Scottish Opera’s Pop-up Opera is back on the road from May 2018, with three shows for audiences of all ages: A Little Bit of HMS Pinafore, A Little Bit of Eugene Onegin and Be A Sport, Spike!, which has been commissioned by Festival 2018, the cultural programme of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

Performed in Scottish Opera’s fully accessible travelling opera house, a specially adapted trailer designed to look like a miniature Theatre Royal Glasgow, the 25-minute shows are brought to life by a storyteller, singers, instrumentalists and a series of colourful illustrations.

The first performances take place on May 25 at Perth Festival of the Arts, before the tour travels to the Outer and Inner Hebrides visiting Barra, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Isle of Lewis, Isle of Harris, Ullapool and Isle of Skye as well as Perth’s Solas Festival, Haddington Show and Callander Summerfest. This year, there will be extra performances in Glasgow and other areas hosting sport across Scotland as part of the cultural festival taking place alongside the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. There are also schools performances throughout the Hebrides.

One of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular comic operas, HMS Pinafore, has been whittled down by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark to create A Little Bit of HMS Pinafore. Aboard the ship HMS Pinafore, Josephine, the captain’s daughter, is in love with one of the crew and her father doesn’t approve. Overturning social order and parental wishes, the couple plans to elope, but a surprise confession soon leaves everything in doubt.

Complementing Scottish Opera’s mainstage production of Eugene Onegin which is on tour in Scotland and Belfast until the end of June is A Little Bit of Eugene Onegin.  Once again arranged by Derek Clark, it offers highlights from Tchaikovsky’s classic opera, a sweeping tale of unrequited love between an arrogant young man and a lovesick girl, based on Pushkin’s literary masterpiece.

With music by Karen MacIver and words by Ross Stenhouse, Be A Sport, Spike! is for children aged four to seven. Mike ‘The Spike’ McTavish is the greatest sportsman the world has ever seen. There’s no-one who can run faster, jump higher or swim further than mega-fit Spike. But there is one thing that Spike can’t do – sing. Audiences will join Spike and his friends as he starts to exercise those vocal cords, and finds out that a little perseverance can go a long way. Be A Sport, Spike! was commissioned for Festival 2018, the cultural programme surrounding the city’s hosting of the first ever European Championships in August.

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson said: “In 2018, Scottish Opera continues to bring its unique brand of miniature opera to audiences across Scotland, this year focusing on island communities both large and small, from the Isle of Barra in the south to Stornoway, Isle of Lewis in the north. There’s something for everyone in the shows on offer which are, as ever, a mixture of comedy and drama; from pinafores to pistols at dawn and a brand new piece for children aged four to seven years and their families – Be A Sport Spike!

Cast and Creative Team


Narrator                     Flora Munro/Steven Wren

Soprano                     Jessica Leary

Baritone                     Oscar Castellino/Andrew McTaggart

Cello                           Andrew Drummond Huggan/Laura Sergeant

Guitar                         Sasha Savaloni/Ian Watt


A Little Bit of HMS Pinafore

Music arrangement   Derek Clark

Illustrations               Otto Von Beach


A Little Bit of Eugene Onegin

Music arrangement   Derek Clark

Illustrations               Essi Kimpimäki



Be A Sport, Spike!

Music                          Karen MacIver

Words                         Ross Stenhouse

Illustrations               Iain Piercy


Performance Information


For booking details and further information, please contact individual venues.


Perth Festival of the Arts, Perth Concert Hall

Fri 25 May: 12, 2 & 3pm

Sat 26 May: 12, 2 & 3pm


Castlebay School, Isle of Barra                             

Wed 30 & Thu 31 May: 7pm


Daliburgh Primary, South Uist                               

Fri 1 Jun: 7pm


Iochdar Hall, South Uist                              

Sat 2 Jun: 2, 3 & 5pm


Balivanich Primary, Benbecula                  

Mon 4 Jun: 7pm


North Uist Primary School, North Uist                  

Tue 5 Jun: 7pm


Tolsta Primary, Isle of Lewis                                         

Thu 7 Jun: 4pm


Uig Primary, Isle of Lewis                         

Fri 8 Jun: 4pm


Tong Community Centre, Isle of Lewis                                         

Sat 9 Jun: 10am


Museum nan Eilean, Lews Castle, Isle of Lewis                          

Sat 9 Jun: 2pm


North Lochs Community Centre, Isle of Lewis    

Sat 9 Jun: 6pm


Leverhulme Memorial School, Isle of Lewis                    

Wed 13 Jun: 4pm


Macphail Centre, Ullapool                                      

Fri 15 Jun, 6pm


Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye                                            

Mon18 Jun: 2, 5 & 7.30pm


Sligachan Hotel, Isle of Skye                                              

Tue 19 Jun: 2, 5 & 7.30pm


Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye                                           

Wed 20 Jun: 1 & 4pm


Solas Festival, Perth                                                           

Sat 23 & Sun 24 Jun: 11am, 1 & 4pm


Haddington Show, East Fortune                               

Sat 30 Jun: 11.30am, 1 & 2.30pm


Callander SummerFest                                           

Sat 28 Jul 12, 1.30, 2.30pm


Festival 2018                                    

Thu 2 – Sun 19 Aug (ex. 6, 13 & 14 Aug) – Glasgow

Wed 15 – Sun 26 Aug – areas across Scotland hosting sport