Filming is under way in the Highlands on a new romantic comedy which will see Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley play a former opera diva and singing teacher.
Locations around Glen Coe will feature in Falling For Figaro, which will see Lumley play a fictional star, Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop, at the heart of a story set in the “fierce world of opera singing competitions”.
Romance will gradually blossom between two of her fiercely competitive pupils as they prepare for a singing contest in the Highlands.
Fleabag, W1A and Poldark star Hugh Skinner and Australian actress Danielle Macdonald will play the lead roles in the film, which is also being shot around Loch Lomond.
It will also feature Billy Elliot actor Gary Lewis, Game Of Thrones star Rebecca Benson, who shot to fame in the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Let The Right One In, and Star Trek: Discovery star Shazad Latif.
Filming began in December and will be continue until the end of January on Falling For Figaro, which is being funded by both Screen Scotland and Screen Australia and co-produced by Glasgow-based Black Camel Pictures.
Post-production work on the film, which is being directed by Australian filmmaker Ben Lewin, is due to be done in his native Melbourne.
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow’s music and drama school, is also playing a key role in the production by helping the cast with their performances and providing actors for certain scenes. It will also be featuring as a location, along with the Theatre Royal and the King’s Theatre, two of Glasgow’s most historic venues.
Publicity material for the film states: “Millie is a brilliant young fund manager who decides to leave her unfulfilling job and long-term boyfriend behind to chase her lifelong dream of becoming an opera singer in the Scottish Highlands
“She begins intense vocal training lessons with renowned but fearsome singing teacher and former opera diva Meghan Geoffrey-Bishop.
“It is there she meets Max, another of Meghan’s students who is also training for the upcoming ‘Singer of Renown’ contest. What begins as a brutal competition between Millie and Max slowly turns into something more.”
Lewin said: “Against a backdrop of the most beautiful music ever written for the human voice, Falling For Figaro is both delightfully entertaining and intensely romantic. My intention is to draw audiences into an irresistible story of love and humility and, much like opera itself, tell a story full of drama, wit and passion.”
Arabella Page-Croft, co-founder of Black Camel Pictures and co-producer of Falling For Figaro, said: “We are extremely proud to be part of the international producing team behind this fantastic Scottish-set musical project. With our stunning cast, globally recognised operatic talent, and Scotland’s finest crew working in our own wonderful locations such as Theatre Royal, King’s Theatre, the Royal Conservatoire and capturing our glorious Scottish scenery in Glen Coe and Loch Lomond, it’s a true musical Highland adventure.”
Co-producer Judi Levine said: “As with any film, years of commitment, imaginings and collaboration culminate in the excitement of starting production.
“Falling For Figaro has brought together a marvellous team of producers, A-list cast and crew, and the delight of filming against the backdrop of romantic Scottish landscape. We’re all excited to be working on this delightful romance.”