Scottish Opera marks 60th anniversary with The Biggar Gin Company collaboration

The gin features a red label with die-cut holes which, when removed and placed in a music box, plays ‘Un bel di’ from Madama Butterfly.

Scottish Opera is marking its 60th anniversary by partnering with The Biggar Gin Company on a new artisan gin.

The gin, called Suonare, features a red label with die-cut holes which ­– when removed and placed in a music box – plays ‘Un bel di’ from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

The die-cut holes also correspond to the 14 botanicals used in the gin and are listed by the ability to taste the high and low notes of each by matching them with their musical equivalent in the Madama Butterfly aria.

Suonare is a London Dry style gin with botanicals chosen from areas that have a strong connection with the operatic world, with oranges from Seville, lavender from France, bergamot from Calabria in Italy, pink peppercorn from South America and Scottish nettles from the Borders.

The flavours also reflect the international repertoire of Scottish Opera’s 60th season, including Bizet’s Carmen (Spain), Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (South America) and Massenet’s Thérèse (France).

‘We wanted to create something celebratory that our patrons could share in and enjoy, to mark this significant milestone in our history,” said Scottish Opera General Director Alex Reedijk.

“The choice of a gin was made as a way of creating something that would be representative of our respect for tradition and excitement around innovation, craftsmanship and artistry. We also wanted to partner with a local artisan business which would reflect the heart of our philosophy to tour to communities and bring opera to doorsteps across Scotland.

“Our search for a distiller with these qualities led us to The Biggar Gin Company, who are equally committed to creating something special. The inclusion of our first ever production Madama Butterfly in the design, along with the flavours representing our 60th Season, is a way of celebrating not only our history but where we are today.”

Stuart McVicar, The Biggar Gin Company co-founder, added: ‘We were excited to be approached by Scottish Opera to help create a blend that they felt would best celebrate their impressive 60-year history.

“When we visited the Company’s production studios, we could see the passion and precision in the artisan skills that go into the creation of each performance and wanted to ensure we could make a product which would reflect this mix of tradition and innovation.”

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