NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA’S OPERA HIGHLIGHTS TOURS THIS SPRING TO 18 VENUES ACROSS SCOTLAND
Scottish Opera’s hugely popular Opera Highlights is taking to the road this February, travelling across the country from the Scottish Borders to the Highlands and Islands.
The tour kicks off on Valentine’s Day at East Kilbride Village Theatre, exploring love in all its forms in one enchanting evening.
Marking its 60th Anniversary, Opera Highlights forms part of the Company’s commitment to bring opera to over 60 communities across all points of the compass around Scotland this Season. This beautifully crafted show travels to Crail, Garvald, Perth, Stonehaven, Boat of Garten, Invergarry, Wick, Orkney, Ullapool, Torridon, Skye, Oban, Campbeltown, Islay, Gretna, Hawick and Ayr.
Director Emma Jenkins and designer Janis Hart bring verve and creativity to this year’s original piano-accompanied production. The cast includes Scottish Opera 2022/23 Emerging Artist Colin Murray, alongside Annie Reilly who both recently performed in the five-star production of Ainadamar, as well as Andrew Henley (Thérèse 2022) and Holly Teague, led from the piano by James Longford. Join the cast as they transport to another world, where anything is possible.
The production also features the world premiere of a new piece by Scottish Opera 2021/22 Emerging Artist and composer Toby Hession, with libretto by Emma Jenkins. Enitled ‘Told By An Idiot’ it is a modern and humorous re-working of Macbeth.
Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark, introduces audiences to a treasure trove of work with a playlist from much-loved opera’s including Mozart’s The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Verdi’s Macbeth and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers alongside music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Gounod and a composition written by Mendelssohn when he was just 12 years old.
Director Emma Jenkins said: ‘Four young singers in search of an identity find themselves, like Alice in Wonderland or the children of Narnia, propelled along an operatic rollercoaster of love and loss, devotion and desire, jealousy and jubilation. The overriding theme of the Opera Highlights is LOVE. Our singers put on and take off various roles as if possessed by the force of love in a fast-paced performance that celebrates not only the voice, but also ensemble work and physical theatre. All this against the backdrop of Janis Hart’s stunning design which combines a retro 70s feel with an anarchic theatrical space in which one feels that anything could happen!’
Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark said: ‘The programme is the usual mixture of music from familiar operas and the less well-known, so we are confident that there will be something for everyone to enjoy, whether you are an experienced opera goer, or coming to see us for the first time.’
Having toured with a different cast in Autumn 2022, audience members said of the show:
‘Fantastic night in Markinch. A real tour de force – superb singing, brilliant acting and the set was masterful. I don’t even know much about opera and I loved it!
‘Enjoyed some culture on my doorstep last night! Was superb, great performances and set, fab opera taster with a mix of drama, deaths and laughs.’
‘What an absolute treat – Scottish Opera’s Opera Highlights in my local town hall! Fabulously sung (of course), beautifully delivered and creatively staged. Thoroughly recommended.’
‘The entire performance was perfect; The Pearl Fishers was the finest I have ever experienced. Great credit also to the set designer – fun, imaginative and the amount of ‘feeling’ from such a versatile set was amazing.’
Opera Highlights is supported by The Friends of Scottish Opera and JTH Charitable Trust.
The production will be touring from 14 February to 25 March 2023.
Tickets at www.scottishopera.org.uk/
Image from 2022 tour