Haddo House Choral Society (later to become Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society – HHCOS) was established in 1945 by the late Lord and Lady Aberdeen, David and June Gordon, and is a large and vibrant choral society based at the beautiful Haddo House in rural Aberdeenshire eighteen miles north of Aberdeen in the north east of Scotland. The first Christmas carol concert took place that year in the family chapel attached to the house and continues there annually to this day.
Since then, HHCOS has consistently produced concerts and operas of a high standard, working with professional orchestras, singers and conductors and is the oldest society in Scotland to still produce an independent professional opera using its own chorus.
HRH Prince Edward has taken part in several plays at Haddo, and many eminent musicians have performed with HHCOS, including Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Willard White, Leon Goossens and Dame Janet Baker. Many young people who have grown up in the area and who have performed at Haddo have gone on to study music and the performing arts at the tertiary level. Several young singers who attended Haddo since their school days have promising singing careers, including Lisa Moffat, Eleanor Dennis and Amy Strachan.
Today HHCOS annually produces a spring concert (or opera where funds allow), the opening concert of the Haddo Arts Festival in October and several carol services in Haddo House Chapel.
HHCOS is a charity run by its members who maintain a professional organisation with a very high-performance standard.
Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society (HHCOS) is widely recognised as being one of the strongest in the area with a busy schedule which includes an opera or major concert in spring, an autumn concert in October and several carol events in December. Some of the productions have been conducted by guest conductors such as Timothy Dean, Ben Parry, Garry Walker and David Jones, otherwise HHCOS Musical Director, Paul Tierney wields the baton.
Majesty in the North East
Situated approximately eighteen miles north of Aberdeen, Haddo House is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, and is the former home of HHCOS founders David and June Gordon, 4th Marquess and Marchioness of Aberdeen. Built in 1732, this elegant stately home is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is a unique and peaceful setting for our performances in The Canadian Hall and Haddo House Chapel.
The Canadian Hall
Alongside the house is a wooden theatre known as The Canadian Hall. This hosts many musical and theatrical events as well as weddings and other celebrations. Nearby is a modern, purpose built rehearsal room known as the Peatyards. The Choral Society also uses the small and picturesque Chapel attached to the side of the main House for our ever popular carol concerts.
June Gordon, Marchioness of Aberdeen, GCStJ, CBE, DL, FRCM, FRSAMD, FRSE was born in 1913 on the Isle of Wight and died in 2009 at Haddo House, Aberdeenshire. She and her husband, David Gordon, 4th Marquess of Aberdeen, CBE, KStJ, established Haddo House Choral Society (later to become Haddo House Choral and Operatic Society) in 1945. June continued as Musical Director until April 2009, shortly before her death.