A CELEBRATED Scottish soprano is leading a masterclass at a Borders venue next month.

Marie McLaughlin will return to Scotland on Saturday, March 2 to share her 40-years worth of experience at an afternoon of opera in the arts and crafts music room at Marchmont House, near Duns.

At the Samling Artist Programme Masterclass, McLaughlin will be joined by pianist James Baillieu and writer and director Susannah Waters.

James Baillieu is one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation and specialises in song and chamber music.

He has appeared at events around the world and joined fellow artists including Benjamin Appl, Lise Davidson, Ian Bostridge and Dame Kiri te Kanawa.

Baillieu, who took part in the Samling Artist Programme at the start of his career, regularly returns to the Samling Institute as a leader to guide the next generation of musicians.

Susannah Waters first began telling stories through opera, dance, theatre and literature, as an opera singer, but is now a stage director and writer.

McLaughlin, Baillieu and Waters will work with eight young musicians on the masterclass, all of whom are "on the brink of impressive international careers".

The three leaders will coach and challenge the young artists to channel their talents and give a unique insight into the behind the scenes of classical music and what it takes to a give a world-class performance.

The public masterclass event marks the end of a week-long residential programme which participants have described as "lifechanging".

The Samling Artist Programme is free for artists to join, with talent and dedication set as the only admissions criteria.

One young artists currently on the programme after successfully completing the "rigorous" selection process is tenor and Royal College of Music student Hugo Brady.

He said: "It has always seemed to me that during the Samling weeks, Marchmont House becomes a little bubble of music making, text, and artistry.

"I’m looking forward to being enveloped in that, surrounded by colleagues and leaders whom I admire, digging deeper into music which I’ve known for a long time, and exploring other music which is newer to me."

During the week, the eight young artists on the programme will work to refine their artistry under the guidance of the leadership team and taking inspiration from the art that surrounds them in Marchmont House and from the visual creative artists resident on the estate.

The Samling Artist Programme Masterclass will take place on Saturday, March 2 from 1.30-4.30pm.

Tickets are £22 and can be bought from: samling.org.uk/events/samling-in-masterclass-march-2024