Tag Archives: 2019

REVIEW: Andrea Bocelli – SEE Hydro Arena, Glasgow

It’s oft been quoted, but it bears repeating: “If God had a singing voice he would sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli”, so said pop diva Celine Dion of the vocal phenomenon and 90 million album selling superstar, and she’s not wrong, Bocelli’s voice is so sublime it’s almost divine.

The world’s biggest selling classical artist is accompanied on this spectacular evening by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cuban soprano Maria Aleida, flautist Andrea Griminelli, the Edinburgh Choral Union, some classical dancers and Britain’s own R&B queen Beverly Knight.

It’s hard to describe adequately the atmosphere, but it’s almost reverent, the audience are entirely rapt for the whole  evening, it’s a warm, comforting feeling, old-fashioned but just, well…lovely. Every detail has been thought of and every artist a master of their craft, every note, every bit of staging (including massive panoramic projections) is of the highest quality. There’s no facile chit-chat, the music does the talking and does so, beautifully.

There’s a perfect mix of classical favourites, some personal choices from Bocelli, his classical crossover hits and duets with his guest stars, interspersed with clips from his recent movie The Music of Silence which provides some background on Bocelli’s childhood and sight loss. There’s also exquisite dancing accompaniment and a selection of Spaghetti Western themes from flautist Griminelli. Soprano Aleida delivers impressive vocal gymnastics including those on The Doll Aria from Les Contes d’Hoffman, Knight sings a relaxed version of her hit Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, and duets with Bocelli on Canto della Terra. The sentimental Glasgow audience erupt at Neapolitan classic O Sole Mio, Con te Partiro and Nessun Dorma which sends the audience home floating on a cloud.

Bocelli’s beaming smile at the rapturous reception says all that’s needed to be said about this perfect evening’s entertainment.

FEATURE: The Tron Ambassadors Programme Part 1

Since 2003 the Tron have enabled young people to experience a range of the career opportunities available within a fully operational theatre via the one-year Tron Ambassadors scheme. Through this scheme they foster deeper connections with the theatre itself, and the work they do both in-house and within the community, as well as an understanding of the wider theatre and creative arts industries.

Tron Ambassadors take part in regular workshops with Tron staff, external visitors and leading professionals to identify and develop transferable skills. Previous Tron Ambassadors have worked with the Tron’s production, marketing and front of house departments, theatre critics, set and costume designers and professional actors and directors. The programme also allows the Ambassadors to gain an Arts Award qualification from their full participation in the programme.

For the past four years, I have been lucky enough to work with these talented young people on the theatre criticism element of the programme. Always a joy to discover new voices and foster new talent in the field of arts criticism, I have also had the privilege of working with the most talented writers at The Reviews Hub.

Published here are the first batch of reviews of How Not to Drown, Dritan Kastrati’s perilous asylum story.

 

How Not to Drown

Reviewer: Holly Noble

Far too often we see on the news the horrific scenes of refugees fleeing their homes, family and friends just to get the taste of freedom. We see boats upturned, people struggling to swim and the terrifying death toll that increases every year. It isn’t often we hear a first-hand account from someone who was successful in the journey.

Dritan Kastrati’s How Not to Drown tells of his extraordinary personal story of loss, hardship and loneliness as he navigates his way to London, the danger of being caught always following him. What you often don’t hear is what happens after immigrants seek refuge. For Kastrati this was anything but easy; through learning a new culture and language, to trying to find a loving family through the foster care system.

The acting is excellent, giving you goose bumps, knowing that Kastrati is standing right in front of you as he tells you the story of his trials and tribulations.

The stage resembles a raft on an angle that spins around, this original device is effective in conveying the story. The small cast and the limited number of props are effective rather than distracting. The lighting and music is tied in well, giving you chills and adding drama.

After seeing How Not to Drown, it is clear, that it deserves all the recognition and awards it has received.

 

Reviewer: Astrid Allen

How not to drown is the story of Dritan Kastrati, an 11-year-old refugee from Kosovo travelling to the UK sent by his father to find his brother in London. Kastrati co-writer and actor performs his own life story, and the result is powerful and moving. The play explores what it is like to be torn between two cultures and the true inhuman nature of the UK fostering system.

In the first half of the play we get to see Dritan’s perilous journey on train, boat and lorry. The cast all have backgrounds in movement and director Neil Bettles choreographs movement with beautiful fluidity and keeps the audience in suspense during the journey.

When Dritan arrives in London he meets his 17 year old brother but they are soon separated and Dritan is put into foster care as his brother cannot legally look after him. He cannot understand why he would not be able to stay with his brother but he does not have the English to explain. Heartbreakingly, Dritan is put into a number of uncaring foster families until he is 16 and is legally allowed to leave care. He never truly feels at home with his carers and he can tell that none of them will ever really love him, Dritan misses his family and that feeling of being loved.

After his 16th birthday Dritan goes back to see his parents but they’ve moved from his childhood home and it doesn’t feel the same as it used to. Dritan is lost and no longer understands his own identity. This play is heart-wrenchingly honest, it holds nothing back from the audience and will invariably make you cry.

Reviewer: Devin McWhirter

Theatre has the power to portray important messages in an entertaining way and can draw a variety of emotions from audience members, and we see this in the extraordinary How not to Drown.

The play portrays the true story of Dritan Kastrati’s childhood and the dangerous journey from his war ridden home to the safety of his brother in London.

How Not to Drown, has the power both to draw you to the edge of your as it portrays Kastrati’s dangerous journey to get to London, and evoke anger and sadness at the discrimination and hardships he has had to face from the Law, Child Services and the carers he was forced to live with. It also moves greatly, particularly the scenes of him being torn away from his family.

How Not to Drown is a very relevant and important story that should be see and listened to by the widest audience possible.

Reviewer: Amy Waterston 

How Not to Drown is an exquisite piece of theatre which is a perfect example of theatre being a “mirror of society.”

The production’s use of the five versatile actors in multiple roles, not only showcases the cast’s acting ability, but also the intricate direction of the production, forcing the audience to realise the true horror of what is happening to people living in care today.

How Not to Drown captures these raw issues, due to the storyline following the real life of the lead actor Dritan Kastrati. The physicality of the piece draws the audience’s attention to the whirlwind of issues that Kastrati experienced. As an audience member, the piece really hits home as its impossible to question fact. This emphasised the upsetting reality and was a prime example of how powerful physical theatre can be.

Reviewer: Jacob McMillan

The story of a young Kosovan refugee and his treacherous journey through human smugglers, foster care, and life; told first-hand by the man he has become.
This play, from the staging to the sound design to the performances, is both heart-breaking and heart-warming. Caught in the middle of the Kosovan-Albanian war, Dritan Kastrati left his home at eleven but didn’t know that he would never truly find it again.
The staging in this performance is incredible; the slanted stage is simply genius. Throughout the play, the performers lean out, as if to tell a secret, to the audience. This creates a sense of involvement for the audience, you are on the smuggling boat or in the foster home with the protagonists. It is no wonder why this play won the Scotsman Fringe First Award.
Truly brilliant, it will be interesting to see what comes from next from Kastrati.

Reviewer: Stanley Stefani

How Not to Drown is a masterclass in theatrical storytelling, portrayed by the man who went through it.

Utilising the very clever use of a rotating slanted stage to add to the creativity throughout the play, Dritan Kastrati tells the emotionally compelling story of growing up and being forced to leave his home country to join his brother his London. Conveying the full journey that 11-year-old Dritan takes in order to escape the wars in his home.

This is a beautifully told story and is a must see for anyone with an interest in amazing pieces of theatre.

Reviewer: Euan Warnock

It is interesting to think that How Not To Drown is named the way it is, not just because of the instances of our real life protagonist panicking under the depths, but also because of the feeling that the performance engenders in you, a ‘sinking feeling’, right down to the caverns of your soul.

Right from the opening five minutes, all the way to the final third… as a matter of fact, those would be the most brilliant part of an already great drama, How Not To Drown manages to keep its audience captivated with an ever-twisting, ever-turning, (most of the time quite literally, with the remarkable stage design) real life tale of a little refugee boy trying to worm his way through the British asylum system.

The innovative set design, especially the smaller and raised addition on which the actors spend almost the entire performance, causes the show to feel even smaller in scale, but this disadvantage is used to a wonderful degree. Whenever the stage feels small, it is because it is meant to feel claustrophobic, and the way it moves, without spoiling anything, is used fantastically.

One of the main draws of this production is that it is a real life story, written and performed by the man (Dritan Kastrati) who lived through it, and for the final third of the play it becomes quite clear that he isn’t fully acting, he is still clearly feeling all of the emotions of how it happened all those years ago.

This is a five-star production, unique and expertly staged, with incredible acting, and a captivating story of a little boy washed up in the United Kingdom, trying to find his way along the path to happiness.

More Tron Ambassadors reviews to follow in part 2.

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA’S EMERGING ARTIST PROGRAMME CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY AS SEVEN ARTISTS ARE WELCOMED FOR 2019/20 SEASON

Scottish Opera has welcomed a talented group of Emerging Artists for the 2019/20 Season: Samuel Bordoli, Arthur Bruce, Jasmine Clark, Charlie Drummond, Mark Nathan, Michael Papadopoulos and Lucy Walters.

The Scottish Opera Emerging Artists programme was launched in 2009 and offers young artists a period of full-time work with the Company to help them launch their careers. Initially set up to nurture outstanding young singers, the programme now also includes positions for a repetiteur, costume trainee, a composer in residence, and, for the first time, an associate producer. Previous Emerging Artists include soprano Jennifer France, repetiteur Jonathon Swinard, baritone Ben McAteer and composers Gareth Williams and Lliam Paterson.

Alex Reedijk, Scottish Opera General Director said: ‘It’s a great pleasure to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Emerging Artists programme, which has over 40 alumni, with many of those having gone on to perform all over the UK. The incredibly flexible programme helps a tremendous breadth of artists at the start of their careers through an immersive opera company experience where they can draw on all the resources available to strengthen their skills, preparing them for a life in the performing arts. I also have to acknowledge the generosity of our supporters who have from day one been genuinely delighted to help support the Emerging Artists, and how much that support has grown over 10 years.’

Samuel Bordoli ARAM returns for a third year as composer in residence. In the 2018/19 Season, he composed an Overture and To Music for the Autumn 2018 Opera Highlights tour, as well as Le trésor des humbles for soprano and orchestra, premiered in March at Aberdeen’s Music Hall. During the Company’s 2017/18 Season he composed Wings and three piano interludes for the Opera Highlights tour, and Grace Notes to complement the Company’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos.

Samuel studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and London’s Royal Academy of Music, where he was the Mendelssohn Scholar. He was mentored by Peter Maxwell Davies for nine years. His broad output has included a chamber opera, Amerika, performed at the Tête à Tête opera festival in London, and a choral anthem, The Great Silence, premiered at the Windsor Festival for the Queen’s 90th Birthday. His music theatre piece Belongings was premiered on the Caledonian Sleeper between Aberdeen and London. He has also composed four Live Music Sculptures, site-specific compositions for London landmarks, including Tower Bridge, the Monument and St Paul’s Cathedral, and last year he co-produced Planets 2018, a new ‘Planets Suite’ performed inside planetariums across the UK.

This Season, Samuel is working on an original short digital opera film and a prelude to A Midsummer Night’s Dream entitled Hermia’s Nightmare, and he composed a new piece for Opera Highlights. For his work at Scottish Opera, Samuel was nominated for the ‘One to Watch’ Award at the 2018 Sunday Herald Culture Awards.

Scottish baritone Arthur Bruce is The Robertson Trust Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2019/20. A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Alexander Gibson Opera School, the Royal Northern College of Music and English National Opera’s Opera Works programme, Arthur was a member of Scottish Opera Young Company (formerly Connect). He has performed roles with Bampton Classical Opera, Berlin Opera Academy, Saffron Opera Group, Opera Eos, Edinburgh Grand Opera, London Young Sinfonia, Edinburgh Players Opera Group and Bowdon Festival Opera. He is also a Britten-Pears Young Artist. This Season at Scottish Opera, Arthur is performing in Amadeus & The Bard: 18th Century Cosmic Brothers, a new production about the links between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Robert Burns. He also goes on tour with Opera Highlights in the Spring, and performs in Iris, Utopia, Limited and The Gondoliers which tours to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh and London.

Elizabeth Salvesen Costume Trainee Jasmine Clark will work on Scottish Opera’s Season 2019/20 productions in the Costume Department, headed by John Liddell. Graduating in 2017 with a 1st Class BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design (Costume Interpretation) degree from Arts University Bournemouth with a particular interest in historical costume, Jasmine has worked on a number of operas, musicals, short films and television programmes. These include La bohème at the Royal Opera House, The Pilgrim’s Progress at Royal Northern College of Music, Les Misérables at Birmingham Hippodrome and the BBC drama Father Brown. Former Student Head of Arts University Bournemouth Costume Archive, in her spare time Jasmine has volunteered as a Tattershall Tailor at National Trust Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire, creating historically accurate medieval costumes for staff to wear at events.

Soprano Charlie Drummond is an alumna of King’s College London (English Literature), the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Alexander Gibson Opera School and the National Opera Studio. She is a Samling Young Artist and the recipient of several awards including the Help Musicians UK Tutton Award, an Independent Opera Voice Scholarship, the Musicians’ Company Silver Medal and the Bruce Millar Gulliver Prize. Charlie has performed with companies including Longborough Festival Opera, British Youth Opera and Raucous Rossini. She also has a keen interest in contemporary opera and has premiered the role of Serena Farage in the new opera The Secretary Turned CEO (Lucid Arts), and performed in the world premiere of Simoon by Erik Chisholm (Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland).  This Season at Scottish Opera she will perform in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Iris, The Gondoliers, Utopia, Limited and the Company’s Opera Highlights Autumn tour.

Baritone Mark Nathan studied at the Alexander Gibson Opera School, having graduated with distinction from a Master’s at London’s Royal College of Music. He completed an undergraduate Music degree at Birmingham University. Mark has worked with opera companies including Welsh National Opera, Opera Loki, Hampstead Garden Opera and Winterbourne Opera, performing roles including Don Giovanni, Papageno, Marcello and Dr Falke. He has also appeared in musicals including Guys and Dolls and Into the Woods.

Mark is in demand as a recitalist and oratorio soloist, and is a keen lyricist, having written several musicals, and a collection of children’s poems entitled ‘Riddle Me This’, which has been set to music by Ronald Corp for the New London Children’s Choir. Mark plays the cello, piano, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, accordion, and the banjo. He plays in chamber ensembles, orchestras and pit bands. This season at Scottish Opera he will perform in A Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Gondoliers and the Opera Highlights Autumn tour.

London-born repetiteur and conductor Michael Papadopoulos is the 2019/20 Emerging Artist repetiteur. He trained at the National Opera Studio and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having previously read Music at Trinity College Oxford. As a repetiteur, he has worked at Opera Holland Park (La traviata, Isabeau, Il segreto di Susanna), where he was Young Artist Repetiteur for the 2018 season, and British Youth Opera (Don Giovanni), as well as working on Julian Philllips’ The Tale of Januarie at GSMD. Recent conducting projects include a new opera by Edward Lambert for the 2019 Tête à Tête festival (Apollo’s Mission), Bach’s St John Passion, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah (with the choir and musicians of St Paul’s Knightsbridge), and Daniel Saleeb’s Occo’s Eternal Act at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This Season at Scottish Opera, Michael will be working on Susanna’s Secret, Tosca, Nixon in China, The Gondoliers and Utopia, Limited, as assistant conductor on Iris and as Music Director/Pianist on the Opera Highlights Spring tour.

Lucy Walters is the Emerging Artist associate producer. After studying music at the University of Bristol and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Lucy interned at Wigmore Hall where she assisted the Learning Team with their administration and events. She then joined the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra as the Chorus Projects Officer, primarily working with the CBSO’s family of symphonic choruses on large-scale choral projects, performances with other orchestras, and chorus international touring. While at the CBSO, Lucy helped to co-ordinate the 2014 BBC Proms Youth Choir (Britten’s War Requiem with the CBSO and Andris Nelsons) before managing the project in 2015 (Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with Vienna Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle). Since leaving the CBSO in 2016, Lucy has enjoyed refocusing on her passion for Opera in the Opera North Planning Team where she managed residencies for the National Opera Studio and Royal Northern College of Music. Jointly appointed by Opera Ventures and Scottish Opera, Lucy is primarily working on the future life of the Company’s co-production of Breaking the Waves over the next year.

The Emerging Artist singers and repetiteur will perform in four recitals; at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in October, University of St Andrews in November, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the University of Glasgow in January.

The Emerging Artists are supported by The Robertson Trust, Elizabeth Salvesen, Idlewild Trust and Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artist Benefactors.

 

Performance Diary

 

Fri 25 October, 6.30pm

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

 

Wed 20 November, 1pm

University of St Andrews

 

Fri 10 January, 1pm

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow

 

Thu 16 January, 1.10pm

University of Glasgow

www.scottishopera.org.uk

Image: James Glossop – Scottish Opera Emerging Artists (left to right) Lucy Walters, Mark Nathan, Arthur Bruce, Charlie Drummond, Jasmine Clark and Michael Papadopoulos

NEWS: The Overtones announce new band member Jay James and promise ‘best tour yet’ including Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow

Multi-platinum-selling vocal harmony group The Overtones are delighted to announce that Welsh singer & songwriter Jay James has joined the band. The announcement heralds the start of an exciting new era for the group which has had 5 top 10 albums, 9 sold out UK tours and will now embark on a UK tour this December. The band will be in Glasgow on the 11th December.

Tickets for The Overtones Christmas Party are on sale now from gigsandtours.com

We will be performing classic songs from yesteryear, favourites from our albums and plenty of surprises” says Mike Crawshaw. “Over the last 10 years we’ve learnt a thing or two about throwing a Christmas party! People come to our shows to let their hair down, get their spirits up and dance their hearts out. We want everyone to leave an Overtones concert with a huge smile on their face and a spring in their step. This year will be our best tour yet!”

A former Royal Navy serviceman, Jay James had enjoyed a varied recording career working with the likes of Booker T Jones, John Legend, Naughty Boy and the Jonas Brothers (amongst others) before rising to prominence as Simon Cowell’s tip on the X Factor. Since then Jay has continued to record music and perform as well as becoming an established broadcaster.

“We met Jay 9 years ago when we all performed on the charity record (Songs To Save A Life) for The Samaritans, and our paths continuously crossed over the years” explains Darren Everest. “When we thought about a new member joining the band he was the first, and only, name that came to mind. Everything about Jay says ‘Overtone’. He has a classic style and is inspired by the same great artists as we all are. Jay has fitted in seamlessly and we can’t wait to push on and get to work.”

Speaking about joining The Overtones Jay says “I’ve known the boys and been a fan for many years now and it has always been clear what they were all about – making great, timeless music, putting on incredible shows and enjoying life! Over the years that has never changed. I’ve been blessed to support them on a number of occasions, and I’ve witnessed the joy they bring and felt the warmth of some of the best fans I’ve ever met. To now join the group is absolute magic and I cannot wait to stand beside Darren, Mike & Mark in creating some more brilliant nights & continuing to make people smile, sing and dance for many moons to come!

The first song to be recorded with this new line up is Earth Wind & Fire’s ‘September’ “We’ve been busy over the last few months and it’s been so exciting being back in the studio with Jay” says Mark Franks.  “The new music is very much ‘classic Overtones’ but with a twist. This song is a taster of what’s to come, Jay’s voice adds a new dimension as you can hear and, as soon as we recorded it, we knew that it was the perfect fit for us four boys – feel good and uplifting… an absolute gem of a song.”

LISTEN TO NEW TRACK ‘SEPTEMBER’ HERE  https://listnin.co/September

With their innate charm and adherence to vintage-modernist style, and a devotion to the timeless appeal of male vocal harmonies, The Overtones are a bridge between pre-rock’n’roll classicism and lively 21st Century entertainment. They’ve sold over a million albums, made countless TV appearances and filled venues to capacity on tour after tour, all the while building a relationship with their fans that has real depth and devotion.

In 2018 the group released their sixth album ‘The Overtones’, the accompanying sold-out UK tour took their trademark sense of celebration and party on the road with the group living up to the promise of “a night to remember”. That’s the tradition they come from and they’re certainly not about to stop now.

Day Show Date Venue Name
Mon 02 Dec 19 Gateshead Sage
Tue 03 Dec 19 Birmingham Symphony Hall
Wed 04 Dec 19 Leicester De Montford Hall
Thu 05 Dec 19 Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Sat 07 Dec 19 Liverpool Philharmonic
Sun 08 Dec 19 Salford Lowry
Mon 09 Dec 19 Sheffield City Hall
Wed 11 Dec 19 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Thu 12 Dec 19 Harrogate Royal Hall
Fri 13 Dec 19 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Mon 16 Dec 19 Cardiff St David’s Hall
Tue 17 Dec 19 Guildford G Live
Wed 18 Dec 19 London Indigo

REVIEW: Phoenix – Pleasance 10 Dome, Edinburgh

If you’re looking for a creative team of infinite quality and a performer of prodigious talent (sometimes rare at The Fringe), then look no further than Richard Marsh and Jessica Sharman’s musical play, Phoenix.

Marsh and Sharman’s enviable track records include Marsh winning a Fringe First Award, a BBC Audio Drama Award, and a run in the West End with previous show Dirty Great Love Story, and in Sharman’s case, co-writing Ward Thomas’ record-breaking No.1. Country album Cartwheels.

This play is so much more than its simplistic blurb. It’s a big story in a small-sized show. On the face of it, it’s a tale of a wannabe rock star for whom fatherhood subsumes his hopes and dreams of stardom, but its themes are much greater than these few words, instead delivering a highly-relatable story of love and sacrifice.

There’s an elegant fluency to the writing, the beautifully constructed script has a completely developed story arc, fully rounded characters, all interwoven with some expertly crafted songs, and all packed into a 70-minute running time. The combination makes for an irresistible, gripping, funny, life-affirming show.

In a piece of master casting, multi-instrumentalist (guitar – electric and acoustic, keys, drums, looping) singer and actor Andy Gallo  plays Ash, and proves to be a rare find. He manages to perfectly pitch the gamut of emotions required of this marvellously layered tale, all the while banging out tunes on a plethora of instruments and singing. He has the audience transfixed from the start.

This is an astute piece of theatre. Well thought out, cleverly crafted and refreshingly surprising. This is the perfect five-star start to this year’s Fringe.

Runs at The Pleasance 10 Dome Edinburgh

Aug 3-12, 14-26

 

 

 

 

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA ANNOUNCES 2019/20 SEASON

Stuart Stratford, Scottish Opera Music Director and Alex Reedijk, General Director. Scottish Opera 2019

Scottish Opera has unveiled its 2019/20 Season which includes a European premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival, three further new productions, one revival, six titles in the Opera in Concert series, and the world premiere of a new ‘opera for toddlers’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

A truly international line-up of singers appears throughout the Season. Making their debuts with the Company are Trevor Eliot Bowes, Orla Boylan, Wallis Giunta, Eric Greene, Byron Jackson and Sydney Mancasola.

There are welcome return visits from Evez Abdulla, Mark Le Brocq, Richard Burkhard, Emma Carrington, Sioned Gwen Davies, Aidan Edwards, Jennifer France, Morten Grove Frandsen, Ric Furman, Justina Gringyte, Katie Grosset, Aled Hall, Hanna Hipp, Charlotte Hoather, Paul Carey Jones, Gwyn Hughes Jones, Ellie Laugharne, Jessica Leary, Hye-Youn Lee, Nicholas Lester, Jamie MacDougall, Ben McAteer, William Morgan, Lancelot Nomura, Clare Presland, Sarah Pring, Daniel Keating-Roberts, Duncan Rock, Natalya Romaniw, David Shipley, Michel de Souza, Julia Sporsén, David Stout, Richard Suart, Elgan Llŷr Thomas, Freddie Tong, Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, Roland Wood and Dingle Yandell.

Alex Reedijk, General Director, said: ‘This Season, Scottish Opera brings a diverse range of titles, including 12 operas, to audiences in over 50 venues all over Scotland and beyond. From 20th century masterpieces by Benjamin Britten and John Adams to much-loved works by Gilbert & Sullivan and Puccini, and an intriguing Opera in Concert series curated by Music Director Stuart Stratford, there is a wonderful array of operatic fare.

‘Directing our full-scale productions are five great talents: Jonathan Cocker, who is reviving Anthony’s Besch’s iconic Tosca which opens the Season; John Fulljames; Dominic Hill; Tom Morris and Stuart Maunder. Creative partnerships are crucial to what we do, so it’s thrilling to be working alongside festivals, companies and opera houses locally, nationally and internationally. The Company is greatly looking forward to returning to the Lammermuir Festival, and to taking Missy Mazzoli’s sensational Breaking the Waves to the Edinburgh International Festival.

‘The ever-inventive Outreach and Education Department builds on the success of our work for young children with the world premiere of Fox-tot!, by the brilliant, young Scottish composer Lliam Paterson, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Scottish Opera Young Company returns to the stage with Sondheim; we present three Dementia Friendly performances as well as Spinning Songs and Memory Spinners workshops; and we tour Pop-up Opera, The Opera Factory and our Primary Schools Tour.’

Stuart Stratford, Scottish Opera Music Director, added: ‘We are committed to exploring some lesser known repertoire in our Opera in Concert performances, and I am delighted that we are continuing our Mascagni odyssey with a double bill of Zanetto, performed with Wolf- Ferrari’s Susanna’s Secret. Mascagni’s Iris is also not to be missed, and the series comes full circle to finish with Cavalleria rusticana, the piece that catapulted Mascagni to success. It is paired with Leoncavallo’s Zingari. Another rarity can be heard in our semi-staged performance of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Utopia, Limited, which stands alongside our new touring production of The Gondoliers.

‘I am thrilled our new Season gets underway at the Edinburgh International Festival with the European premiere of Breaking the Waves by the exciting American composer, Missy Mazzoli. Nixon in China is another modern American classic. It still resonates with today’s global politics, and it changed the rulebook of what contemporary opera could be. John Adams’ soundworld continues to influence generations of new composers. Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream completes our trio of work from the 20th and 21st centuries, with a new staging by Citizens Theatre Artistic Director, Dominic Hill.’

Season 2019/20 Productions

Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves has its European premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August.

Tony Award-winning Tom Morris, Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic, whose previous work includes War HorseTouching the Void, and The Death of Klinghoffer at English National Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, New York, directs this dark and daring opera. Set and costume designs are by Soutra Gilmour.

Based on Lars von Trier’s award-winning film, Mazzoli’s opera caused a sensation when it premiered in 2016, winning the 2017 Best New Opera Award from the Music Critics Association of North America. It was also shortlisted for an International Opera Award.

The opera, with a libretto by Royce Vavrek, tells the story of Bess, a young woman living in a deeply religious community in the Scottish Highlands in the 1970s. The cast includes American soprano Sydney Mancasola, Edinburgh-born baritone Duncan Rock and Irish-Canadian mezzo Wallis Giunta, winner of the 2018 International Opera Awards’ Young Singer of the Year. Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts.

Co-presented by Opera Ventures, Scottish Opera and Edinburgh International Festival, Breaking the Waves is a co-production with Opera Ventures and Houston Grand Opera, in association with Bristol Old Vic. It has been made possible with support from Howard and Sarah Solomon Foundation, Denise Coates Foundation, Karl Sydow, Scottish Opera’s New Commissions Circle, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and a syndicate of donors.

Puccini’s Tosca, in a production originally directed by Anthony Besch and designed by Peter Rice in 1980, opens Scottish Opera’s main season in October.  Set in 1940s Rome, in the shadow of Mussolini’s dictatorship, this ill-fated romance plays out against a backdrop of political corruption and intrigue. Revived by director Jonathan Cocker and conducted by Stuart Stratford, this much-loved production stars Natalya Romaniw (Eugene Onegin 2018) in the title role, Gwyn Hughes Jones (Il trovatore 2015) as Cavaradossi and Roland Wood (Pelléas & Mélisande 2017) as Scarpia. Tosca is supported by The Scottish Opera Syndicate.

In February, John Fulljames, Director of Opera at The Royal Danish Theatre, directs John Adams’ iconic opera, Nixon in China, inspired by President Richard Nixon’s much-publicised 1972 visit to Communist China. A Scottish Opera premiere, this is a new co-production with The Royal Danish Theatre and Teatro Real Madrid.

Acclaimed Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro leads an exciting cast including Eric Greene as Richard Nixon; Julia Sporsén (Ariadne auf Naxos 2018); Mark Le Brocq (Anthropocene 2019); Nicholas Lester (The Trial 2017) and Hye-Youn Lee (La bohème 2017). The libretto is by Alice Goodman and the designer is Dick Bird (The Mikado 2016).

Dominic Hill, Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre, returns to Scottish Opera to direct Benjamin Britten’s atmospheric A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is joined by designer Tom Piper, famed for the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London. Stuart Stratford conducts a cast that includes David Shipley (Rigoletto 2018), a recent graduate of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme; countertenor Morten Grove Frandsen, a winner of Denmark’s Reumert Talent prize; former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Jennifer France (Anthropocene 2019); and Scottish tenor and BBC broadcaster Jamie MacDougall (Ariadne auf Naxos 2018).  Audiences also have the chance to see a new work by Scottish Opera Composer in Residence, Samuel Bordoli, titled Hermia’s Nightmare. Performed in the foyer before each show, it explores scenes from Shakespeare’s play that were not included by Britten in his score. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is supported by The Alexander Gibson Circle.

The 2019/20 Season closes with Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, directed by Stuart Maunder, Artistic Director at State Opera South Australia, and designed by Dick Bird (The Mikado 2016). The whimsical opera, in a new co-production with D’Oyly Carte Opera and State Opera South Australia, tells the story of two happy-go-lucky gondoliers who discover that one of them is, in fact, heir to the throne of a distant kingdom. Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, conducts an ensemble cast that includes ENO Harewood Artist William Morgan (The Magic Flute 2019), Ellie Laugharne (The Pirates of Penzance 2013), Ben McAteer (The Mikado 2016), Sioned Gwen Davies (Rigoletto 2018) and G&S favourite Richard Suart (The Mikado 2016).  As well as performances in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh, The Gondoliers tours to London’s Hackney Empire. This production is supported by Scottish Opera’s ‘Play A Supporting Role’ Appeal.

Opera in Concert

Scottish Opera Music Director, Stuart Stratford, has once again curated a programme of rarely-performed works in this Season’s Opera in Concert series, supported by the Scottish Opera Endowment Trust and the Friends of Scottish Opera. The semi-staged performances explore further the verismo works of Pietro Mascagni and a lesser-known piece by Gilbert & Sullivan in several firsts for Scottish Opera, and for Scotland.

In September, the Company returns to the award-winning Lammermuir Festival in East Lothian with a double-bill of Mascagni’s Zanetto (a Scottish Opera premiere) and Susanna’s Secret by Wolf-Ferrari. Soloists including Sinéad Campbell-Wallace, Hanna Hipp (Kátya Kabanová 2019), Richard Burkhard (The Magic Flute 2019) and Clare Presland (Rusalka 2016) are conducted by David Parry (La traviata 2017), and directed by Rosie Purdie.

Performed in the beautiful, mediaeval St Mary’s Parish Church in Haddington, the venue for 2018’s Scottish Opera performance of The Burning Fiery Furnace, Zanetto is set in the hills above Renaissance Florence, and tells the story of Silvia, a lonely courtesan who has lost her faith in love, until she meets a wandering minstrel.

It is performed alongside the sophisticated and charming Susanna’s Secret, the perfect comedic contrast, in which a husband who smells smoke on his wife’s clothes accuses her of cheating.

In December, Opera in Concert features the Scottish Opera premiere of Mascagni’s Iris at City Halls, Glasgow. A gripping tale of innocence lost, Iris includes the stunning ‘Hymn to the Sun’, which is often hailed as the composer’s finest writing. Stuart Stratford conducts soloists including Ric Furman (Kátya Kabanová 2019), Natalya Romaniw (Eugene Onegin 2018) and Roland Wood (Pelléas and Mélisande 2017). Roxana Haines (Edgar 2018) directs.

The passionate and lyrical Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni is performed in May 2020 at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Telling the tale of a young Sicilian villager who returns from war to find his fiancée has married someone else, conductor Stuart Stratford has chosen to pair it with Leoncavallo’s lesser-known work Zingari, another Scottish Opera premiere. With a parallel narrative that sees another love triangle go disastrously wrong, Zingari is based on Pushkin’s The Gypsies. Orpha Phelan directs soloists including Evez Abdulla, Justina Gringyte and Julia Sporsén.

The Opera in Concert series ends with a semi-staged performance of Utopia, Limited. A new co-production with D’Oyly Carte Opera and State Opera South Australia, this Scottish Opera premiere has an updated libretto by director Stuart Maunder, and a new musical version by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, who also conducts. Wittily satirising the British Empire’s politics, monarchy and press, Gilbert & Sullivan’s penultimate opera is performed by the cast of The Gondoliers, and designed by Dick Bird. Utopia, Limited tours to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Hackney Empire in London.

Opera Highlights

Supported by the Friends of Scottish Opera, the ever-popular Opera Highlights goes on the road again this Season, visiting 34 venues around Scotland from Stonehaven to Stranraer, in Autumn 2019 and Spring 2020. The varied programme of music curated by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, sees four singers and a pianist perform works by Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Gilbert & Sullivan, and a new piece by Scottish Opera Composer in Residence Samuel Bordoli.

Roxana Haines (Edgar 2018) directs two different casts of exciting new talent including Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists for 2019/20 – soprano Charlie Drummond, former young artist at the National Opera Studio; baritone Mark Nathan, recent graduate from the Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; and baritone Arthur Bruce, a former member of the Scottish Opera Young Company also recently graduated from the RCS Opera School.

Fox-tot! – an opera for toddlers

The world premiere of Fox-tot!, a new opera for toddlers aged one to two, is presented at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer. It has been written by Lliam Paterson, composer of the acclaimed BambinO, which last year toured to Paris and New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and is directed by Roxana Haines (Edgar 2018).

For this new Scottish Opera co-commission with Royal & Derngate, Northampton, Lliam has taken inspiration from French baroque dances and contemporary opera. A little fox goes on an adventure to explore the world and learn to see through the eyes of other creatures. Stretched out in the sun as a cat, soaring in the sky as a butterfly, it’s fun to be someone else. But, as Mother Vixen guides her cub’s journey, will the little one discover what it takes to become an excellent fox?

Designed by Giuseppe Belli and Emma Belli (BambinO 2017), the 45-minute show is an engaging mix of music and puppetry, performed by mezzo-soprano and former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Katie Grosset (The Opera Factory 2018), and countertenor Daniel Keating-Roberts (The 8th Door 2017). They are joined by cellist Laura Sergeant and percussionist Michael D Clark, who both performed in BambinO.

Following the Edinburgh Festival Fringe dates at Edinburgh Academy, Fox-tot! tours to Royal and Derngate, Northampton in August and September, and around Scotland in Spring 2020.

Fox-tot! is supported by Scottish Opera’s Education Angels, New Commissions Circle and using public funding by Arts Council England.

Scottish Opera Young Company

Scottish Opera Young Company, for 17 to 25 year olds, will perform Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along in Glasgow in the Spring of 2020. Young Company Artistic Director Jonathon Swinard conducts Sondheim’s multi-Olivier Award-winning work, which was specifically written for young adult voices. A dark tale of ambition and disillusion, it tells the story of Franklin Shepard whose career has seen him go from penniless composer to Hollywood impresario. Merrily We Roll Along is supported by Scottish Opera’s Education Angels.

Pop-up Opera

Three brilliant Pop-up Opera shows hit the road this summer in Scottish Opera’s specially adapted trailer at festivals and events around Scotland: A Little Bit of Iolanthe (supported by The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust), A Little Bit of Magic Flute, and Puffy McPuffer and The Crabbit Canals, for five to eight year olds. Each performance is 25 minutes long and brought to life by storyteller Ross Stenhouse, sopranos Jessica Leary and Charlotte Hoather, baritone Aidan Edwards, instrumentalists and colourful illustrations. The tour includes Perth Festival of the Arts, Dunfermline, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Old Kilpatrick, Barrhead, Giffnock, Borders Book Festival, Dirleton, Callander, Cupar Arts EDEN, Aboyne & Deeside Festival, Haddington Show and Glasgow Canal Festival. Pop-up Opera is supported by Scottish Opera’s Education Angels.

Emerging Artists

The Scottish Opera Emerging Artists programme, which offers young talent a period of full-time work with the Company to help launch their careers, will this Season include soprano Charlie Drummond, baritones Arthur Bruce and Mark Nathan, and Samuel Bordoli who continues as Composer in Residence. The name of a costume trainee and repetiteur are still to be announced.

Emerging Artist singers perform in a number of this Season’s productions and tours, and in recitals at the University of St Andrews, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and University of Glasgow, and are supported by The Robertson Trust, Elizabeth Salvesen and Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artist Benefactors.

Scottish Opera Education and Outreach

Amadeus & The Bard is an original piece, conceived, written and directed by Mary McCluskey, former Artistic Director of Scottish Youth Theatre. It explores the surprising number of parallels between Mozart and Scottish poet, Robert Burns.

Performed by Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Arthur Bruce, soprano and Samling Young Artist Stephanie Stanway and renowned actor Andy Clark, alongside a four-voice ensemble from the Scottish Opera Young Company, the programme is curated by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark. It celebrates the work of the two 18th-century Enlightenment giants, from the magical and mystical in The Magic Flute and Tam O’ Shanter to the love music of Don Giovanni and A Red, Red Rose. The Music Director and pianist is Karen MacIver, one half of award-winning duo PianoPiano.

Amadeus & The Bard tours this Autumn to Earlston, Kirkcudbright, Annan, Cumnock, Ayr, Largs, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Paisley. It is supported by Edith Rudinger Gray Charitable Trust and Scottish Opera’s Education Angels.

In the Spring and Summer of 2020, the ever-popular Primary Schools Tour, for children in primaries five to seven, revives Warriors! The Emperor’s Incredible Army. It offers kids the chance to participate in high quality, day-long music theatre workshops, culminating in a performance for parents and guests. Commissioned in partnership with the five Scottish Confucius Institutes, music is by Alan Penman with words by Ross Stenhouse.

The Opera Factory, written and presented by Allan Dunn, returns this summer. Primary 3 pupils go on a whirlwind music adventure to find out how opera is made. The production is supported by online resources designed to reinforce key learning outcomes of A Curriculum for Excellence for Level 1.

Scottish Opera’s Community Choir, open to adults of all ages and conducted by Katy Lavinia Cooper, starts up again in September. The choir sings a mixture of opera, classical, popular, folk and world music, and meets every Wednesday at Theatre Royal Glasgow.

Dementia Friendly

There will be three Dementia Friendly performances of Tosca, in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. This fully-staged, shortened version of the show features presenter Allan Dunn, The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and a cast of singers. Lighting levels in the auditorium are adjusted and audiences are able to come in and out of the auditorium or watch in the bar on TV screens if they prefer.  Scottish Opera staged the UK’s first Dementia Friendly opera performance in November 2016, with The Marriage of Figaro at Festival Theatre Edinburgh.

Memory Spinners, shortlisted in the Best Community Initiative category of Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2017, continues to meet weekly in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Airdrie. The groups – for people living with dementia and their carers – help them relax and get creative using music, storytelling, movement and the visual arts.

Weekly Spinning Songs in East Kilbride and Edinburgh are also taking place. This new intergenerational project for pre-school and primary children and elderly people helps participants develop their musical and expressive arts skills to create original songs that reflect life in their local communities.

Insights into opera

Opera Unwrapped performances offer a one-hour opera taster, ideal for anyone curious to learn more about the art form, how a show is created or some backstage secrets. There are Unwrapped performances of Tosca, Nixon in China and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Audiences can also find out more about the opera they are seeing in pre-show talks. People with a visual impairment can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, where a live commentary describes the action on stage without compromising the music.

Breaking the Waves (Missy Mazzoli)

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh (Part of the Edinburgh International Festival)

21, 23, 24 Aug 2019, 7.15pm

 

Tosca (Puccini)

Theatre Royal Glasgow

16, 18, 22, 26 Oct 2019, 7.15pm
20 Oct 2019, 3pm
Dementia Friendly Performance 24 Oct 2019, 3pm

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen                                       

31 Oct | 2 Nov 2019, 7.15pm
Dementia Friendly Performance 1 Nov 2019, 3pm

Eden Court, Inverness

5, 7, 9 Nov 2019, 7.15pm

Festival Theatre Edinburgh

14, 21, 23 Nov 2019, 7.15pm
17 Nov 2019, 3pm
Dementia Friendly Performance 19 Nov 2019, 3pm

 

Nixon in China (John Adams)

Theatre Royal Glasgow

18, 20, 22 Feb 2020, 7.15pm

Festival Theatre Edinburgh

27, 29 Feb 2019, 7.15pm

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Benjamin Britten)

Festival Theatre Edinburgh

31 Mar | 2, 4 Apr 2020, 7.15pm

Theatre Royal Glasgow

21, 23, 25 Apr 2020, 7.15pm

 

The Gondoliers (Gilbert & Sullivan)

Theatre Royal Glasgow

14, 15, 16, 22, 23 May 2020 7.15pm
17 May 2020, 2.30pm

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

28, 29, 30 May 2020, 7.15pm

Eden Court, Inverness

3, 4, 5, 6 Jun 2020, 7.15pm

Festival Theatre Edinburgh
10, 11, 13 Jun 2020, 7.15pm
13 Jun 2020, 2.30pm

Hackney Empire, London

15,16,18 Jul 2020, 7.30pm

16, 18 Jul 2020, 2.30pm

 

Opera in Concert

Lammermuir Festival, St Mary’s Parish Church, Haddington | 20 Sep 2019, 7.30pm

Zanetto (Mascagni) and Susanna’s Secret (Wolf-Ferrari)

On sale 28 May 2019 at www.lammermuirfestival.co.uk

 

City Halls, Glasgow | 1 Dec 2019, 3pm

Iris (Mascagni)

 

Usher Hall, Edinburgh | 2 May 2020, 7.30pm

Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni) and Zingari (Leoncavallo)

 

Theatre Royal Glasgow | 21 May 2020, 7.15pm

Festival Theatre Edinburgh | 12 Jun 2020, 7.15pm

Hackney Empire, London | 17 Jul 2020, 7.30pm

Utopia, Limited (Gilbert & Sullivan)

 

Opera Highlights

Autumn 2019

12 Sep to 19 Oct

Touring to Motherwell, Stirling, Stonehaven, Tain, Ullapool, Stornoway, Portree, Oban, Galashiels, Perth, Dunfermline, Thurso, Kirkwall, Ellon, Stranraer, Greenock & Musselburgh

 

Spring 2020

4 Feb to 14 Mar

Touring to Bathgate, Birnam, Markinch, Campbeltown, Bowmore, Arrochar, Bunessan, Arisaig, Beauly, Cumnock, Castle Douglas, Callander, Lerwick, Peebles, Fochabers, Alford & Rutherglen

 

Fox-tot! (Lliam Paterson)

Edinburgh Academy (Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe)

2 to 16 Aug 2019 (excluding Mondays), 10am and 11.30am

Tickets on sale now from https://tickets.edfringe.com/

Royal & Derngate, Northampton

27 Aug 2019, 2pm

28 Aug to 1 Sep 2019, 11am and 2pm

 

Touring Scotland Spring 2020

 

Scottish Opera Young Company – Merrily We Roll Along (Sondheim)

Glasgow

Spring 2020

 

Amadeus & The Bard

9 Sep to 12 Oct 2019

Touring to Earlston, Kirkcudbright, Annan, Cumnock, Ayr, Largs, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Paisley

 

Pop-up Opera

24 May to 20 July 2019

Tour includes Perth Festival of the Arts, Dunfermline, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Old Kilpatrick, Barrhead, Giffnock, Borders Book Festival, Dirleton, Callander, Cupar Arts EDEN, Aboyne & Deeside Festival, Haddington Show & Glasgow Canal Festival

 

Emerging Artists Recitals

University of St Andrews | Wed 20 Nov 2019

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland | Fri 10 Jan 2020

University of Glasgow | Thu 16 Jan 2020

 

Opera Unwrapped

 

Tosca

Glasgow |Mon 21 Oct 2019, 6pm

Inverness | Fri 8 Nov 2019, 6pm

Edinburgh | Mon 18 Nov 2019, 6pm

 

Nixon in China

Glasgow | Fri 21 Feb 2020, 6pm

Edinburgh | Fri 28 Feb 2020, 6pm

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Edinburgh | Wed 1 Apr 2020, 6pm

Glasgow | Wed 22 Apr 2020, 6pm

 

Pre-show talks

 

Tosca

Glasgow | Sat 26 Oct 2019, 6pm

Aberdeen |Sat 2 Nov 2019, 6pm

Inverness | Sat 9 Nov 2019, 6pm

Edinburgh | Sat 23 Nov 2019, 6pm

 

Nixon in China

Glasgow | Sat 22 Feb 2020, 6pm

Edinburgh | Sat 29 Feb 2020, 6pm

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Edinburgh | Sat 4 Apr 2020, 6pm

Glasgow | Sat 25 Apr 2020, 6pm

 

The Gondoliers
Glasgow | Sat 23 May 2020, 6pm

Aberdeen | Sat 30 May 2020, 6pm

Inverness |Sat 6 Jun 2020, 6pm

Edinburgh | Sat 13 Jun 2020, 6pm

London | Sat 18 Jul 2020, 6pm

 

Audio-described performances

 

Breaking the Waves

Edinburgh | Fri 23 Aug 2019, 7.15pm

 

Tosca

Glasgow | Sat 26 Oct 2019, 7.15pm

Aberdeen | Sat 2 Nov 2019, 7.15pm

Inverness | Sat 9 Nov 2019, 7.15pm

Edinburgh | Sun 17 Nov 2019, 3pm

 

Nixon in China

Glasgow | Sat 22 Feb 2020, 7.15pm

Edinburgh | Sat 29 Feb 2020, 7.15pm

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Edinburgh | Sat 4 Apr 2020,7.15pm

Glasgow | Sat 25 Apr 2020, 7.15pm

 

The Gondoliers

Glasgow | Sat 23 May 2020, 7.15pm

Aberdeen | Sat 30 May 2020, 7.15pm

Inverness | Sat 6 Jun 2020, 7.15pm

Edinburgh | Sat 13 Jun 2020, 2.30pm

 

Touch Tours start at 6pm for evening performances and 1.45pm for matinees.

(1.15pm for The Gondoliers on 13 Jun 2020).

Images: James Glossop

NEWS: Joe McFadden to star in Mark Goucher and Jason Donovan’s UK tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Mark Goucher and first-time producer Jason Donovan have today announced that actor and Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden will star in their brand-new production of the much-loved glittering hit musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. The producers have also announced today that the tour will continue through 2020. The show, which was announced last year, will tour the UK and Ireland from September 2019. It marks Donovan’s first time as a producer, having performed in the cast of the original West End production and two subsequent UK tours. The producing team is completed by Gavin Kalin and Matthew GalePriscilla, Queen of the Desert will preview in Dartford from 5 September 2019.

Joe McFadden’s theatre credits include: House on Cold Hill (UK tour); The Missing (National Theatre of Scotland); Rainbow Kiss (Royal Court); Torch Song Trilogy (Menier Chocolate Factory); Rent (West End); Haunting Julia (Colchester Mercury/ UK Tour); She Loves Me (Chichester Festival Theatre); Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (The Edinburgh Playhouse); A Life In The Theatre (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying; (Chichester Festival Theatre); 15 Seconds (Traverse Theatre ); Aladdin (The Old Vic); Entertaining Mr Sloane (Theatre Clwyd). Television credits include:  Holby City (BBC); Casualty (BBC); Heartbeat (ITV/YTV); Cranford (BBC); Sparkhouse (BBC/Red Productions); A Mortal God (BBC); Reverse Psychology (BBC); Judge John Deed (BBC/One Eyed Dog); The Glass (ITV1/Granada); The Law (ITV1/Pearson); Sex, Chips & Rock n’ Roll (BBC); The Crow Road (BBC/Union Pictures). Film includes:  Small Faces; Dad Savage; Zig Zag Love; The Trouble with Men and Women; Bumping The Odds.

Newly announced cities that the tour will visit include: Southampton; Plymouth; Nottingham; Dublin; Cambridge; Newcastle; Southend; Sheffield; Carlisle; Ipswich; Leeds; Oxford; Birmingham; Glasgow; Cardiff; Bristol.  Full listings are still to be announced.

Joe McFadden said: “I’m over the moon to be taking on this new and exciting challenge in a musical that I have been a massive fan of for such a long time. I’m looking forward to working with this wonderful production team, including Jason whose guidance I feel especially lucky to have given his previous experience with the production.  I can’t wait to take the Priscilla bus on the road and have a bonzer time making the role my own!”

Mark Goucher said: “Joe is great casting for Priscilla. He is a very strong musical theatre performer and will bring great charm and integrity to this new production of a great musical.”

Jason Donovan said: “So pleased to announce Joe be starring in our production. He’s a down to earth, talented guy who will bring enormous warmth to the role of Mitzi. I can’t wait to see him in heels doing those dance routines…. Awesome.”

The iconic hit musical has more glitter than ever before, featuring a dazzling array of stunning costumes, fabulous feathers and a non-stop parade of dance-floor classics including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, I Love The NightlifeFinally and many more.

Based on the Oscar-winning film, PRISCILLA is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for Alice Springs to put on the show of a lifetime. Their epic journey is a heart-warming story of self-discovery, sassiness and acceptance.

This brand new production comes from the team behind the critically acclaimed UK tours of Hairspray; with direction by Paul Kerryson, choreography by Tom Jackson-Greaves with designs by Phil R Daniels and Charles Cusick Smith, lighting design by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Ben Harrison.

PriscillaUKTour.com & PriscillaUKTour.co.uk

Monday 4 November – Saturday 9 November 2019
EDINBURGH PLAYHOUSE
Tel: 0844 8713014
Tickets on sale 14th September

Monday 18 November – Saturday 23 November 2019
INVERNESS EDEN COURT
Tel: 01463 234234
Tickets now on sale

Image: Darren Bell

WHAT’S ON JANUARY: Dial M For Murder at Eastwood Park.

Giffnock Theatre Players upcoming production Dial M For Murder is coming to Eastwood Park Theatre later this month. It’s an intense, sophisticated, gripping thriller made famous by the movie of the same name, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Ray Milland and Grace Kelly.

M for Money… Marriage… Murder. This suspenseful classic weaves an ever-tightening web of danger and deception.

Former tennis pro Tony Wendice has carefully plotted the murder of his wealthy, elegant, younger but unfaithful wife Sheila, so that he will inherit her money. His ingenious plan involves blackmailing an old university friend to strangle her, while he has the perfect alibi. It’s the perfect murder – or so he thinks. His plan goes wrong, but as events unfold he quickly improvises, coming up with a new scheme to outsmart the police and still get rid of his wife. But has he met his match in the shrewd, sharp detective assigned to the case? Or will he get away with it all?

Dial M For Murder runs at Eastwood Park Theatre, Rouken Glen Road, Giffnock, G46 6UG in Glasgow’s Southside from 23rd to 26th January 2019 at 7.30pm, with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on Saturday 26th January.

Tickets are £15 (£13 concessions available) and may be purchased by phoning 07518 201 756 or 0141 577 4956, or by emailing tickets-gtp@hotmail.co.uk or online at www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk/boxoffice (online booking fee applies). Also available at the theatre’s box office.

For further information and for all the latest news from Giffnock Theatre Players, please visit our website at www.giffnocktheatreplayers.com. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/giffnockplayers, or on Twitter at twitter.com/giffnockplayers .

NEWS: National Theatre of Scotland announces its 2019 season

This week, Jackie Wylie Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the National Theatre of Scotland launched next year’s programme of work:

In 2019 the National Theatre of Scotland is focussing on major Scottish artists, creating major new works that explore the vital questions facing all of us both as Scots and as global citizens. 

What Scottish theatre can do like no other national culture is tackle the big questions of our times, with a unique sense of joy and a love of communal celebration.

Touring remains at the heart of our commitment to audiences across Scotland and beyond. In 2019, twenty productions will be touring to theatre venues, schools, community centres, and pop up performance spaces. We will also take the work of Scottish artists throughout the UK and internationally to New York, Montreal, Virginia, Kentucky and Lisbon.

We are proud to be without walls – we have partnerships in our DNA, and we aim for our collaborations to be as diverse as Scotland’s ever changing populace. I would like to thank the partners, funders, artists and collaborators who are joining us to ensure that theatre in Scotland, in 2019, matters more than ever”

WORLD PREMIERES AND NEW PRODUCTIONS INCLUDE:

  • Interference will be performed in a transformed Glasgow office block from 16 to 30 March 2019.  A bold and chilling new trilogy of near-future plays by three provocative writers, Morna Pearson, Hannah Khalil and Vlad Butucea, and directed by National Theatre of Scotland’s Associate Director Cora Bissett. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Dear Europe is a special event produced by National Theatre of Scotland to mark Scotland’s scheduled exit from the European Union. Six of the country’s most adventurous theatre- makers will create and present short performances that respond to this significant moment in Europe’s history at SWG3, Glasgow on the night of 29 March 2019. Co-curated by Stewart Laing and Jackie Wylie. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with SWG3.
  • Them! tackles the nebulous nature of identity in a changing world. Written by Pamela Carter with long-time collaborator Stewart Laing directing his first project in his new role as Associate Director with the National Theatre of Scotland. Premiering at Tramway, Glasgow in June and July 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Thank You Very Much is a new work from Claire Cunningham using the phenomenon of Elvis tribute artists as a springboard to explore impersonation, identity, acceptance and the challenges of being yourself. A Manchester International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland co-production, opening in Manchester in July 2019 and touring to Glasgow in October & November 2019.
  • Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, written by Tim Crouch and directed by Karl James & Andy Smith will premiere at the Edinburgh Festivals in August 2019 before touring to Brighton and Lisbon later in the autumn. Exploring manipulation and the nature of truth in an age of arch-political misdirection, the play is a bold experiment in the collective creation of fiction. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts and Teatro do Bairro Alto, Lisbon.
  • Red Dust Road is the first stage adaptation of the bestselling memoir by Jackie Kay, tracing the challenges she faced on the journey to discover the truth about her birth parents. Adapted for the stage by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton, it will premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival and HOME, Manchester, touring throughout autumn 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland and HOME, Manchester co-production, developed with support from Macrobert Arts Centre.
  • The Drift by performer and spoken-word artist Hannah Lavery journeys through history, Scottishness, belonging, and grief, exploring her legacy of being “mixed” in Scotland. Directed by Eve Nicol, it will tour Scotland from 02 to 12 October 2019 as part of Black History Month 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production, tour supported by Flint & Pitch and The Workers Theatre with the Coalition of Racial Equality and Rights, as part of Black History Month 2019.
  • The Panopticon will be adapted for the stage by Jenni Fagan from her celebrated novel of the same name. A gritty and gripping coming-of-age tale turned on its head, the production will be directed by Debbie Hannan, touring to the Traverse Theatre and Platform, Glasgow in November 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.

TOURING SCOTLAND

  • Joe Douglas returns to direct John McGrath’s seminal political play The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil, in newly imagined version, based on his acclaimed recent production for Dundee Rep Theatre. The production will tour nationwide, in the spirit of the 1973 original tour. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Dundee Rep Theatre and Live Theatre, Newcastle.

INTERNATIONAL TOURING

  • Adam is the remarkable true story of a young trans man and his journey to reconciliation; with himself, those closest to him, and the world as he knows it. Conceived for the stage and directed by Cora Bissett, written by Frances Poet and performed by Adam Kashmiry, upon whom the story is based, and Rehanna MacDonald. The show receives its US premiere in New York from 14 to 16 February 2019. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Première neige/First Snow follows its successful run at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe with an international tour to Canada. Directed by Patrice Dubois and written by Davey Anderson, Philippe Ducros and Linda McLean, the Fringe First-winning show will be performed at Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal from 26 February to 23 March. An international co-production between National Theatre of Scotland, Théâtre PÀP and Hôtel-Motel.
  • Anything That Gives Off Light returns following its premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016. Focusing on three characters in a pub as they wrestle with loneliness, grief and a festering sense of betrayal, the production will visit Virginia, Kentucky, and New York from 01 to 30 March 2019. A co-production from The TEAM, the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival.

PARTICIPATORY THEATRE AND FESTIVALS INCLUDE:

  • LIKE FLYING is a new participatory project from the National Theatre of Scotland, working in partnership for the first time with SAMH, (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in association with East Ayrshire Council and Edinburgh City Council. The project, tackling mental wellbeing through aerial performance, will be performed in schools in East Ayrshire and Edinburgh in June  2019 and curated by National Theatre of Scotland Artist-in-Residence Nic Green.
  • The Coming Back Out Ball, a year-long engagement programme created for the LGBTI elder community comes to Scotland, having been successfully pioneered in Australia by Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid of All The Queens Men. Led by Scottish theatre-maker Lewis Hetherington alongside the original creative team from All The Queens Men, the project will take place from May 2019.
  • Just Start Here, the National Theatre of Scotland’s pop-up festival celebrating new work and Scottish artists, arrives in Aberdeen on 08 and 09 March 2019 as part of the Company’s Engine Room programme. Produced in partnership with Citymoves, Aberdeen.

THE YEAR IN BRIEF:

February

  • Adam, conceived for the stage and directed by Cora Bissett, written by Frances Poet and performed by Adam Kashmiry and Rehanna MacDonald, tours to New York for performances at the Skirball Centre in Manhattan from 14 to 16 February 2019, the show’s first international dates.

March

  • Anything that Gives Off Light, directed by Rachel Chavkin, with Associate Direction from Davey Anderson, visits Virginia, Kentucky, and New York from 01 to 30 March 2019. Written by Jessica Almasy, Davey Anderson, Fraser Ayres, Rachel Chavkin, Brian Ferguson, and Alexander Grierson. A co-production from The TEAM, the National Theatre of Scotland and Edinburgh International Festival.
  • Première neige/First Snow, directed by Patrice Dubois and written by Davey Anderson, Philippe Ducros and Linda McLean, follows its successful premiere at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe with a tour to Théâtre de Quat’Sous in Montreal from 26 February to 23 March 2019. An international co-production between National Theatre of Scotland Théâtre PÀP and Hôtel-Motel.
  • Engine Room’s Just Start Here pop-up festival returns, bringing two days of music, climate change activism and cross-art form making to Aberdeen from 08 to 09 March 2019.  Presented in partnership with Aberdeen’s Citymoves.
  • Interference, a chilling new trilogy of near-future plays, will be performed in a transformed Glasgow office block from 16 to 30 March 2019. Written by Morna Pearson, Hannah Khalil and Vlad Butucea and directed by Cora Bissett. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • Dear Europe will mark Scotland’s scheduled exit from the European Union with an evening of live music and live performance at SWG3, Glasgow on Friday 29 March 2019. Co-curated by Stewart Laing and Jackie Wylie and featuring work from artists Adura Onashile, Nima Séne, Alan McKendrick, Angus Farquar, Nic Green, and Leonie Rae Gasson. A National Theatre of Scotland production, in association with SWG3

May

  • The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil begins its new Scotland-wide tour with performances in Dundee, Inverness, Shetland and the Highlands. Joe Douglas returns to direct John McGrath’s seminal political play. A National Theatre of Scotland production in association with Dundee Rep Theatre and Live Theatre, Newcastle. Based on the original Dundee Rep Theatre production.
  • My Left Right Foot – The Musical returns to the stage with new performances at Dundee Rep from 21 to 25 May 2019. Written and directed by Robert Softley Gale, with music and lyrics by Scott Gilmour & Claire McKenzie, Richard Thomas & Robert Softley Gale. A Birds of Paradise and National Theatre of Scotland co-production.

June

  • Them! is written by Pamela Carter and directed by Stewart Laing, his first project in his new role as Associate Director with the National Theatre of Scotland. It will premiere at Tramway, Glasgow in June/July. A National Theatre of Scotland production.
  • LIKE FLYING, is led by National Theatre Scotland Artist in Residence Nic Green in schools in East Ayrshire and Edinburgh from June. In partnership with (SAMH) Scottish Association for Mental Health, in association with East Ayrshire Council and Edinburgh City Council.
  • The Cheviot, The Stag & the Black, Black Oil visits the final stops on its Scotland-wide tour, including Skye, Aberdeen and Stirling, before beginning a two-week run at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.

July

  • Thank You Very Much is a new work from Claire Cunningham, using the phenomenon of Elvis tribute artists as a springboard to explore impersonation, identity, acceptance and the challenges of being yourself. It is commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and National Theatre of Scotland and premieres in Manchester in July 2019 before touring to Glasgow in October & November 2019.
  • Them!, Stewart Laing and Pamela Carter’s subversive and immersive new production, concludes its debut performances at Tramway, Glasgow.

August

  • Total Immediate Collective Imminent Terrestrial Salvation, written by Tim Crouch and directed by Karl James & Andy Smith, is the first of two shows from the National Theatre of Scotland at the 2019 Edinburgh Festivals, running through August.
  • Red Dust Road has its opening performances, the first stage production of Jackie Kay’s heart-warming memoir, in an adaptation by Tanika Gupta and directed by Dawn Walton. The show premieres at the Edinburgh International Festival, before visiting Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling and Eden Court, Inverness later in the autumn

September

  • Red Dust Road follows its opening performances at the Edinburgh International Festival with a tour to the home of co-producing partners HOME, in Manchester.

October

  • The Drift by performer and spoken-word artist Hannah Lavery, directed by Eve Nicol, tours Scotland from 02 to 12 October 2019, with visits to Aberdeen, Tobermory, Hawick, Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of Black History Month.

November

  • Jenni Fagan adapts her hit novel The Panopticon for the stage. Directed by Debbie Hannan, the show will be presented at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and Platform, Glasgow.
  • Thank You Very Much receives its Scottish premiere in Glasgow from 31 Oct to 03 November 2019, following its opening performances at Manchester International Festival in the summer.

Throughout 2019

Theatre in Schools Scotland
National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate. Touring a programme of acclaimed shows to nurseries and schools across Scotland.

Engine Room

Established in 2018, our Engine Room programme will continue to provide artistic development opportunities for artists throughout Scotland.

The Coming Back Out Ball

A year-long engagement programme from May 2019 created for the LGBTI elder community in Scotland, led by Lewis Hetherington, Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid. Presented by National Theatre of Scotland and All The Queens Men in partnership with Luminate.

How The Earth Must See Itself

A short film produced by the National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Sculpture Workshop, created by Lucy Cash and Simone Kenyon, and based on the book – The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd

 

NEWS: Scottish Ballet Announces 50th Anniversary Season

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop and Scottish Ballet’s CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson have revealed the spirited and ambitious programme for the company’s 2019/2020 season, including three world premieres. Founded in 1969, Scotland’s national dance company celebrates 50 years of inspiring audiences on stage and beyond in 2019, with a creative vision crafted by Scotland.

SPRING
A first for 2019, the company will launch their 50th season in the Highlands. There will be a celebratory opening of the double bill Spring! at Inverness’ Eden Court on Thursday 28 March, followed by a party everyone in the audience is invited to!

Dextera is a world premiere of a new work by Scottish Ballet Resident Choreographer Sophie Laplane, with music by Mozart performed by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s 35-minute long antidote to blues, Elite Syncopations, forms the second part of the bill with its virtuoso heights of sexy, witty psychedelia and frothy ragtime nonchalance. MacMillan’s choreography spans the decades, melding 1920s social dances with classical ballet and uses music from ragtime composers, including Scott Joplin, as a perfect accompaniment.
Following three dates in Inverness, Spring! will tour to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh in April and May 2019.

DIGITAL SEASON

After an award-winning inaugural presentation in 2017, the Digital Season returns for a month-long programme of work featuring short films, live streams, virtual reality experiences and digitally driven projects to enhance, alter and inform the way we experience dance. Existing in a society where the real and unreal are one in the same, and Artificial Intelligence has developed its own human nature, the Digital Season explores our grasp of reality, identity, and transformation.

As the company’s first Digital Artist in Residence, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom will work from within Scottish Ballet to create bespoke artworks for the Digital Season and beyond. A Glasgow-based sculptor, Zachary uses digital technologies such as 3D scanning, digital 3D modelling and 3D printing to transform traditional sculptural materials such as bronze, marble and ceramic.

SUMMER/AUTUMN

Arthur Miller’s masterpiece of power and persecution, The Crucible is transformed into a gripping new ballet with choreography by Helen Pickett and a haunting new musical score from Peter Salem, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. The ballet will receive its world premiere at Edinburgh International Festival, opening the dance programme in 2019. The ballet will then tour to Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness in September and October 2019.

Image: Nicola Selby

WINTER

Fans of Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale – which also inspired Frozen – will be delighted at the announcement of The Snow Queen as Scottish Ballet’s glittering winter show. With a specially adapted score from works by Rimsky Korsakov this spectacular world premiere is an inspiring story of love and friendship, driven by three central female characters. Choreographed by the company’s CEO/Artistic Director Christopher Hampson and designed by award-winning Lez Brotherston, The Snow Queen will join Scottish Ballet’s highly popular family repertoire and tour to Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle following an opening at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on Saturday 7 December 2019. The performances will be accompanied by an extensive community engagement programme in schools and care homes across Scotland.

Image: Nicola Selby

MAKE A WISH!

For 50 years Scottish Ballet has been crafted by Scotland – by the people, the tradition, the sense of humour, the generosity and the spirit. As a way of saying thank you to the whole country, Scottish Ballet is inviting the people of Scotland to Make a Wish! It can be anything from the dancers performing at a birthday party or on the banks of Loch Ness, or even the chance to get on stage and be part of a Scottish Ballet show. The public are encouraged to submit their wishes at scottishballet.co.uk/wish and, following a public vote and the consideration of the judging panel including Susan Calman, Fred MacAulay, Dame Darcey Bussell, Christopher Hampson, Janice Forsyth and Principal Dancer Christopher Harrison, Scottish Ballet will make five wishes come true throughout 2019.

FIVE IN FIVE

A dance company lives by its ability to produce adventurous, relevant and entertaining work and Scottish Ballet recognises that investing in new repertoire is crucial in being able to sustain excellence. Therefore, in an ambitious new commissioning programme called Five in Five, Scottish Ballet will commission and stage five new full-length ballets over five years; one for every decade of the company’s history. Presenting new work will encourage the Company’s existing audiences to keep returning and new audiences to try something different. This will also reinforce Scottish Ballet as one of the most daring and pioneering dance companies. The world premieres of The Crucible and The Snow Queen will be the first two of the five new commissions. In total, the company seeks to raise £5 million over five years to deliver these five new productions and associated access and engagement programmes.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said:
‘As Scotland’s national dance company, Scottish Ballet makes an extraordinary contribution to our cultural landscape, on stage and beyond. Scottish Ballet showcases our nation’s creative spirit at its highest level to local and international audiences, while also delivering some excellent work with health and education partners to communities across Scotland. I am pleased to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary and look forward to seeing this exciting programme of activity in 2019.’
CEO/Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet, Christopher Hampson said:
‘Scottish Ballet forged new ground in 1969, and we continue to promote Scotland’s pioneering spirit in everything that we do. We embrace our 50th anniversary with an unprecedented programme of new work, affirming our commitment to be one of the most daring dance companies in the world.’

Dame Darcey Bussell said:
I am excited to be on the judging panel for Scottish Ballet’s Make A Wish campaign to help share the magic of ballet with people across Scotland in the company’s 50th year. I look forward to seeing lots of wonderful wish ideas and am sure there will be some really personal and imaginative ones for us to choose from.’

James MacKenzie-Blackman, Chief Executive of Eden Court, Inverness, said:
‘Audiences from across the Highlands and Islands travel from far and wide to see Scottish Ballet in Inverness, and we are thrilled and honoured that the company has chosen to open their milestone 50th anniversary season at Eden Court. Together, we will be hosting an opening night party for artists and audiences to mark our special partnership and recognise the critical contribution our organisations make to creativity across the Highlands and Islands.’

Edinburgh International Festival Director Fergus Linehan said:
‘Scottish Ballet has been inspiring audiences at the International Festival with unforgettable performances since the 1970s and we’re thrilled to welcome back the company as it celebrates 50 years. It’s especially exciting to open our 2019 dance programme together with a premiere of this scale and scope and we look forward to sharing The Crucible with audiences from all over the world’.

Choreographer of The Crucible, Helen Pickett said:
It has been an incredible collaborative process working with Scottish Ballet to bring my vison of Arthur Miller’s play to the stage. I am working with an exceptional creative team, Peter Salem, James Bonas, Emma Kingsbury and David Finn, and together we have translated this iconic drama into the powerful medium of dance. We are honoured to present The Crucible at the Edinburgh International Festival among the very best arts companies in the world.’

Resident Choreographer, and Creator of Dextera, Sophie Laplane said:
‘Having immersed myself within Scottish Ballet as a dancer and resident choreographer, I wanted to embody the company’s creativity and hard work by kickstarting their anniversary season with an energetic new piece that celebrates the company’s craft. I’m excited to work with Scottish Ballet Orchestra to score Dextera to Mozart, to form a vibrant body of work as part of the Spring! double bill.’

Digital Artist in Residence, Zachary Eastwood-Bloom said:
‘This digital residency allows me to delve deeply into a world of new ideas and approaches that I have been itching to develop. Using digital technologies such as 3D scanning and Motion Capture, I will explore bodily movement and the space between dancers through a range of media. Scottish Ballet is a very rich and exciting environment to work in and I think the Digital Season will reflect that.’

Priority booking for all productions for Friends of Scottish Ballet are available from Wednesday 10 October.
Public on-sale from Monday 22 October, with tickets for The Crucible dates at Edinburgh International Festival available after the Festival’s programme launch in March 2019.

Spring!

To kickstart their 50th anniversary year, Scottish Ballet presents a fresh double bill fizzing with energy and guaranteed to send you home smiling. Resident choreographer Sophie Laplane will premiere her latest work, Dextera. Her trademark edgy style promises a tour de force of creative ideas, set to the music of Mozart. Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Elite Syncopations is an irresistible carnival of colourful characters. This much-loved whirl of 1920s dance hall glitz is set to a series of Scott Joplin’s tunes, performed live by an onstage ragtime band.

Eden Court, Inverness: 28-30 March

Theatre Royal, Glasgow: 4-6 April

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen: 11-13 April

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh: 2-4 May

The Crucible

Arthur Miller’s drama of power and persecution.

The village of Salem stands on the brink. A teenage girl imagines her future. A marriage is tested. Church bells ring, uniting the community in prayer. These are good people; this could be anywhere. They fear the shadows in the forest, but the real monsters are much closer to home. You’ll be on the edge of your seat watching this tight-knit society unravel into chaos. Ask yourself: when everything is in the balance, what are you prepared to pay for the truth? Helen Pickett’s choreography unleashes the emotional force of Miller’s masterpiece, vividly accompanied by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra performing Peter Salem’s haunting new score.

Edinburgh International Festival in August 2019. (On sale dates announced in March 2019)

Theatre Royal, Glasgow: 26-28 September

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen: 3-5 October

Eden Court, Inverness: 9-10 October

The Snow Queen

Scottish Ballet’s 50th year will come to a spectacular close with the world premiere of The Snow Queen. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s much-loved tale – which was also the basis for Frozen – this glittering new production will be set to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. Choreographed by Christopher Hampson and designed by the award-winning Lez Brotherston, this story of love and friendship is sure to delight the whole family.

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh: 7-29 December

Theatre Royal, Glasgow: 3-19 January 2020

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen: 22-26 January 2020

Eden Court, Inverness: 29 January – 2 February 2020
Theatre Royal, Newcastle (On sale dates announced in 2019)

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