Petra Vergunst, Author at The Open College of the Arts
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Petra Vergunst

Interpreting a novel for opera

Highland River is Neil Gunn’s famous 1937 novel about Kenn who makes a pilgrimage to the source of Dunbeath Water, the river that shaped his childhood, and, in a way, to the source of himself and his cultural heritage. For the Advanced Music course with the OCA, I have developed this novel into a site-specific […]

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Opera out of the box

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being part of Out of the Box, a weekend of small-scale site-specific opera that is part of Sound 2012, North East Scotland’s Festival of New Music. Alex Reedijk, Scottish Opera’s General Director, concluded a panel discussion at the end of the weekend with the observation that the future of […]

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Taking inspiration from Sally Beamish

When I heard the composer Sally Beamish talk about her composition for the Cultural Olympiad several weeks ago I took inspiration from the way she had responded to the theme of sports. The composition Spinal Chords, commissioned by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, expresses the slow recovery process of journalist Melanie Reid who […]

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From music composition to community music

Community music is gradually gaining ground in Britain. Among the most famous examples are More Music Morecombe ( and Sistema Scotland (  As a music composition and drawing student with the OCA, my interest in conceptual and socially engaged art has inspired me to develop my own interpretation of community music. My professional background is […]

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The art of keeping a sketchbook

An insight into a student-led collaboration between Music and Fine Art Over the last half year I’ve had the pleasure of visiting exhibitions of two artists local to the North East of Scotland. I was taken by surprise to find – among the seascapes of Frances Walker and Kate Downie – a similar little gem, […]

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