Opera Sparks 2018 Competition Winners Announced

18 January 2017

The winners of Scottish Opera's competition, Opera Sparks 2018, have been selected.


The competition launched last April to give young people who are Scottish or based in Scotland an opportunity to compose a new opera for performance.


The winning entries are Little Black Lies, by composer/librettist team Matthew Whiteside and Helene Grøn, an as yet untitled work by Lewis Murphy and Laura Attridge, and Maud by composer/librettist, Henry McPherson. The winners are awarded a commissioning fee of £3,500 and receive mentoring support throughout the creative process. The works – which will each be 15 minutes in length – will be performed in 2018 by Scottish Opera’s youth company, Connect, in celebration of its tenth anniversary.


The entries were judged by a panel consisting of Derek Clark (Scottish Opera’s Head of Music), Olivia Fuchs (Opera Director), Christopher Gray (Director of Scottish Opera’s Connect Company) and Stuart Stratford (Scottish Opera’s Music Director), with Scottish Opera’s General Director, Alex Reedijk, as convener.


Jane Davidson MBE

7 January 2017

Jane Davidson, Director of Outreach and Education at Scottish Opera, has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2017 Honours List.


She has been with Scottish Opera’s education team – established in 1971, making it the oldest education and outreach unit of any opera company in Europe – since 1984. She will be invited to attend an Investiture later in the year to receive the award.


Jane said: ‘I’m delighted and extremely touched to receive this honour in recognition of the work that Scottish Opera’s unique outreach programme has achieved in Scotland and internationally. Not many of us are fortunate enough to spend their working life in an environment that is constantly evolving, packed with creativity, artistically inspiring and full of new challenges – and that’s just an average day! To the many talented artists, teachers, theatre makers and practitioners with whom I have been privileged to work, thank you for the journey.’


For full press release, click here.


Dementia Friendly Performances

6 January 2017

Scottish Opera is staging two dementia friendly performances of Puccini’s classic, La bohème: one at Theatre Royal Glasgow and one in collaboration with Festival Theatre Edinburgh.


Taking place at Theatre Royal Glasgow on Saturday 13 May at 3pm, and Saturday 3 June at 3pm at Festival Theatre Edinburgh, these specially abridged performances have a running time of one hour 45 minutes including an interval, and 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.


The Company staged the UK’s first dementia friendly opera performance, The Marriage of Figaro, at Festival Theatre Edinburgh in November 2016.


For the full press release, click here.


Emerging Artists' Winter Recital

30 November 2016

Scottish Opera 2016/17 Emerging Artist vocalists Hazel McBain, Emma Kerr and Elgan Llyr Thomas perform at Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland this Friday (2 December), at 1pm.


The Emerging Artists’ Winter Recital at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland happens annually and showcases the talents of the singers on the programme. This year’s trio of vocalists includes mezzo-soprano Emma Kerr, tenor Elgan Llyr Thomas and recent RCS graduate, soprano Hazel McBain.


The three singers will perform a programme of German Lieder and duets by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Richard Strauss, as well as songs by Ravel and Welsh composer Meirion Williams.


Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, and Head of Opera at the RCS, Timothy Dean, will provide piano accompaniment.


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


Philip Glass receives Glenn Gould prize

23 November 2016

Iconic American composer Philip Glass will be awarded The Eleventh Glenn Gould Prize in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the arts this Saturday (26 November).


Glass will receive the prize at an exclusive concert in his honour in Ottawa, Canada. Presented by the Glenn Gould Foundation and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Genius of Philip Glass will feature music spanning Glass’s career.


Scottish Opera presents the hugely anticipated Scottish Premiere of Philip Glass’s The Trial in January.


Based on Kafka’s nightmarish tale of a man viciously persecuted for an unknown crime, Glass joined forces with Academy Award-winning playwright Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons 1988), to bring Kafka’s notoriously absurd humour to the stage.


For more information on The Trial, click here.


Emerging Artists Recital

16 November 2016

Scottish Opera 2016/17 Emerging Artist singers Hazel McBain, Emma Kerr and Elgan Llyr Thomas will give a free performance at the University of Glasgow Concert Hall this Thursday (17 November) at 1.10pm.


Accompanied by Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artist répétiteur Maria Struckova, the three young singers will take to the stage to deliver a programme of operatic highlights, including popular arias and duets, as well as some lesser-known works, with Emerging Artist Jim Manganello directing.


There will also be a second Emerging Artist recital on Friday 2 December, at 1pm, in Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The three singers will perform a programme of German Lieder and duets by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Richard Strauss, as well as songs by Ravel and Welsh composer Meirion Williams. Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, and Timothy Dean, Head of Opera at the RCS, will provide piano accompaniment.


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


La bohème Children’s Roles

3 November 2016
Scottish Opera is looking for 14 children aged between 8 and 12 years old to appear in a new production of Puccini’s La bohème next May/June.


The production requires 14 young people who are confident singers and performers, ideally with the ability to read music.


Applicants must be available for all rehearsals and performances. Production rehearsals commence on Tuesday 11 April 2017 with performances between Tuesday 9 May and Saturday 17 June 2017 inclusive. Prior to the start of production rehearsals the children will be required to attend one early evening session per week, beginning Wednesday 8 March 2017. All rehearsals will take place in Glasgow and the production will tour to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness.


The deadline for applications is Monday 21 November, and auditions will be held on Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 November at Scottish Opera's Production Studios, 40 Edington Street, Glasgow, G9 4RD.


All applicants will attend a group workshop session and a separate short solo audition where each child will be invited to sing a pre-prepared song of their choice. A pianist will be provided but children may bring their own accompanist if they prefer.


For more information, click here.


Theatre Royal Glasgow Doors Open Day

13 October 2016

Theatre Royal Glasgow opens its doors this Saturday (15 October) with free tours throughout the day.


Running every 20 minutes from 10am to 2.20pm, the tours offer exclusive backstage access including the chance to step on to the set of Scottish Opera’s The Marriage of Figaro and check out the musicians’ view from the orchestra pit.


There will be Scottish Opera wigs and costumes available to try on, as well as Scottish Ballet props displays and interactive touch screens.


With refreshments available and activities for children and adults including face painting, raffles and games, it is sure to be a fun day for all.


Maggie’s Culture Crawl Glasgow 2016

7 October 2016

Theatre Royal Glasgow is one of eight stops on Maggie’s Culture Crawl, a 10 mile night-walk around Glasgow, taking place tonight.


The event, which aims to raise money and awareness for Maggie’s Cancer Centres, also offers exclusive access to cultural buildings around the city, the opportunity to see talented performers and a chance to rest and have some nibbles and refreshments along the way.


Theatre Royal Glasgow, Scottish Opera’s performance home, opens its doors for participants to explore the recently renovated building, which has a roof terrace with panoramic views of Glasgow’s urban landscape and a heritage exhibition area with interactive touchscreens. There will also be performances by former Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Andrew McTaggart and Sarah Power.


Starting at the Riverside Museum, the route includes a visit to BBC Scotland and the Gallery of Modern Art, before finishing at Maggie’s Glasgow.


Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends.


Big Music for Minis

28 September 2016

Scottish Opera presents A Little Bit of Northern Light at the Big Music for Minis festival this weekend.


The festival offers a full weekend of concerts, workshops and creative events for babies, toddlers and children in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.


With multiple performances on both Saturday and Sunday (1 and 2 October), A Little Bit of Northern Light is a story for children and families of one lonely lighthouse standing firm against the storms of the North Atlantic tide. Set in the not too distant future, it is an atmospheric tale of Scotland’s past, present and future, told from the perspective of the seas that surround us and the ships that sail in them.


With music by Marion Christie and words by Jane Davidson, this fun show for 4-9 year olds is brought to life by a storyteller, a singer, three musicians and a series of bright and colourful illustrations by Iain Piercy.