Tag Archives: Scottish Opera

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA YOUNG COMPANY PRESENTS GLUCK’S ORFEO & EURIDICE

Scottish Opera Young Company (formerly Connect Company) is returning to The Beacon in Greenock this April to perform one of Gluck’s most popular and enduring works: Orfeo & Euridice.

The Company, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, takes to the stage at The Beacon on April 6 and 7, following the success of its production of Dido and Aeneas there in 2017.

New Artistic Director Jonathon Swinard conducts the young performers, who are aged 16 to 23, and professional singers Daniel Keating-Roberts (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari 2016) as Orfeo and Jessica Leary (Pop-up Opera 2018) as Euridice. A dancer from Dance Studio Scotland at Glasgow Clyde College also joins the cast. Opera and theatre director Caroline Clegg makes her Scottish Opera debut, and designer Finlay McLay (Dido and Aeneas 2017) returns as designer.

Based on the myth of Orpheus, Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice — at one moment full of fury, the next clear and pure — tells the tale of one man’s determination to defy the gods and rescue his lover from Hades. But can he resist temptation long enough to save her?

Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera’s Director of Education and Outreach said: ‘Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice was a real game changer in terms of the narrative development of the art form of opera, as we recognise it today. As artistically revelatory and thought-provoking for audiences in 1774 as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is for contemporary theatre-goers, and featuring one of the loveliest and best known arias in the operatic repertoire (‘Che farò senza Euridice’), this might just be the ultimate, universal tale of boy meets girl, boy loses, and then finds girl again.’

Jonathon Swinard, Scottish Opera Young Company Artistic Director said: ‘It is a privilege to be the new Artistic Director of the Scottish Opera Young Company and I’m hugely looking forward to conducting Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice this April. Curiously, this piece was actually the first opera I ever worked on as a young repetiteur at the age of 18. Fast-forward a few years, and it is a lovely feeling to be rehearsing this work with the exceedingly talented members of the Scottish Opera Young Company, many of whom are also gaining their first real stage experience through this wonderful piece.’

The Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1HJ

Sat 6 Apr, 7pm

Sun 7 Apr, 2pm

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

NEWS: SCOTTISH PREMIERE OF MASCAGNI’S SILVANO IN APRIL

In April, Scottish Opera’s 2018/19 Opera in Concert series concludes with the Scottish premiere of Silvano by Pietro Mascagni.

Audiences have two opportunities to see this passionate seafaring tale; at City Halls in Glasgow on Sunday 14 April at 3pm, and Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Tuesday 16 April, at 7.30pm.

Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts a cast that features acclaimed soprano and former Kathleen Ferrier Award-winner Emma Bell (above) as Matilde, making her debut with Scottish Opera. Emma is joined by Alexey Dolgov (Iolanta 2017), David Stout (The Burning Fiery Furnace 2018), Leah-Marian Jones (Rusalka 2016), with chorus and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. The semi-staged performances are directed by Roxana Haines (Edgar 2018).

The plot centres on a disastrous love triangle that ends in death and despair. Mascagni revels in this drama and the score, which includes the Barcarolle famously used in Scorsese’s Raging Bull, displays both his signature lyrical lines and a spicy chromaticism that echoes much of Wagner’s work.

Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford said: ‘One thing I was determined to do when I became Music Director at Scottish Opera was to champion lesser-known pieces by great composers. Mascagni is unjustly cast as a ‘one hit wonder’ and, with the roaring success of Cavalleria Rusticana, most of his other works get overlooked.

‘I was delighted we included his L’amico Fritz in the first Opera in Concert series in 2016, and now it is the turn of Silvano. Mascagni’s writing in this period is deliciously unique and I am sure will inspire you to explore his other neglected works.’

 

 

Silvano Cast and Creative Team

 

Conductor                                                                   Stuart Stratford

Director                                                                       Roxana Haines

Matilde                                                                        Emma Bell  

Silvano                                                                        Alexey Dolgov  

Renzo                                                                         David Stout  

Rosa                                                                           Leah-Marian Jones                         

Silvano  Performance Diary

 

City Halls, Glasgow

Sun 14 Apr, 3pm

 

Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Tue 16 Apr, 7.30pm

Image: Paul Foster-Williams

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA YOUNG COMPANY PRESENTS GLUCK’S ORFEO & EURIDICE

Scottish Opera Young Company (formerly Connect Company) is returning to The Beacon in Greenock this April to perform one of Gluck’s most popular and enduring works: Orfeo & Euridice.

The Company, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018, takes to the stage at The Beacon on April 6 and 7, following the success of its production of Dido and Aeneas there in 2017.

New Artistic Director Jonathon Swinard conducts the young performers, who are aged 16 to 23, and professional singers Daniel Keating-Roberts (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari 2016) as Orfeo and Jessica Leary (Pop-up Opera 2018) as Euridice. A dancer from Dance Studio Scotland at Glasgow Clyde College also joins the cast. Opera and theatre director Caroline Clegg makes her Scottish Opera debut, and designer Finlay McLay (Dido and Aeneas 2017) returns as designer.

Based on the myth of Orpheus, Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice — at one moment full of fury, the next clear and pure — tells the tale of one man’s determination to defy the gods and rescue his lover from Hades. But can he resist temptation long enough to save her?

Jane Davidson, Scottish Opera’s Director of Education and Outreach said: ‘Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice was a real game changer in terms of the narrative development of the art form of opera, as we recognise it today. As artistically revelatory and thought-provoking for audiences in 1774 as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is for contemporary theatre-goers, and featuring one of the loveliest and best known arias in the operatic repertoire (‘Che farò senza Euridice’), this might just be the ultimate, universal tale of boy meets girl, boy loses, and then finds girl again.’

Jonathon Swinard, Scottish Opera Young Company Artistic Director said: ‘It is a privilege to be the new Artistic Director of the Scottish Opera Young Company and I’m hugely looking forward to conducting Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice this April. Curiously, this piece was actually the first opera I ever worked on as a young repetiteur at the age of 18. Fast-forward a few years, and it is a lovely feeling to be rehearsing this work with the exceedingly talented members of the Scottish Opera Young Company, many of whom are also gaining their first real stage experience through this wonderful piece.’

Cast and Creative Team

 

Conductor     Jonathon Swinard

Director          Caroline Clegg

Designer        Finlay McLay

Orfeo             Daniel Keating-Roberts

Euridice          Jessica Leary

Dancer            Kay Davis

 

Performance diary

The Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1HJ

Sat 6 Apr, 7pm

Sun 7 Apr, 2pm

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

 

 

WHAT’S ON MARCH: Scottish Opera presents Janáček’s intense drama Kátya Kabanová in Glasgow

In March, Scottish Opera presents Leos Janáček’s intense drama Kátya Kabanová in a new co-production with Theater Magdeburg, directed by the renowned British director Stephen Lawless and conducted by Stuart Stratford.

Following the recent success of Czech operas on the Scottish Opera stage with Janáček’s Jenůfa (2015) and Dvořák’s Rusalka (2016), Kátya Kabanová opens in Glasgow on March 12 and transfers to Festival Theatre Edinburgh.

Set in a small, industrial community in Russia, Kátya Kabanová is torn between her duties as a wife, and her dreams of a man who truly loves her. Trapped within an oppressive community, neglected by her husband and tormented by her mother-in-law, she is drawn towards escape, to nature and to the ever-present Volga river.

Soprano Laura Wilde makes her Scottish Opera debut in the title role, following her critically acclaimed European debut as Jenůfa in 2016 with English National Opera. Ric Furman also makes his Company debut as Boris Grigoyevich alongside Samuel Sakker as Tikhon Kabanov. Patricia Bardon returns to Scottish Opera for the first time in almost 20 years to sing Kabanicha. Scottish bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott sings Dikoy. Former Jette Parker Young Artist Hanna Hipp (The Marriage of Figaro 2016) joins the cast as Varvara and Trystan Llŷr Griffiths (Cosi fan tutte 2015) sings the role of Kudrjash. Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Alexey Gusev (Rigoletto 2018) and Bethan Langford (Rigoletto 2018) join the cast as Kuligin and Glasha.

Joining Stuart Stratford and Stephen Lawless on the creative team are award-winning Set and Costume Designer Leslie Travers and Tony award-winning Lighting Designer Christopher Akerlind.

Stephen Lawless said: ‘Kátya Kabanová is one of the greatest twentieth century operas. Janáček writes consummate parts for women and the role of Kátya is arguably his best. Our compassion for her predicament draws from music of soaring intensity and heart-stopping lyricism. Scottish Opera has assembled a world class cast that will bring all their expertise to this tale of love, guilt, retribution and transcendence.’

Stuart Stratford said: ‘Janáček is one of the most concentrated of composers. Not a phrase or line is ever unnecessary. He has immense lyricism, which is always fighting for breath with a rigid and often brutal rhythmic underlay. This gives the music a real sense of dynamic tension which suits the subject matter perfectly.’

Those who wish to discover more about how the production was created can attend Kátya Kabanová 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

 

Kátya Kabanová                                             Laura Wilde

Kabanicha                                                     Patricia Bardon

Boris Grigoyevich                                           Ric Furman

Tikhon Kabanov                                             Samuel Sakker

Dikoy                                                            Brian Bannatyne-Scott

Varvara                                                          Hanna Hipp

Vanya Kudrjash                                              Tristan Llŷr Griffiths

Kuligin                                                           Alexey Gusev*

Feklusha                                                       Karen Murray

Glasha                                                          Bethan Langford*

Zena                                                             Christine Sjolander

A Man                                                           Declan McCusker

 

*Scottish Opera Emerging Artist

 

Creative Team

 

Conductor                                                       Stuart Stratford

Director                                                           Stephen Lawless

Set and Costume Designer                                Leslie Travers

Lighting Designer                                             Christopher Akerlind

Movement Director                                            Lynne Hockney

 

Performance Diary

 

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

Tue 12 Mar, 7.15pm

Thu 14 Mar, 7.15pm

Sat 16 Mar, 7.15pm

 

Kátya Kabanová Unwrapped
Wed 13 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Pre-show talk

Sat 16 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Touch Tour

Sat 16 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Audio-described performance

Sat 16 Mar, 7.15pm

 

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

Thur 21 Mar, 7.15pm

Sat 23 Mar, 7.15pm

 

Kátya Kabanová Unwrapped

Fri 22 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Pre-show talk

Sat 23 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Touch Tour

Sat 23 Mar, 6pm

Kátya Kabanová Audio-described performance

Sat 23 Mar, 7.15pm

NEWS: OPERA HIGHLIGHTS TOURS TO 18 LOCATIONS ACROSS SCOTLAND IN SPRING 2019

Hitting the road on the 5 February, Scottish Opera’s much-loved Opera Highlights sets off once more around Scotland with a brand-new show. Four singers and a pianist journey to 18 venues across Scotland from Ayrshire to the Western Isles.

Opening in East Kilbride, the Opera Highlights performers will go on to visit Strathmiglo, Cumbernauld, Ardfern, Barra, Benbecula, Tarbert Isle of Harris, Gairloch, Ardross, Duns, Blairgowrie, Maybole, Durness, Boat of Garten, Aboyne, Whiting Bay and Dunblane, before bringing the tour to a close in Paisley on 16 March.

Sara Brodie directs a programme of works by composers from across the centuries, from Handel and Gluck, to Mozart, Verdi, Britten and Bernstein, carefully curated by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark. Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2018/19 soprano Lucy Anderson, who sang the role of Countess Ceprano in the Company’s 2018 revival of Rigoletto; mezzo-soprano Heather Ireson; tenor Tom Smith and baritone Harry Thatcher join Music Director/Pianist Elizabeth Rowe to bring to life some of opera’s best-known arias alongside hidden gems and forgotten favourites.

Director Sara Brodie said: ‘Opera Highlights 2019 offers a dazzling array of operatic hits from Wagner to Gilbert and Sullivan. We promise an evening of frivolities, folly and flirtation as our singers take you to the depths of the underworld, Paris at dawn, a Viennese masked ball and a tryst by the Thames. Four erstwhile travellers journey the seas of love and back again, in scenes of picaresque torment and delight, to warm your hearts on a chilly night.’

Scottish Opera General Director, Alex Reedijk, said: ‘Following the tremendous success of our 17-date Autumn Opera Highlights tour, we are greatly looking forward to visiting 18 smaller and rural venues in the Spring. This new, pint-sized production is a celebration of opera and the accomplished creative team will no doubt bring out the best in this talented cast, as they journey around Scotland from Barra to Boat of Garten.’

This tour is supported by The Friends of Scottish Opera, the JTH Charitable Trust and the Scottish Opera Endowment Trust.

Village Theatre, East Kilbride

Tue 5 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Strathmiglo Village Hall, Strathmiglo

Thu 7 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Cumbernauld Theatre, Cumbernauld

Sat 9 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern

Tue 12 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Northbay Hall, Barra

Thu 14 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Liniclate School, Benbecula

Sat 16 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Tarbert Village Hall, Harris

Tue 19 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Gairloch Community Hall, Gairloch

Thu 21 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Ardross Community Hall, Ardross

Sat 23 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Volunteer Hall, Duns

Tue 26 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Blairgowrie Town Hall, Blairgowrie

Thu 28 Feb, 7.30pm

 

Maybole Town Hall, Maybole

Sat 2 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Durness Village Hall, Durness

Tue 5 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Boat of Garten Community Hall, Boat of Garten

Thu 7 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Deeside Theatre, Aboyne

Sat 9 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Whiting Bay Village Hall, Isle of Arran

Tue 12 Mar, 7.30pm

 

Victoria Hall, Dunblane

Thu 14 Mar, 7.30pm

 

The Wynd Auditorium at The Spires, Paisley
Sat 16 Mar, 7.30pm

 

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/

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE OF ANTHROPOCENE BY STUART MACRAE AND LOUISE WELSH

The world premiere of Anthropocene, a gripping new work commissioned by Scottish Opera from composer Stuart MacRae and librettist Louise Welsh, takes place on January 24 at Theatre Royal Glasgow. It then tours to King’s Theatre, Edinburgh and London’s Hackney Empire.

Telling the story of an expeditionary team of scientists who become trapped in the frozen Arctic wastelands, Anthropocene is directed by Matthew Richardson (Rigoletto 2018) and designed by Samal Blak, the award-winning team behind MacRae and Welsh’s five-star opera The Devil Inside (2016).

© Julie Broadfoot – http://www.juliebee.co.uk

Conducted by Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford, the 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 Laura Zigmantaite (Ariadne auf Naxos 2018), a former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist.

Anthropocene is the fourth collaboration between MacRae and Welsh, a fruitful partnership initially born of the 15-minute opera Remembrance Day in 2009. The composer-librettist team went on to create 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.

Composer Stuart MacRae said: ‘The triumph of human self-interest over nature and over other humans: this is the essence of the Anthropocene age. It is also the cause of man-made climate change, countless environmental catastrophes and the exploitation of marginalised peoples by wealthy nations and individuals. When faced with extreme isolation, a loss of control over their destiny, and personal catastrophe, the appearance of a mysterious outsider poses an impossible dilemma for the crew of the Anthropocene, and becomes the focus of temptation, sympathy, ambition, empathy and fascination.

‘It’s been a joy to work on Anthropocene with librettist Louise Welsh, who brings such depth, colour and variety to this original story, and I’m delighted that it will be brought to the stage by our hugely imaginative long-term collaborators, Matthew Richardson and Samal Blak, and conducted by Stuart Stratford.’

Librettist Louise Welsh said: ‘Anthropocene is one of the most exciting projects I have been involved with. This is my fourth opera with Stuart MacRae for Scottish Opera and it is an honour to write words which I know he will set to a unique palette of music.

‘The themes of Anthropocene are both perennial and up-to-the-minute. Human beings have always striven to conquer distant and hostile territories. The twenty-first century has opened the field to rich amateurs who might previously have stayed at home and charted on maps the progress of expeditions they had funded. Anthropocene is a story of over-wielding ambition, murder, human sacrifice and thwarted love. It is also an exploration of the tensions between magic and science.’

Stuart Stratford, Scottish Opera Music Director said: ‘Stuart MacRae and Louise Welsh have yet again delivered an amazing piece of music theatre for Scottish Opera. An incredibly imaginative story of discovery, betrayal and violent sacrifice with daring and dazzling virtuoso orchestral textures, Anthropocene will keep the audience gripped throughout.’

Those who wish to discover more about how the production was created can attend Pre-show Talks, and audience members with a visual impairment can enjoy the full opera experience at audio-described performances, which have a live commentary describing the action on stage without compromising the music.

Anthropocene is supported by John S. Cohen Foundation, RVW Trust and Scottish Opera’s New Commissions Circle.

 

Cast List

Ice                                                                             Jennifer France

Professor Prentice                                              Jeni Bern 

Charles                                                                    Stephen Gadd

Miles                                                                        Benedict Nelson

Harry King                                                               Mark Le Brocq

Captain Ross                                                          Paul Whelan

Vasco                                                                         Anthony Gregory

Daisy                                                                          Laura Zigmantaite

 

Creative Team

 

Conductor                                                              Stuart Stratford

Director                                                                   Matthew Richardson

Set and Costume Designer                              Samal Blak 

Lighting Designer                                                 Matthew Richardson 

Movement Director                                             Kally Lloyd-Jones

Associate Lighting Director                                Zoe Spurr

 

Performance Diary

 

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

Thu 24 Jan, 7.15pm

Sat 26 Jan, 7.15pm

 

Pre-show Talk                                             Sat 26 Jan, 6pm

Touch Tour                                                    Sat 26 Jan, 6pm

Audio-described performance            Sat 26 Jan, 7.15pm

 

King’s Theatre Edinburgh, 2 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ

Thu 31 Jan, 7.15pm

Sat 2 Feb, 7.15pm

 

Pre-show Talk                                             Sat 2 Feb, 6pm

Touch Tour                                                    Sat 2 Feb, 6pm

Audio-described performance            Sat 2 Feb, 7.15pm

 

Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, London, E81 1EJ

Thu 7 Feb, 7.30pm

Sat 9 Feb, 7.30pm

London performances are presented in association with The Royal Opera

IMAGE: Julie Broadfoot

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