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Renowned director/designer team Renaud Doucet and André Barbe return to Scottish Opera in May with a new production of Giacomo Puccini’s ravishing classic, La bohème.

Set in the flea markets of Paris, the production is inspired by the Jazz Age of Josephine Baker, and is full of  Renaud Doucet and André Barbe’s trademark colour, character and style. It opens in Glasgow before touring to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness.

cast scottish opera la boheme

The cast in rehearsals for La bohème | Image: Sally Jubb

Scottish Opera Music Director, Stuart Stratford, conducts Hye–Youn Lee as the fated Mimi, and Luis Gomes, winner of 2015’s Grand Prize at Verbier Festival Academy, as Rodolfo. Joining them are David Stout as Marcello, Jeanine De Bique as Musetta, Božidar Smiljanić as Schaunard, Damien Pass as Colline and Jonathan Best as Alcindoro/Benoît.

Hye-Youn Lee (Mimi) and Luis Gomes (Rodolfo) in rehearsals for La bohème. Scottish Opera 2017. Credit Sally Jubb

Hye-Youn Lee (Mimi) and Luis Gomes (Rodolfo) in rehearsals for La bohème | Image: Sally Jubb

Director Renaud Doucet and designer André Barbe said: ‘The story of La bohème is one we can all relate to. It seemed important to us to explore the theme of illness since, as a society, we are all under the weather at the moment and in need of healing. The flea market setting represents a little bit of what we are up against today – we seem to live life too fast and, through antiques, people get a sense of going back to a less hectic time. This opera is not about nostalgia ­­­­­­– La bohème is not a museum piece – the story is timeless.’

Alex Reedijk, Scottish Opera’s General Director added: ‘La bohème is always an audience favourite, with beautiful music and heart-wrenching tragedy. Renaud and André create engaging, colourful and gorgeous productions that bring the emotions of the characters to the fore. I love their setting of the production in 1920’s Paris and all the images that conjures up – it’s romantic, yet also illuminates the contrast between the wealthy and the aspirations of those still trapped in post World War One poverty, and that gives a particular truthfulness to their vision.’

Audiences have the chance to attend La bohème Unwrapped, free one-hour tasters delving further in to the show and how it was created, as well as Pre-show Talks. Those who are visually impaired can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have live commentary that describes the action on stage without compromising the music.

Scottish Opera is also staging two dementia friendly performances of La bohème: one at Theatre Royal Glasgow on 13 May, and one in collaboration with Festival Theatre Edinburgh on 3 June. These specially abridged performances have a running time of one hour 45 minutes including an interval, and are carefully designed to make the theatrical experience more accessible to people living with dementia.

La bohème is supported by The Scottish Opera Syndicate and Scottish Opera’s ‘Play a Supporting Role’ appeal.

Cast List 

Mimi                                                    Hye-Youn Lee & Nadine Livingston (16 May, 8, 13 June)

Rodolfo                                             Luis Gomes & Christopher Turner (16 May, 8, 13 June)  

Marcello                                               David Stout

Musetta                                             Jeanine De Bique

Schaunard                                         Božidar Smiljanić

Colline                                               Damien Pass

Alcindoro/Benoît                                  Jonathan Best


Creative Team

Conductor                                         Stuart Stratford & Derek Clark (25, 27 May)  

Director                                               Renaud Doucet

Designer                                             André Barbe  

Lighting                                               Guy Simard                                                   

Performance Diary

Theatre Royal Glasgow, 282 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 3QA

Tue 9 May, 7.15pm

Fri 12 May, 7.15pm

Sat 13 May, 3pm (Dementia Friendly performance)

Sun 14 May, 4pm

Tue 16 May, 7.15pm

Thu 18 Mat, 7.15pm

Sat 20 May, 7.15pm

Free events

La bohème, Unwrapped

Thu 11 May, 6pm

La bohème, Pre-show Talk

Sat 20 Mar, 6pm

La bohème, Touch Tour

Sun 14 May, 2.45pm

La bohème, Audio-described performance

Sun 14 May, 4pm

La bohème, Children’s Unwrapped

Fri 12 May, 1pm

His Majesty’s Theatre, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen AB25 1GL

Thu 25 May, 7.15pm

Sat 27 May, 7.15pm

Free events

La bohème, Unwrapped

Fri 26 May, 6pm

La bohème, Pre-show Talk

Sat 27 May, 6pm

La bohème, Touch Tour

Sat 27 May, 6pm

La bohème, Audio-described performance

Sat 27 May, 7.15pm

La bohème, Children’s Unwrapped

Fri 26 May, 1pm

Festival Theatre, 13–29 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9FT

Wed 31 May, 7.15pm

Sat 3 Jun, 3pm (Dementia Friendly performance)

Sun 4 Jun, 4pm

Tue 6 Jun, 7.15pm

Thu 8 Jun, 7.15pm

Sat 10 Jun, 7.15pm

Free events

La bohème, Unwrapped

Thu 1 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Pre-show Talk

Sat 10 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Touch Tour

Sat 10 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Audio-described performance

Sun 10 Jun, 7.15pm

La bohème, Children’s Unwrapped

Thu 1 Jun, 1pm

Eden Court, Bishops Road, Inverness IV3 5SA

Tue 13 Jun, 7.15pm

Thu 15 Jun, 7.15pm

Sat 17 Jun, 7.15pm

Free events

La bohème, Unwrapped

Wed 14 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Pre-show Talk

Sat 17 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Touch Tour

Sat 17 Jun, 6pm

La bohème, Audio-described performance

Sat 17 Jun, 7.15pm

La bohème, Children’s Unwrapped

Wed 14 Jun, 1pm

You can follow Scottish Opera on Twitter and Instagram @ScottishOpera


orchestra scottish opera sunday series

 The last performance in this Season’s The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert – Puccini’s Le Villi – takes place on May 21 at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow.

Le Villi is based on the same legend as the ballet Giselle and was written in 1883. The opera-ballet was Puccini’s first stage work, and this performance at Theatre Royal Glasgow marks its Scottish premiere.

Scottish Opera’s Music Director, Stuart Stratford, conducts soloists Karen Slack as Anna, Stephen Gadd as Guglielmo and Peter Auty as Roberto. The latter two singers were both last seen at October’s Sunday Series performance of L’amico Fritz, and they are joined by a chorus and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

This concert also includes Preludio Sinfonico, Crisantemi and Capriccio Sinfonico. It is performed during the run of the Company’s staged production of Puccini’s classic La bohème, also conducted by Stuart Stratford, which has performances in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness.

Stuart Stratford said: ‘We are delighted to conclude this year’s The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert with Puccini’s first stage work which offers a wonderful contrast to La bohème. It is a great opportunity to hear Puccini’s seldom-performed first opera and to experience, in the first half of the concert, three of his exquisite early orchestral pieces.’

You can follow Scottish Opera on Twitter and Instagram @ScottishOpera

Cast and Creative Team

Conductor                 Stuart Stratford

Guglielmo                  Stephen Gadd

Anna                           Karen Slack

Roberto                      Peter Auty 

Performance Diary for The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert

Puccini’s Le Villi

21 May 2017, 3pm

WHAT’S ON MAY: Dancing at Lughnasa

New Victory Players Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel


Wednesday 10 May – Saturday 13 May 2017 / 7.30pm

New Victory Players return to The East Kilbride Arts Centre with this beautiful evocative play by one of Theatres best loved dramatists Brian Friel.

Dancing at Lughnasa is a tender poignant and humorous study of the Mundy family. Narrated by Michael he recalls his childhood home in County Donegal during the summer of 1936.

Premiered at Dublin Abbey Theatre in 1990, this multi award winning play was acclaimed subsequently in London and on Broadway . This was followed by a screen adaptation in 1998 starring Meryl Streep and Michael Gambon.

WHAT’S ON MAY: Ray Cooney’s It Runs in the Family at EK Arts Centre

Lanarkshire Little Theatre
It Runs in the Family

By Ray Cooney


Thursday 25 May – Saturday 27 May 2017 / 8.00pm
£10.00 / £8.00

Just as Dr David Mortimer is about to deliver the most important lecture of his life, ex-girlfriend Jane Tate turns up with a shocking revelation.

As he tries to hold together his career and his marriage he turns for help to his faithful friend and fellow doctor. Chaos ensues!

This is farce at its best as the situation spins hilariously out of control in typical Ray Cooney fashion.

WHAT’S ON MAY: Buddy Holly & The Cricketers

Buddy Holly and the Cricketers

The Town House, Hamilton – Friday 12 May 2017

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £21.00 / £19.00 conc

25 Years of Rock ’n’ Rolling The World!

For quarter of a century, this breath-taking show has rock ’n’ rolled audiences across the globe from Cardiff to California, Barking to Bangkok and Swindon to Sweden and is guaranteed to have everyone singing along to the music and dancing in the aisles.

It stars some of the finest actor-musicians in the UK whose combined West End credits include Buddy, Lennon, Forbidden Planet and Jailhouse Rock and was endorsed as Britain’s most popular Buddy Holly act when the boys guested on BBC One’s Saturday night live programme, “The One and Only”, hosted by Graham Norton.

The show rarely pauses for breath and is, quite simply, the most compelling concert of its kind. The hits just keep on coming – That’ll Be The Day, Peggy Sue, Heartbeat, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, Raining In My Heart, Oh Boy! – and much, much more.

Whatever the season, whatever the excuse to party, make your Heartbeat a little faster with the show that has thousands of fans the world over saying:  “I can’t believe it’s not Buddy!”

WHAT’S ON JULY: The Railway Children

E. Nesbit’s classic novel The Railway Children is brought thrillingly to life in a stunning new stage production.

This best-loved tale, made famous by the iconic 1970 movie starring Jenny Agutter and Bernard Cribbins, delivers a compelling coming of age story and a fascinating insight into Edwardian rural life.
Complete with beautiful period costumes and ingenious designs, this new production promises an uplifting theatrical experience for all ages, packed with intrigue, adventure, joy and jubilation.

WHAT’S ON MAY: Children’s Show Night Light at Platform

As the black bird sings everyone gets ready for bed. Mister Night starts his rounds watching over everyone. All are quiet, except for one little girl. With help from a little moon dust, she joins Mister Night to explore the dark and beautiful light that emerges…until the blackbird sings again to start a new day.

Teater Refleksion and Andy Manley (creator of White) are internationally regarded for their poignant and poetic shows for the very young. Cozy-up in our beautifully designed tent and come on a journey to a magical universe.

Night Light is commissioned by Imaginate, co-produced with Red Bridge Arts and supported through the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, as well as The Danish Arts Foundation and the Municipality of Aarhus.

Night Light (10.30am + 1pm)

26 May 2017

3-6 yrs
£8.50 / £5 / £4

WHAT’S ON APRIL: Ellie Dubois presents No Show at Platform

What do you expect when you go to the circus?

The greatest show on earth?

The glitzy smiles, the glitter of sequins, the drum rolls as performers who seem super human effortlessly perform death-defying acts?

No Show joyously and heartbreakingly reveals what lies hidden beneath the showmanship. There will be desperate attempts and heroic failures. There will be glorious achievements and bruised bodies and egos as the performers push themselves to their physical and mental limit. Let us take you behind the flawless smiles and perfect execution of the traditional circus to show the wobbles, the pain, and the real cost of aiming for perfection.

A show for anyone who has tried, failed and failed better.

18 Apr 2017
All ages
£8.50 / £5 / £4

WHAT’S ON MAY: Benny Lynch play at EK Arts Centre

The Lynching written and Directed by Paul Moore Original Music by Oliver Lodge

1935. The Florence Street Flyweight, Benny Lynch conquers the world…and its imagination.

100,000 people welcome home their Champion to Glasgow’s Central Station.

From Gorbals slum to grandiose glamour.

Fought and won. A knockout.

A world first, when pugilism meets performance… explore the mind set of this Gorbals boy in this poignant, pulls no punches drama.

The journey of a true sporting legend, as he battles his demons… in and out of the ring.

Available to book online or by calling East Kilbride Arts Centre on 01355 261000.

Date: 17-18 May 2017

Time: 8:00pm

Cost: £12.00 / £10.00 concession

Venue: East Kilbride Arts Centre

WHAT’S ON JULY: La Cage aux Folles at The King’s

A tour of a major new production of the West End and Broadway Award Winning Musical, La Cage Aux Folles will visit Glasgow this July.

With a Book by Harvey Fierstein and Music and Lyrics by Jerry Herman this is a tale of unconditional love and family values, with a score that includes The Best of Times, Song on the Sand and the classic anthem I Am What I Am.

Georges and the dazzling drag artiste Albin, star of La Cage aux Folles, live an idyllic existence in the heart of St Tropez. But behind the curtains, all may be about to change. Georges’ son Jean-Michel announces his engagement to the daughter of a notorious right-wing politician determined to close down the local colourful night-life. Jerry Herman’s musical, based on the French play of the same name, is the story of a flamboyant gay couple who must pretend to be straight for one night — with one of the men in drag — to dupe the conservative political family of their son’s fiancée. Drama and hilarity ensue when a meeting of the parents forces them to cover up their vibrant lifestyle.

JOHN PARTRIDGE is playing ‘Albin’ and ADRIAN ZMED is ‘Georges’. MARTI WEBB will play ‘Jacqueline’, friend to Albin  and Georges, and owner of the restaurant ‘Chez Jacqueline’. They will be joined by Dougie Carter as ‘Jean-Michele’, Samson Ajewole as ‘Jacob’, Su Douglas as ‘Marie/Madame Renaud’, Alexandra Robinson as ‘Anne’, Paul F Monaghan as ‘Dindon / Renaud’, and Jon De Ville as ‘Francis’. with Les Cagelles Jordan Livesey, Matthew Ives, Louie-George Daniels, Liam Paul Jennings, Micah Holmes and Richard Leavey. Completing the cast are Luke Byrne, Jane Quinn, and Rachel Cumino.


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