ONE of the country's most colourful opera companies is celebrating its tenth birthday in Galashiels this week.

Opera Bohemia is touring Lehar's The Merry Widow to mark the anniversary.

In its ten years Opera Bohemia has given 126 performances of fully staged operas all round Scotland providing performance opportunities for well over 100 young professional singers and musicians.

Recent productions have included Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Verdi’s Falstaffand Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

This week the company concludes its anniversary tour of The Merry Widow.

Artistic co-director and co-founder of Opera Bohemia, Douglas Nairne said: “We can't quite believe it has been ten years since we began our mission of bringing live opera round Scotland and giving opportunities to young professional singers and musicians.

"In that time we’ve been lucky to work with so many talented performers, directors and designers.

"We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way and to the various trusts and donors for their financial support.

"We're really excited to be performing at MacArts and making our first visit to Galashiels."

The new production is set in the romantic city of Paris in the 1930s, where various suitors squabble to win the hand of the recently widowed, but very wealthy, Hannah Glawari.

The work is full of stunning Viennese melodies, including famous show-stoppers like ‘Viljah’, ‘The Merry Widow Waltz’ and ‘Chez Maxim’s’.

The production will showcase some of Scotland’s finest young professional talent, with many RCS alumni featured in the line-up.

Edinburgh born soprano Catriona Clark and Fife born baritone Douglas Nairne, who have become favourites with Bohemia audiences round the country, sing the lead duo, with other cast members including former Scottish Opera Young Artists, Marie Claire Breen and Andrew McTaggart.

Director John Wilkie, who made his directorial debut with Bohemia back in 2010 and who has gone onto enjoy an international career, returns to the company for this special 10th anniversary tour.

Recent RCS graduate Alisa Kalyanova designs the stunning new 1930s style production with choreography by Michael Scott.

Musical director Alistair Digges has put together a special arrangement for piano (Andrew Brown) and solo violin (Dániel Mészöly).

Opera Bohemia take to the MacArts stage on Wednesday (September 11).

Tickets are available from the box office.