WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: SCOTTISH OPERA AND THE RCS COLLABORATE ON PROKOFIEV’S THE FIERY ANGEL

Scottish Opera’s The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert continues on 3 December at 3pm in City Halls Glasgow with Sergei Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, in a collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Scottish Opera’s Music Director Stuart Stratford has curated The Sunday Series concerts which focus this Season on his love of, and expertise in, Russian music.

Mikhail Agrest, resident for many years at the Mariinksy Theatre in St. Petersburg, conducts Evez Abdulla and Svetlana Sozdateleva in the lead roles of Ruprecht and Renata. Also in the cast are soloists Dmitry Golovnin, Maria Maksakova, Agnieszka Rehlis and Alexei Tanovitski. They are joined by singers from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s opera course and instrumentalists from Scotland’s national conservatoire who will have the opportunity to play side by side with The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.A story of masochistic obsession, black magic, demons and exorcism, Prokofiev’s seething opera is based on a novel by Valery Bryusov. With a doomed love triangle at its heart, The Fiery Angel was composed in the 1920s but never performed in Prokofiev’s lifetime. This concert is Scottish Opera’s first performance of the daring opera.

Mikhail Agrest said: ‘A masterpiece, or rather a fireball of an opera thriller, written between 1919 and 1927, The Fiery Angel must have been inspired by the tumultuous times in Prokofiev’s own life. The colourful story features cabalistic rituals, cannibalism, sexual hysteria, an orgy in a convent and an exorcism, providing the composer with a chance to show off his mastery of the ‘orchestral theatre’, with highly evocative music keeping the listeners and performers on the edges of their seats. This is Prokofiev at his best.’

Stuart Stratford said: ‘The Fiery Angel is an amazing piece. As you’d expect from Prokofiev, the music at times is very violent and incredibly visceral. It’s a huge canvas, concentrating on the two protagonists, but with many characters, which is why we are collaborating with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It’s a wonderful opportunity for them to learn about this fabulous piece alongside our musicians, and for us to perform it with such huge forces.’

Two further concerts are planned for this Season’s Sunday Series. At the Theatre Royal Glasgow in February, From Russia With Love features singers from the National Opera Studio — the UK’s leading training programme for young opera professionals which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. This semi-staged performance features a variety of Russian-themed repertoire.

The Sunday Series 2017/18 closes in May with a concert featuring two works by Rachmaninov: Aleko and Francesca da Rimini. Adapted from a poem by Pushkin, Aleko was Rachmaninov’s first opera. This will be Scottish Opera’s first ever performance of Rachmaninov and the Scottish premiere of Francesca da Rimini, a little-known opera telling a story of love and death with a plot drawn from Dante’s Inferno.

Performance Diary for The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert

 

Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta

29 Oct 2017, 3pm

Theatre Royal Glasgow

 

Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel

3 Dec 2017, 3pm

City Halls Glasgow

 

National Opera Studio: From Russia with Love

25 Feb 2018, 3pm

Theatre Royal Glasgow

 

Rachmaninov’s Aleko and Francesca da Rimini

6 May, 3pm

Theatre Royal Glasgow