About Us

Scottish Opera is Scotland’s national opera company and the largest performing arts organisation in Scotland. It was founded by Alexander Gibson and was inaugurated with a production of Madama Butterfly at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow. In 1974 Scottish Opera purchased the Theatre Royal Glasgow, which reopened in 1975 as Scotland’s first national opera house. The Orchestra of Scottish Opera was founded in 1980.


Notable achievements include the world premiere of James MacMillan’s Ines de Castro at the 1996 Edinburgh International Festival and complete Ring cycles at the 2003 Edinburgh International Festival, which won the 2004 South Bank Show Award for Best Opera Production. Recent commissions include Five:15 Operas Made in Scotland, part of a five-year research and development project to find the next generation of opera-makers, composers and librettists.


We are committed to bringing the widest possible range of opera, performed to the highest possible standards, to the maximum audience throughout Scotland and the UK; each year it performs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness and over 50 other theatres, village halls and community centres.  We also operate an extensive programme of outreach and education work which involves over 12,000 primary school children a year, as well as many other activities including adult learning and Unwrapped taster sessions.


Scottish Opera’s income is derived from public subsidy, box office and private and commercial support. It is funded by the Scottish Government. 



The Company celebrated its 50th birthday on 5 June 2012. Highlights of the 12/13 season include The Lady from the Sea winning a Herald Angel Award and Ghost Patrol winning the opera category of the Southbank Sky Arts Awards and, along with In the Locked Room, an Olivier Awards nomination. Following Scottish performances, The Pirates of Penzance toured to England and Wales. In August 2013 we published a book depicting the Company’s life from 1962 right through to the end of our Anniversary Season: ‘50 Years of Scottish Opera – A Celebration’. 


As well as the 20th anniversary Opera Highlights tour, the remainder of the 13/14 season will include performances of Macbeth at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow and King's Theatre Edinburgh and a one-off concert performance of Turandot at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Madama Butterfly will complete the season with performances at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Theatre Royal Glasgow, Eden Court, Inverness, His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen and the Grand Opera House, Belfast. 



Contact Us

Scottish Opera is based in Glasgow, at two main locations.


Administrative, Marketing, Press, Fundraising, Planning, Finance and Human Resources staff are based at:

39 Elmbank Crescent, Glasgow G2 4PT

Tel: 0141 248 4567


Our Technical and Education teams are based at:

Scottish Opera Production Studios, 40 Edington Street, Glasgow G4 9RD

Tel: 0141 332 9559


Individual staff contacts  


Past Operas

Find out more about the many productions we have created over the years.