
Information about future educational arts events should be sent to the Arts Editor, TES Scotland, 37 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HN.