Tag Archives: Scottish Opera

REVIEW: The Magic Flute – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Set in a steampunk landscape inspired by H.G. Wells and Jules Verne: a wicked queen, a handsome prince, a damsel in distress, high priests, a comedy side-kick, magical instruments, a serpent and some sorcerers are all given new life in Scottish Opera’s revival of Sir Thomas Allen’s joyous production of The Magic Flute. 

While the work’s misogyny and Masonic undertones have been long debated, it is impossible to judge an opera written in 1791 by 2019’s standards and this utterly charming, gorgeous looking and sounding version is guaranteed to win over even the hardest of hearts. Its three-hour run time passing by in the blink of an eye.

Of note are the irresistible Papageno, so cleverly and cheekily played by Richard Burkhard, his bang up-to-date, witty asides and ability to wrap the audience around his little finger are a delight; Dingle Yandell’s beautifully sung Speaker; a sure-sounding Sarastro in James Creswell; Gemma Summerfield – a radiant and glorious Pamina, and talent to look out for, Julia Sitkovetsky, who handles Der Hölle Rache, one of the most famous arias in all opera, absolutely beautifully.

This five star production is thanks to the stars aligning in every aspect of its creation: sure-footed direction, lively conducting, a laugh-out-loud and oh-so clever translation, perfect casting, an orchestra on top form and an innovative and captivating stage design. It’s not often achieved, but this is as near to perfection as it’s possible to get. 

Runs until 18 May 2019 then touring. Images – James Glossop.

 

NEWS: OPERA POPS UP IN EAST RENFREWSHIRE PARKS

Scottish Opera is packing up its theatre on wheels and bringing The Pop Up Opera Roadshow to two of East Renfrewshire’s most popular parks this June.

Three short operas for all the family will be brought to life by a storyteller, singers, musicians and a series of colourful illustrations, performed in a specially-adapted, fully accessible trailer.

Hosted by East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure, the performances take place on Friday 7 June at Cowan Park in Barrhead and Saturday 8 June at Rouken Glen Park in Giffnock.

Anthony McReavy from East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure said:

“Scottish Opera’s pop up shows offer a fantastic, unique opportunity for the whole family to experience the magic of opera in a unique way, in the heart of our best local parks this summer.

“The three shows offer something for everyone, from those experiencing opera for the first time to seasoned fans and there is even an opera show specially written and performed for a younger audience.”

 

A Little Bit of Iolanthe kicks off the pop-up opera show at 4pm on Friday 7 June at Cowan Park, a light-hearted satire which is full of fun, followed by A Little Bit of Magic Flute at 6pm, a beguiling mix of comedy, fantasy and pantomime, with a profound story of the search for love, wisdom and truth.

A schools’ performance of Puffy MacPuffer and the Crabbit Canals comes to Cowan Park on 7 June and stops by Rouken Glen Park at 12pm on Saturday 8 June. Suitable for 5-8 year olds, Puffy MacPuffer and the Crabbit Canals is a tale of five waterways that link Scotland from the North Sea to the Atlantic. Each one is different: Caledonian – the longest; Crinan – the most beautiful; hard-working Monklands; Union – the fastest; wise old Forth & Clyde. Each one thinks they’re the best. Can an ordinary little puffer boat make them think again?

A Little Bit of Iolanthe follows at Rouken Glen Park at 2pm and A Little Bit of Magic Flute finishes the sessions at 4pm.

Prices are just £6 standard, with 30 minute approximate running times for all performances. Book online at: https://www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk/article/10073/Opera-Roadshow or call 0141 577 4956.

NEWS: OPERAVISION TO STREAM FULL PERFORMANCE OF SCOTTISH OPERA’S ANTHROPOCENE IN MAY

Anthropocene, the acclaimed new work commissioned by Scottish Opera from composer Stuart MacRae and librettist Louise Welsh, will be available to watch on OperaVision from May.

Directed by Matthew Richardson, designed by Samal Blak and conducted by Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford, Anthropocene had its world premiere in January at Theatre Royal Glasgow, and tells the story of an expeditionary team of scientists who become trapped in the frozen Arctic wastelands.

The film of Anthropocene, directed for OperaVision by Jonathan Haswell and produced by Andrew Lockyer, was made at a performance at London’s Hackney Empire, on 9 February. The full performance will be available to view worldwide on the free streaming platform from 17 May to 17 November, and is the first time a Scottish Opera production has been featured on OperaVision.

Launched in 2017, OperaVision – curated by Opera Europa, the European association of opera companies and festivals – streams performances from all over the world, allowing viewers to watch productions from the greatest European opera houses from the comfort of their own home. As well as full-length performances shown with subtitles, it features extracts, interviews and behind the scenes footage.

Anthropocene’s superb ensemble cast includes former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Jennifer France (Ariadne auf Naxos 2018), Scottish soprano Jeni Bern and Stephen Gadd (Rigoletto 2018.) They are joined by Benedict Nelson (The Burning Fiery Furnace 2018), Mark Le Brocq, Paul Whelan, Anthony Gregory and Sarah Champion (Opera Highlights 2018).

Anthropocene is the fourth collaboration between MacRae and Welsh, a fruitful partnership initially born of Scottish Opera’s Five:15 Opera Made in Scotland series, which paired composers and librettists to create five 15-minute operas. The composer-librettist team went on to create Remembrance Day in 2009, Ghost Patrol in 2012, which won a South Bank Sky Arts Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award, and 2016’s The Devil Inside, based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Inverness-born MacRae’s work has been performed at the Royal Opera House and Edinburgh International Festival, and by ensembles including Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Hebrides Ensemble. He is currently Composer in Association at Lammermuir Festival.

A Professor of Creative Writing at University of Glasgow, Welsh is the author of a number of popular novels including award-winning The Cutting Room and Plague Times Trilogy.

Scottish Opera General Director Alex Reedijk said: ‘This film of Anthropocene by OperaVision is a very important first for Scottish Opera. Performing at Hackney Empire was a double win for us, as it brought Anthropocene to a London audience and, through this film shot there, allows us to introduce this exciting new work to an international audience. It’s a great opportunity to show off the incredible work of Stuart MacRae and Louise Welsh, who are such an important part of Scottish Opera’s history, as well as the talented cast and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.’

Nicholas Payne, Opera Europa Director said: ‘Anthropocene grabbed me from the start and held me throughout with the twists and changes of its riveting story. Stuart MacRae and Louise Welsh skilfully deploy music and words to create tension. They do not preach to us in the audience, but we are compelled to reflect on its relevance to our contemporary world. Chilling!’

Anthropocene is available to watch from 17 May at https://operavision.eu/en

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA’S FOX-TOT! HAS WORLD PREMIERE AT EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE THIS AUGUST

Fox-tot!, a new opera for children aged 12 to 24 months, has its world premiere at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.

This Scottish Opera co-commission with Royal & Derngate, Northampton, is composed by former Scottish Opera Composer in Residence, Lliam Paterson. Last year, his acclaimed ‘opera for babies’, BambinO, had sell-out performances at the Fringe, in Paris and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Fox-tot!  will be performed at Edinburgh Academy from 2 to16 August. It then goes to Royal & Derngate, Northampton, from 27 August to 1 September, and tours around Scotland in Spring 2020.

Directed by Roxana Haines (Edgar 2018) and designed by Giuseppe Belli and Emma Belli (BambinO 2017), the 45-minute show for toddlers 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.

Sung in English, Lliam’s new work takes inspiration from French baroque dances and contemporary opera. It tells the story of a little fox sent on an adventure to explore the world and learn to see through the eyes of other creatures, including a cat, a butterfly and a frog. But, as Mother Vixen guides her cub’s journey, will the little one discover what it takes to become an excellent fox?

Scottish Opera’s Director of Education and Outreach, Jane Davidson, said: ‘Fox-tot! is Scottish Opera’s most recent foray into creating opera for children.

‘Building on their BambinO experiences, our babies are now toddlers; discovering a delicately coloured sound world rooted in French baroque, complete with a trio of creatures ready to flit, paddle and scamper through the forest with them.

‘Through the music and narrative, Fox-tot! aims to stimulate the little ones’ physical and intellectual curiosity in their surroundings as well as instilling the beginnings of empathy, a critical skill which is arguably the most defining of all human qualities.’

Director Roxana Haines said ‘You are invited to join Fox on a journey of transformation, play, and discovery. In this magical world, who Fox will be is up to Fox, and Mother Vixen’s unconditional love is there no matter what. ‘

Composer Lliam Paterson, continued: ‘A little fox sets out on a magical journey, guided by Mother Vixen. Fox-tot! follows our furry hero on an operatic quest, tailor-made for miniature audiences and their carers! ‘

Fox-tot! is supported by Scottish Opera’s Education Angels & New Commissions Circle. This project is also part of a Royal & Derngate-led consortium inspiring and supporting the creation of new musicals and operas.

Creative Team

 

Composer                   Lliam Paterson

Director                       Roxana Haines

Designers                    Giuseppe Belli & Emma Belli

Puppet designers        Mervyn Millar for Significant Object

 

Cast

 

Mezzo-soprano           Katie Grosset

Countertenor               Daniel Keating-Roberts

Cello                            Laura Sergeant

Percussion                  Michael D Clark

 

Performance Diary

 

Edinburgh Academy

Part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

2 to 16 Aug (excl. Mondays)

10am & 11.30am

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

 

Royal & Derngate, Northampton

27 Aug, 2pm

28 Aug to 1 Sep, 11am & 2pm

 

Spring 2020

Touring Scotland (more information coming soon)

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

REVIEW: Scottish Opera Orfeo & Euridice – Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock

Gluck’s innovative, influential and hugely popular Orfeo & Euridice is the latest production from Scottish Opera’s Young Company.

Scottish Opera – Orfeo & Euridice © Julie Broadfoot

Following Gluck’s own lead, (he produced three versions of this work to suit the differing tastes of the audiences it was presented to and the voices singing it: Vienna 1762, Parma 1769 and Paris 1774) the company presents its own English language version for its young cast. Starting with the original Viennese version, it splits the role of Amore into three mischievous Cupids and Amore’s Act 1 aria is re-arranged for trio and chorus. It utilises Euridice’s Act 2 aria from the Paris version but with chorus and Gluck’s famous ballet music features the entire company.

Scottish Opera – Orfeo & Euridice © Julie Broadfoot

This whole production is a treat for both the eyes and the ears. It takes the best of the three versions to present a ‘greatest hits’, audience-pleasing edition. Musically it is simply beautiful and the young singers lead by professionals Daniel Keating-Roberts (Orfeo) and Jessica Leary (Euridice) display immense talent and promise for the future. Keating-Roberts counter-tenor can be an acquired taste, but entirely fitting for the role. Leary is glorious sounding as Euridice.

Scottish Opera – Orfeo & Euridice © Julie Broadfoot

Visually, Finlay McLay’s design, though minimalistic, packs a punch and Roy Herd’s lighting design is simply gorgeous – atmospheric and evocative.

Scottish Opera – Orfeo & Euridice © Julie Broadfoot

At 75 minutes running time, with a familiar subject matter (the myth of Orpheus), beautiful and undemanding music, inventive design and execution, this is an ideal introduction to opera. Not only is it an impeccably staged and delivered production, the Young Company shows hope for the future of opera in Scotland.

REVIEW: Scottish Opera Kátya Kabanová – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

The shining star of Scottish Opera’s current season is undoubtedly Stephen Lawless’ gorgeous looking and sounding version of Leoš Janáček’s Kátya Kabanová. One of the four late operas by the composer that are universally acknowledged as his greatest works, it has been given something of a Scandi-noir look by designer Leslie Travers and lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, for this co-production with Theater Magdeburg. Based on Alexander Ostrovsky’s play The Storm, and originally set in the 1860s in the small industrial town of Kalinov on the banks of the Volga river, the action has been advanced over a hundred years to the dark days of the Soviet era. 

Sweet and loyal Kátya is seemingly happily married to Tikhon but unrelentingly bullied by his over-possessive, domineering mother Kabanicha. When Tikhon is ordered away on business by his mother, the oppressed and isolated Kátya is tempted into the arms of another. Inherently loyal and utterly remorseful of her actions, she cannot come to terms with what she has done. In the closed-minded town she is subjected not only the whispers of the townsfolk, but the whispers in her own head. Kátya decisively takes action to calm the storm inside.

The orchestra of Scottish Opera are on lively form, at times so lively that it takes a strong singer to stand up to their vigour: some are more successful than others. Laura Wilde is a soft and timid Kátya with a crystal clear soprano, however, there are points where she, like others is overwhelmed by the pit. American tenor Ric Furman as her insipid lover Boris, is almost inaudible for much of the production, and as her Mrs. Danvers-like mother-in-law-from-hell, Patricia Bardon is in fine voice, but strays into pantomime territory as the arch villain. Much more successful are lovers Varvara (Hanna Hipp) and Vanya (Trystan Llŷr Griffiths) who provide a lively foil to the darker goings on.

This is a production that transcends its faults, darkly atmospheric, beautifully designed and with a lyrical yet highly dramatic score that is an absolute treat for the ears, it is a shining jewel in Scottish Opera’s current season.

Touring to Edinburgh 21 and 23 March 2019

Image: James Glossop

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA REVIVES SIR THOMAS ALLEN’S PRODUCTION OF MOZART’S THE MAGIC FLUTE

Sir Thomas Allen’s five-star production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s The Magic Flute returns to Scottish Opera in May, set in a spectacular world inspired by the Victorian futurism of HG Wells and Jules Verne.

Mozart’s most inventive opera, featuring a handsome prince, a damsel in distress, sorcerers, priests and a bumbling bird-catcher, opens at Theatre Royal Glasgow on Saturday 4 May, and tours to Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, London and Belfast. With set and costume design by Simon Higlett, this production takes inspiration from the city of Glasgow at the height of its industrial powers, drawing on the aesthetics and ideas of the Enlightenment, particularly the work of the Hunter family and the huge scientific collections of The Hunterian Museum.

Conductor Tobias Ringborg (The Marriage of Figaro 2016) is joined by Peter Gijsbertsen (La traviata 2017) as Tamino and Gemma Summerfield, First Prize winner at the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards, as Pamina. Richard Burkhard is Papageno, the role he created in the original production in 2012; Julia Sitkovetsky is Queen of the Night; James Creswell is Sarastro and Adrian Thompson is Monostatos. Scottish Opera Emerging Artist, Sofia Troncoso (Opera Highlights 2018), sings the role of Papagena.

Sir Thomas Allen said: ‘Our production of The Magic Flute, first created in 2012, makes its return to the stage and to theatres around Scotland. I’m looking forward with great anticipation to the rehearsal period and to the performances that follow. There are many changes from our original cast, but one welcome return will be that of Richard Burkhard in the role of Papageno. He brought to the part a really brilliant personal way of playing, just as one would hope for Papageno, and our collaboration was, apart from all else, a lot of fun.

‘As for what you will see, well, if you are familiar with Glasgow and the richness of its constituent parts, then you will recognise all of the references in this show. It is a tribute by designer Simon Higlett and myself to a great Scottish city.’

There will be two Dementia Friendly performances of The Magic Flute, in Glasgow and Edinburgh. These specially abridged performances are carefully designed to make the theatrical experience more accessible to people living with dementia. Sound and lighting levels are adjusted for the comfort of the audience, and the cast is joined on stage by a narrator. Audiences will also be able to go in and out of the auditorium during the performance and see the show in the foyer areas on TV screens. Scottish Opera staged the UK’s first Dementia Friendly opera performance in November 2016, with The Marriage of Figaro at Festival Theatre Edinburgh.

Those who wish to discover more about how the production was created can attend The Magic Flute Unwrapped, one-hour tasters delving further into the show, as well as Pre-show Talks. Audience members with visual impairments can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have a live commentary describing the action on stage without compromising the music.

Cast List

Tamino                                                            Peter Gijsbertsen & William Morgan (14, 18 May, 13,15 June)

Pamina                                                            Gemma Summerfield

Papageno                                                        Richard Burkhard & James Cleverton (20, 22, 27, 29 June)

The Queen of the Night                                  Julia Sitkovetsky

Sarastro                                                             James Creswell & Dingle Yandell (1, 5, 20, 22, 27, 29 June)

Monostatos                                                     Adrian Thompson

Papagena                                                        Sofia Troncoso*

First Lady                                                      Jeni Bern

Second Lady                                                  Bethan Langford*

Third Lady                                                     Sioned Gwen Davies

*Scottish Opera Emerging Artist

Creative Team

Conductors                                                     Tobias Ringborg & Derek Clark (13,15 June)  

Director                                                            Sir Thomas Allen

Set and Costume Designer                                Simon Higlett

Lighting Designer                                            Mark Jonathan

Movement Director                                           Kally Lloyd-Jones

Translation                                         Kit Hesketh-Harvey

Performance Diary

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

Sat 4 May, 7.15pm

Wed 8 May, 7.15pm

Fri 10 May, 7.15pm

Sun 12 May, 3pm

Tue 14 May, 7.15pm

Thu 16 May, 3pm (Dementia Friendly Performance)

Sat 18 May, 7.15pm

 

The Magic Flute Unwrapped

Thu 9 May, 6pm

The Magic Flute Pre-show talk

Sat 18 May, 6pm

The Magic Flute Touch Tour

Sun 12 May, 1.45pm

The Magic Flute Audio-described performance

Sun 12 May, 3pm

 

Eden Court, Inverness

Tue 21 May, 7.15pm

Thu 23 May, 7.15pm

Sat 25 May, 7.15pm

 

The Magic Flute Unwrapped

Fri 24 May, 6pm

The Magic Flute Pre-show talk

Sat 25 May, 6pm

The Magic Flute Touch Tour

Sat 25 May, 6pm

The Magic Flute Audio-described performance

Sat 25 May, 7.15pm

 

His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Thu 30 May, 7.15pm

Sat 1 Jun, 7.15pm

 

The Magic Flute Unwrapped

Fri 31 May, 6pm

The Magic Flute Pre-show talk

Sat 1 Jun, 6pm

The Magic Flute Touch Tour

Sat 1 Jun, 6pm

The Magic Flute Audio-described performance

Sat 1 Jun, 7.15pm

 

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

Wed 5 Jun, 7.15pm

Fri 7 Jun, 3pm (Dementia Friendly Performance)

Sun 9 Jun, 3pm

Tue 11 Jun, 7.15pm

Thu 13 Jun, 7.15pm

Sat 15 Jun, 7.15pm

 

The Magic Flute Unwrapped

Thu 6 Jun, 6pm

The Magic Flute Pre-show talk

Sat 15 Jun, 6pm

The Magic Flute Touch Tour

Sun 9 Jun, 1.45pm

The Magic Flute Audio-described performance

Sun 9 Jun, 3pm

 

Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London, E8 1EJ

Thu 20 Jun, 7.30pm

Sat 22 Jun, 7.30pm

 

The Magic Flute Pre-show talk

Sat 22 Jun, 6pm

 

Belfast Grand Opera House, 2-4 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, BT2 7HR

Thu 27 Jun, 7.15pm

Sat 29 Jun, 7.15pm

 

The Magic Flute Unwrapped

Fri 28 Jun, 6pm

The Magic Flute Pre-show talk

Sat 29 Jun, 6pm

REVIEW: Anthropocene – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Stuart MacRae and Louise Welsh’s fourth work for Scottish Opera (and their first full-length opera) received its world premiere in Glasgow last night. While Anthropocene delivers on many levels, it isn’t quite the perfect package…yet. There’s fantastic potential for thrills and chills both dramatically and musically, but there’s an overriding feeling that the narrative and expected tension of the subject matter has been sacrificed due to uneven pacing.

Entrepreneur Harry King has financed a polar expedition on his state of the art vessel, King’s Anthropocene, an expedition to explore the origins of life on earth. As the ice encroaches, the team become trapped, tensions rise among the small crew and an eerie discovery emerges from the frozen depths.

While Act One firmly establishes each character, it outstays its welcome by a good twenty minutes: there’s unnecessary repetitive padding of the libretto and a uniform musical tone that fails to grip. On the reverse side, its final act comes to its denouement at a break-neck speed. That said there are some hauntingly beautiful musical moments, most particularly at the hands of Jennifer France as the being from the ice. Her gorgeous, ethereal soprano sends shivers down the spine. Less successful both dramatically and vocally are Mark Le Brocq’s Harry King and Sarah Champion as King’s daughter Daisy – each is underpowered vocally and over-acting dramatically.

Samal Blak’s set and costume design, while functional, lacks the necessary detail that keeps the attention for the duration of a full-length work. Matthew Richardson’s direction is functional rather than original or thrilling.

The explorational of our Anthropocene age, science and technology interwoven with ancient beliefs and a touch of Frankenstein, all seem thrilling on paper, and it would have been a stunner had the dramatic potential been fully exploited. It feels like a case of what might have been.

Runs until 26 January at The Theatre Royal, Glasgow, then tours to The King’s Theatre, Edinburgh and the Hackney Empire, London.

IMAGES: James Glossop

 

 

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA’S NEW PRIMARY SCHOOLS SHOW 1719! COMMEMORATES THE JACOBITE RISINGS

In the Spring and Summer of 2019, thousands of primary five, six and seven school pupils will rehearse and perform an opera about one of the most dramatic periods in Scottish history: the Jacobite risings.

Entitled 1719!, the opera has been composed by David Munro, revised and re-orchestrated by Alan Penman with words by Allan Dunn. Pupils learn the words and songs in their classrooms with teaching materials prepared by Scottish Opera’s Education and Outreach department and then work with a team from the Company to prepare for a performance in front of classmates, friends and family.

Scottish Opera’s Primary Schools Tour hits the road on 14 January in Mosshead Primary, Bearsden and will visit 50 schools around Scotland including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross and the Highlands, until March. It continues on 16 April, touring to schools in areas including Aberdeen, the Borders, the Western Isles, Shetland and Dumfries and Galloway.

1719! travels back to a key moment in Scottish history to tell the story of the Jacobite Scots locked in a desperate struggle to restore the House of Stuart to the throne of Great Britain, while the Hanoverian King George argued with other European rulers over the lands and riches of the New World. King Philip of Spain sent troops and money to help the Jacobites in an attempt to distract the British government from this dispute. Pupils will go back in time 300 years when the Jacobites and their Spanish allies gathered in Glen Shiel for battle with King George’s forces, in what was the last close engagement of British and European troops on British soil.

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson said: ‘An amazing way to learn about one of the most dramatic and exciting periods in Scottish history, 1719! features more battles than Braveheart and is a thrilling adventure that pits the Jacobite troops and their Spanish allies against the forces of King George’s government in the mountains surrounding Glen Shiel. Although not the most famous of engagement in the Jacobite Wars, it had far reaching significance for Britain’s role in Europe and 300 years later, is still recalled in the name Sgurr nan Spainteach (The Peak of the Spaniards) in recognition of the Spanish troops who fought there.’

1719! is supported by The Cruden Foundation, New Park Educational Trust, The Forteviot Charitable Trust, Scottish Opera’s Education Angels and a number of other generous funders.

More details about 1719! are available from www.scottishopera.org.uk/join-in/opera-for-schools/

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