Scottish Opera Announces 2016/17 Season

27 April 2016

In this rich and diverse 2016/17 Season, the first to be announced since Stuart Stratford formally took up post as Music Director, Scottish Opera continues to develop its strong creative relationships and partnerships, presenting seven fully staged productions and four operas in concert.


Full details are on our website, but the highlights include:


● New productions of Pelléas and Mélisande, Bluebeard’s Castle, La bohème and The Elixir of Love
Sir Thomas Allen’s hit production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro opens the Season
● World premiere of The 8th Door, a specially devised companion piece to Bluebeard’s Castle created by Vanishing Point’s Matthew Lenton and Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence Lliam Paterson
● Scottish premieres of Philip Glass’s The Trial and Giacomo Puccini’s Le Villi
● Four operas in concert presented in The Sunday Series at Theatre Royal Glasgow, featuring early and rarely-performed works by masters of operatic writing
● Renowned director Sir David McVicar and director/designer team Renaud Doucet and André Barbe return
● Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love – in a new arrangement for orchestral quintet – tours to 17 venues around Scotland and Opera Highlights takes to 38 the total number of venues visited
● The season also includes a world premiere of The Little White Town of Never Weary; Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley and Der Jasager, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas by Scottish Opera’s Connect Company; the Pop-up Opera Roadshow; a Primary Schools Tour of The Tale o’ Tam o’ Shanter; Opera Unwrapped and much more.


For a more detailed overview of what’s coming up at Scottish Opera, see the full press release here.


Scottish Opera’s Primary Schools Tour Visits Newcastle

18 April 2016

This week, the team behind Scottish Opera’s Primary Schools Tour Warriors! The Emperor’s Incredible Army visits Newcastle.


Primary 5-7 pupils from schools all around Newcastle will be transported to ancient China in a production that tells the true story of Qin Shi Huang – the first Emperor of China, who was desperate to rule forever. Over many years, Qin Shi Huang assembled an army of 8000 soldiers, horses and chariots to watch over him in the afterlife. All 8000 were armed to the teeth, but they were all made entirely of clay.


Warriors! The Emperor’s Incredible Army is set to music by composer Alan Penman with lyrics by Ross Stenhouse. The pupils are asked to learn the songs in advance of the Scottish Opera visit. A team of arts education specialists and performers - Alan McKenzie, Lee Reynolds, Jamie Macdonald and Lucy Hutchinson - then spend a day with the children to prepare them for a performance in their school for classmates, friends and family.


Throughout the week, the Primary Schools team will visit West Jesmond Primary School, Hotspur Primary School, Cragside Primary School, Benton Park Primary School and Newburn Manor Primary School.


Theatre Royal Glasgow Hosts Doors Open Day

8 April 2016

This Saturday (9 April), the recently transformed Theatre Royal Glasgow opens its doors for visitors to explore.


With free tours throughout the day, running every 15 minutes from 10am to 2.15pm, guides will lead visitors through the building – both the original Victorian theatre and the new extension.


Exclusive backstage access will also be on offer. Visitors will get a peek backstage to see what goes on behind the scenes, see the set of Scottish Opera’s Rusalka from the wings, visit a dressing room, get an exclusive look at wigs and costumes, and check out the musicians’ view from the orchestra pit.


In the spacious new foyers, containing Scottish Ballet’s props display, there will also be some music from Scottish Opera’s Community Choir.


To book a place on a tour, please call 0844 871 7647.


Stuart Stratford Conducts First Scottish Opera Production As Music Director

5 April 2016

Dvořák’s Rusalka opens at the Theatre Royal Glasgow tonight – the first production to be conducted by Stuart Stratford since he joined the Company as Music Director.


Stratford collaborates with director Antony McDonald and a sterling cast including soprano Anne Sophie Duprels (Madama Butterfly 2014), internationally renowned bass-baritone Sir Willard White and tenor Peter Wedd (Inés de Castro and Jenůfa 2015) to bring this thrilling fairytale to life.


Stuart Stratford said, ‘I am so looking forward to conducting Rusalka as my first Scottish Opera production since becoming Music Director last June. It’s a wonderful piece from the beginning of the 20th century with rich, stunning melodies. The production itself is brilliant; Antony McDonald is second to none in creating colourful, visually spectacular worlds.’


Stuart Stratford and Anne Sophie Duprels have worked together before, most notably on Opera Holland Park’s production of Il trittico (2015), a trio of one-act operas by Puccini, which has recently been nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the Opera and Music Theatre category.


For more information on Rusalka, click here.


Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artist Composer Presents World Premiere at Aye Write Festival

18 March 2016

Scottish Opera's Emerging Artist Composer in Residence, Lliam Paterson, presents two brand-new pieces of work at the Aye Write festival on Sunday 20 March at 7.30pm.


Both pieces are inspired by Glasgow poet Edwin Morgan. The dramatic song cycle ‘Spirit of the Place’ takes the listener on a journey through memories of Glasgow, while a new piano work is inspired by Morgan’s epic poem ‘The New Divan’, a response to his service in the Mediterranean during the Second World War. Between each piano piece, Flora Munro will read a short fragment of text from Morgan's poem.


Lliam will be joined by former Scottish Opera Emerging Artists, soprano Marie Claire Breen and mezzo-soprano Laura Margaret Smith, for this exciting world premiere.


This performance is kindly supported by The Edwin Morgan Trust.


For more information on our Emerging Artists programme, click here.


Scottish Opera Makes North American Debut

10 March 2016

Today marks the North American premiere of The Devil Inside, a brand new full-length opera, created by critically acclaimed novelist Louise Welsh and renowned composer Stuart MacRae.


Following a hugely successful run in the UK, The Devil Inside tours to Toronto, Canada, where it will be presented by Tapestry Opera at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre on 10, 12 and 13 March. This is the first time Scottish Opera has ever appeared in North America.


The Devil Inside is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story The Bottle Imp, a sordid tale about a magical bottle with the power to grant your heart’s desires, But, of course, there’s a catch; it can only be sold for less than it was bought for, and whoever is left with it when they die will be cast into hell for all eternity.


The visit to Canada is supported by the Scottish Government International Touring Fund.


For more information on The Devil Inside, click here.


Sir Willard White Hosts Masterclass for Emerging Artists

4 March 2016

Scottish Opera Emerging Artists, baritone Ben McAteer and mezzo-soprano Emma Kerr, will be treated to a vocal masterclass on Saturday 5th March, led by none other than internationally renowned bass-baritone Sir Willard White.


Sir Willard White takes a break from Rusalka rehearsals, in which he plays Rusalka’s father, to mentor the young singers this Saturday afternoon.


Our Emerging Artists programme gives young artists the opportunity of a lifetime – a period of full-time work with the Company and guidance from top opera professionals.


Ben McAteer is the John Mather Charitable Trust Scottish Opera Emerging Artist and Emma Kerr is the Robertson Scholarship Trust Scottish Opera Emerging Artist.


To find out more about our Emerging Artists programme, click here.


Connect Chorus Singer Wins Two Trophies at Fife Festival of Music

2 March 2016

Seventeen year old Leah Duncan-Karrim, from Kingseat in Fife, has won two trophies for singing at the Fife Festival of Music.


Leah was awarded first place for the under-18 light opera/musical/Gilbert and Sullivan class and the under-18 duet class with partner Brandon Low. This was the fourth time she has taken part in the festival.


Leah has been a member of Scottish Opera’s Connect Chorus for three years. The Connect Chorus – for aspiring young singers aged between 14 and 21 – offers a unique introduction to the skills needed to perform opera. The members attend workshops throughout the year and receive guidance from some of Scotland’s top opera professionals.


For more information on Connect Chorus, as well as Connect Orchestra and Connect Stage Management, click here.


James Rutherford replaces Iain Paterson in The Sunday Series

24 February 2016

British baritone James Rutherford makes a welcome return to Scottish Opera this Sunday (28 February) for an all-Wagner concert with The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, conducted by Music Director Stuart Stratford.


He replaces Scottish bass-baritone Iain Paterson as the soloist for the second of The Sunday Series concerts at the Theatre Royal Glasgow. Iain Paterson has had to withdraw due to illness.


James was the winner of the inaugural Seattle Opera International Wagner Competition in 2006, and recently released an album of Wagner arias with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton. He made his Scottish Opera debut in 2006 as Leporello in Don Giovanni, and performed at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2003, 2005 and 2006.


For more information on The Sunday Series, click here.


Scottish Opera’s Connect Company Performs Alongside The Orchestra of Scottish Opera

5 February 2016

On Sunday afternoon, the Connect Orchestra and Connect Chorus are joined by players from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera to perform excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.


Soprano Natalya Romaniw, Kathleen Ferrier prize winner 2012, will also perform alongside the talented 14-21 year olds. Conductor Sian Edwards leads the orchestra.


In preparation for the performance, the Connect Chorus members also received Russian lessons from Scottish Opera’s Music & Chorus Administrator, Iona Jack.


For more information on the Connect Company, click here.