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.


Dafydd Burne-Jones

1 February 2016

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our friend and colleague Dafydd Burne-Jones (known to all as Robert) yesterday morning. Robert passed away peacefully following a brave battle with cancer.


Robert first worked with Scottish Opera as a stage-hand at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow in the early 1970s. In an illustrious career as Scottish Opera’s Staff Director he worked on productions with Sir Thomas Allen, Anthony Besch, Sir David McVicar, Jonathan Miller and David Pountney, and directed Essential Scottish Opera for tours to small venues across Scotland. Many audience members will know Robert as the presenter of pre-show talks and Opera Unwrapped, where thousands of people across Scotland shared in his wit, wisdom and passion for opera.

Robert was a great friend, trusted colleague and talented director. His warmth, tremendous sense of humour and fabulous storytelling abilities will be very greatly missed.

Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.








The Devil Inside World Premiere This Saturday

21 January 2016

A brand new full-length opera, created by novelist Louise Welsh and composer Stuart MacRae, premieres at Theatre Royal Glasgow this Saturday (23 January), before touring the UK and internationally to Canada.


The Scottish duo join forces to tell a sordid story of greed and addiction adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s short story The Bottle Imp.


The creative partnership of Welsh and MacRae began with the 15-minute opera Remembrance Day (2009), as part of Scottish Opera’s Five: 15 Operas Made in Scotland project. Their second collaboration for Scottish Opera was the South Bank Sky Arts Award-winning Ghost Patrol (2012).


They again unite with the team behind Ghost Patrol – director Matthew Richardson, conductor Michael Rafferty, set and costume designer Samal Blak and lighting designer Ace McCarron. Bringing this contemporary opera to life is a strong ensemble cast including mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly, who joins Scottish Opera fresh from the Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artists’ Programme, tenor Nicholas Sharratt (The Pirates of Penzance 2013 and Ghost Patrol 2012), baritone Steven Page (The Rake’s Progress 2011 and The Pirates of Penzance 2013) and Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Ben McAteer (Così fan tutte 2015).


The Devil Inside is a co-commission and co-production with Music Theatre Wales.


For more information click here.


Peter Rice

6 January 2016
We were saddened to hear of the death of British designer Peter Rice on 24 December 2015.


Peter made his debut with Scottish Opera in 1963 with productions of Die Entführung aus dem Serai and L'Heure Espagnole. Over the next three decades, he worked extensively with Scottish Opera on a number of productions including Faust (1964), Falstaff (1966) and La bohème (1967).


The last production designed by Peter for the Company was his innovative and enduringly popular 1980 production of Tosca, which is still in our repertoire even to this day. Peter had a long-standing creative partnership with Tosca director Anthony Besch.


Our condolences go to his wife, family and friends.


Theatre Royal wins GIA Award

23 November 2015

The Theatre Royal Glasgow’s striking new foyers have won a Leisure/Arts award at the GIA (Glasgow Institute of Architects) Design Awards 2015.


The GIA Design Awards were presented on Friday 20 November in Oran Mor as part of the GIA Annual Members Dinner.


Earlier in the year, the Theatre Royal Glasgow also won the Cultural Building of the Year Award at the RIAS (Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland) Awards and Best Leisure/Culture Building at the Scottish Design Awards.


Scottish Opera worked closely with Page / Park Architects to transform the theatre, our performance home, with a stunning new foyer building which opened to the public on 16 December 2014.


For more information on the recently transformed Theatre Royal, click here.


Scottish Opera Welcomes New Emerging Artists

20 November 2015

Director Jack Furness, répétiteur Philip Voldman and costume trainee Sophie Prior join Scottish Opera as Emerging Artists during our 15/16 season.


The trio will join our Emerging Artist singers Ben McAteer, Jennifer France and Emma Kerr, who have just returned from Scottish Opera’s 19 venue tour of Cosi fan tutte, as well as our Emerging Artist composer Lliam Paterson.


Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists programme nurtures outstanding young artists by offering a period of full-time work with the Company to help them develop their talents and launch their careers.


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


Operalia prize winner steps in!

9 October 2015
Ioan Hotea, winner of Plácido Domingo’s prestigious Operalia 2015 competition, will join Music Director Stuart Stratford and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera next week for the first in a series of Sunday afternoon concerts.

Unfortunately, due to medical reasons, tenor Barry Banks has had to withdraw from this concert at very short notice. Following an international search, we’re thrilled that Ioan Hotea has been able to step in to ensure this concert showcasing the power and passion of the Italian operatic masters can still go ahead.


The programme for the concert remains largely unchanged, though ‘Asile héréditaire’ from Rossini’s Guillaume Tell will be replaced by ‘Ecco ridente il cielo’ from Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Mascagni’s ‘O amore, o bella luce del core’ will be replaced by his beautiful, soaring Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana, famously featured in soundtracks for The Godfather Trilogy and Scorsese’s Raging Bull.


Find out more about The Sunday Series.


Scottish Opera opens Doors

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!


Jenufa nominated for 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.