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Help us to protect our treasured recordings for now and future generations. 

Scottish Ballet has been commissioning new music for as long as we’ve been dancing. In 2019 the company turned 50; it was a year filled with celebration and reflection on our past and imagining our exciting future.

One of our key 50th anniversary legacy commitments was to preserve the company’s historical video and audio tapes. Digging through our archives has uncovered over 60,000 minutes of production footage on videotape. We also have around 75 audio tapes of orchestral recordings from productions dating back to 1969 — both musical rearrangements and new compositions. These tapes help to paint the picture of Scottish Ballet’s incredible creative heritage. 

The Tales of Hoffmann. Credit Anthony Crickmay.

From Mary Queen of Scots’ (1975) contemporary score by John McCabe, to distinguished ballet composer John Lanchbery’s arrangement of Jacques Offenbach for The Tales of Hoffmann (1972). Edward McGuire’s colourful score for Peter Pan (1989) to The Snowman’s (2001) soaring score by Howard Blake. The music for each ballet is also the ‘playlist’ to Scottish Ballet’s past.

Following a successful project to digitise and preserve the disintegrating videotapes, Scottish Ballet’s past 51 years of footage will soon be available for public access at the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive (MIA) at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.

With your support and generosity, we now turn our attention to Scottish Ballet’s audio tapes.

Such is their fragility, each time they are handled they risk further damage. Even the technology to preserve the tapes is almost obsolete — so we need to act now!

Your help to digitise the audio tapes will ensure we preserve our musical heritage for generations to come, providing a ‘fine-tuned’ resource for all.

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