Scottish Opera opens Doors this Saturday

18 September 2015

Scottish Opera HQ and the Theatre Royal Glasgow will be welcoming visitors this Saturday as part of Doors Open Day 2015.


Scottish Opera’s administrative home on Elmbank Crescent is the former headquarters of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, and houses stunning leaded glass windows by Stephen Adam. A few members of Scottish Opera staff will be there on the day to meet and greet anyone who’d like a peek inside.


Our performance home, the Theatre Royal Glasgow, has been recently transformed with striking new foyer spaces as well as a roof terrace with panoramic views of Glasgow city centre. Tours of the building are on offer, including exclusive access to backstage areas. There are also new heritage displays and interactive touch screens to enjoy!


Scottish Opera’s Jenufa Is Nominated For UK Theatre Award

17 September 2015

Scottish Opera has been nominated for a UK Theatre Award in the Achievement in Opera category for our new production of Jenufa earlier this year, which was directed by Annilese Miskimmon and conducted by Music Director Stuart Stratford.


The UK Theatre Awards are the only nationwide awards to honour outstanding achievement in regional theatre throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The 2015 Awards will be presented on Sunday 18 October at the Guildhall in London.


Julian Bird, Chief Executive of UK Theatre, said: 'This year’s nominations recognise the vibrant, diverse and world leading theatre sector that exists here in the UK, across a broad range of venues, creative teams and performances.'


Scottish Opera Presents The Sunday Series

2 September 2015

Our new Music Director Stuart Stratford has curated, and will conduct and host, a new programme of Sunday afternoon concerts – The Sunday Series.


Born of the popular Sunday afternoon concert series at St Andrews in the Square, The Sunday Series will be housed in a new ‘acoustic shell’ specially designed for the recently transformed Theatre Royal Glasgow and built in Scottish Opera’s own carpentry workshop.


The programme sees Stratford take to the stage with The Orchestra of Scottish Opera for the first time since his appointment, and spotlights high-profile British opera stars Barry Banks, Iain Paterson and Kate Royal. With an assortment of orchestral and vocal works, the exciting programme ranges from the Masters of Italian bel canto to the drama and power of Wagner and the romance of Mozart and Strauss.


Stuart Stratford said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed putting together this series of concerts and the opportunity it allows me to share with the audience some of the music I love most in opera. I’m also excited that this will be my first time conducting the wonderful Orchestra of Scottish Opera since I started as Music Director in June 2015. We’re joined by three outstanding guest singers who, alongside the orchestra, will bring the wide-ranging programme to life’.


For a more detailed overview, see the full press release here.


Stuart Stratford conducting the Orchestra of Scottish Opera 2015. Credit James Glossop.


International Stars Land in Scotland

31 August 2015

Lithuanian mezzo-soprano Justina Gringyte, New York-born tenor Noah Stewart and British baritone Roland Wood begin rehearsals in Glasgow today for our Autumn production of Carmen!


As Carmen, Don José and the bullfighter Escamillo, they are joined by former Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Nadine Livingston, Marie Claire Breen and Andrew McTaggart. A chorus of 40, The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, and a 20 strong children’s chorus from all over Scotland help bring this sizzling tale to life.


To book tickets or find out more click here.


Rehearsals Begin for National Tour of Così fan tutte

24 August 2015

The cast and creative team of Scottish Opera's glamorous new production of Così fan tutte arrive today to begin rehearsals!


Scottish Opera Emerging Artists past and present join forces for this year’s tour as former Emerging Artist Lissa Lorenzo directs the talented young cast which includes former Emerging Artist Rosalind Coad (Jenufa 2015), as well as three of this year’s Emerging Artists, Emma Kerr, Jennifer France, and Ben McAteer.


Kicking off in Stirling on September 24, the team of cast and crew then travel to 19 venues across the highlands, islands and lowlands with the costumes, set, lighting equipment, props and piano in tow.


To book tickets or find out more click here.


Hop Aboard the H.M.S. Pinafore

21 August 2015

Scottish Opera's concert performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore takes place in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh this Sunday.


As part of the Edinburgh International Festival, this witty, fun-filled tale offers the perfect Sunday afternoon entertainment. Renowned British tenors John Mark Ainsley and Toby Spence take on the roles of Admiral Porter and Ralph, with Andrew Foster-Williams as Captain Corcoran. Comedy legend Tim Brooke-Taylor joins the knock-out cast as Narrator, with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera bringing the lively tunes to life under the baton of conductor Richard Egarr.


To book tickets or find out more click here.


Andy Fraser

19 August 2015
We were saddened to hear of the death on 14 August 2015 of chorister Andy Fraser

Andy first performed with Scottish Opera in 2006, appearing in both Don Giovanni and Carmen. He has worked regularly with the Company over the past 9 years, most notably as the wonderfully bumbling Porter in our 2014 Don Pasquale.

Our condolences go to his wife, two daughters, family and friends.

Don Pasquale, 2014: Andy Fraser as Porter alongside Steven Faughey as Cook



Connect Gateway Summer Sharing

11 August 2015

Scottish Opera's Connect Gateway participants - aspiring young singers between the ages of 14 and 21 - took part in a week-long summer residency last week ahead of an informal sharing for family and friends last Saturday (8 August).


The Connect Gateway residency is a training week for young singers auditioning to become members of the Connect Chorus. Led by Laura Baxter, Connect Head of Singing, the jam-packed week of voice and movement workshops allowed the 17 participants to learn about opera as an art form and what it takes to put together a production.


The singers were treated to three specialist workshops - vocal health sessions with Christopher Breckenridge, a design workshop with Ali Maclaurin, and even a stage combat class with professional fight director Raymond Short (Il trovatore 2015). They also worked with directors Martin O’Connor and Emily Reutlinger on extracts from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and The Cabinet of Dr Caligari which composer Karen MacIver is writing specially for a Connect performance in Spring 2016.


See photos from the Connect Gateway here.


Connect Orchestra Prepares to Share

17 July 2015

Scottish Opera’s Connect Orchestra of aspiring musicians aged between 14 and 21 took part in a week-long residency this week ahead of their Summer Showcase.


This Sunday, the orchestra conducted by Chris Gray will perform Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, and Prokofiev’s children’s tale Peter and the Wolf, alongside narrator Allan Dunn (Pop-up Opera Roadshow 2015). Former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Marie Claire Breen provides the stunning vocals for Beethoven’s dramatic ‘Ah perfido!’


Find out more here.


Theatre Royal Wins RIAS Award

18 June 2015

Scottish Opera's recently transformed performance home, Theatre Royal Glasgow, has won Cultural Building of the Year at the RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) Awards 2015.


From 65 submissions across Scotland and a shortlist of 24, 12 winners were announced last night at an awards ceremony in The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh.


The judging panel of industry specialists praised Page\Park Architects’ innovative design of the building: ‘Creating a welcoming entrance foyer and embracing a dramatic, sinuous stair, this new structure boldly signposts Scottish Opera’s HQ. “Street to seat” was the ethos, with the client wanting to literally “open up” theatre and opera as art forms. By providing a welcoming entrance, addressing the street corner, the theatre experience has been “democratised”.’


All the RIAS Award-winning buildings - including a nursery, a distillery and a cancer care centre - will now go forward to be considered for Britain’s richest architectural prize, the £25,000 Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award, to be announced in November.


RIAS was founded almost 100 years ago in 1916, and the awards, though only in their fourth year, have already become the most important recognition of architectural achievement in Scotland.