We are delighted to announce two new films, premiering this spring, along with plans for over 200 outdoor performances this summer, in alignment with the Scottish Government timeline for easing restrictions.
This summer, we are thrilled to be bringing live performance back once again with an outdoor production of Falstaff, designed and directed by the world renowned Sir David McVicar, who last worked with us on his UK Theatre Award-winning production of Pelléas and Mélisande. We are also back on the road with our Pop-up Opera roadshow, travelling across Scotland for over 200 performances of five Gilbert & Sullivan shows: The Pirates of Penzance, The Gondoliers, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore and Iolanthe.
Before then we will add to our Scottish Opera: On Screen collection with a filmed performance of Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore, directed by Roxana Haines. We also release Live in South Lanarkshire, an operatic film from Rutherglen Town Hall, reminding communities of their amazing local venues - which are all ready to open their doors as soon as restrictions are eased.
Scottish Opera’s General Director, Alex Reedijk, said: ‘I am delighted that we are preparing to bring live music back to audiences following almost a year without live opera. Falstaff will be a love letter to our glorious art form, with over 120 people working together on the production. Sir David McVicar offers an amazing vision for our carpark as he directs and designs an ingenious show with exquisite 17th century period costumes, promising an evening of comedy, pathos and pure entertainment. Adding to what is sure to be a summer like no other, Pop-up Opera will tour to communities across Scotland for over 200 performances in two specially adapted trailers, offering double the fun for double the audiences. Before then, and as we continue to make our way out of the pandemic, we are very happy to add to our collection of filmed performances, with L’elisir d’amore and Live in South Lanarkshire. We plan to be back in theatres presenting live opera as soon as restrictions allow, but in the meantime, we are thrilled to be able to offer outdoor, live performances again.’
Following a five-star run of outdoor performances of La bohème in our Edington Street Carpark in Glasgow last September, we present Falstaff at the same location and anticipate announcing further dates in Edinburgh in coming weeks. In this co-production with Santa Fe Opera, who also perform outdoors, Sir David McVicar ambitiously transforms the outdoor space to provide a stunning production of Verdi’s comic opera, sung in English, in a translation by Amanda Holden. Featuring an outstanding cast, including Roland Wood (La bohème 2020), Elizabeth Llewellyn (La bohème 2020), Phillip Rhodes (Hansel and Gretel 2021), Elgan Llŷr Thomas (Breaking the Waves 2019), Gemma Summerfield (The Magic Flute 2018), Louise Winter (In the Locked Room 2012), Sioned Gwen Davies (The Diary of One Who Disappeared 2020), Jamie MacDougall (Ariadne auf Naxos 2018), Aled Hall (Tosca 2019) and Alastair Miles (Pelléas and Mélisande 2017).
Pop-up opera is back on the road bringing opera to local communities, condensing the fun-filled Gilbert & Sullivan classics and all their frivolity into 25 minute performances, attracting expected audiences of over 12,000, assuming seating in bubbles, with plans to be on the road by 8 June subject to Scottish Government guidelines. The final leg of the tour, running throughout September, will offer a double bill of shows including the Pirates of Penzance and a revival of A Little Bit of Bubble McBea. Aimed at children in Primary 1 to 3, Bubble McBea deals with environmental issues in the coasts around Scotland, raising awareness of sea pollution in the run up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.
Following the success of Così fan tutte in December, Roxana Haines turns to her next filmed performance of Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore as part of the Scottish Opera: On Screen programme. Filmed at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal on 22 May 2021, it will be available to watch on our website from 18 June. Before then, BBC Radio Scotland features audio excerpts from the performance as part of a special Classics Unwrapped, presented by Jamie MacDougall, on Sunday 13 June. Director, Roxana Haines explains how she has chosen to embrace the Austen era, ‘when social distancing was a natural part of daily etiquette’, for a charming production packed full of comedy and touching romance. Featuring Emerging Artists Catriona Hewitson, Shengzhi Ren and Arthur Bruce alongside guest principals Roland Wood (La bohème 2020), Elena Garrido Madrona (in collaboration with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Alexander Gibson Opera School) and an impressive 18 strong chorus.
On Friday 23 April, we will release Live in South Lanarkshire, a film of operatic favourites. Our 2020 Opera Highlights performance at Rutherglen Town Hall was the last indoor performance for a live audience in the theatre, before the pandemic forced venues to close their doors over a year ago. However, this special one-off film gives us the key to Rutherglen Town Hall, to take advantage of the stunning surroundings in a celebration of local venues, encouraging communities to return as soon as guidelines allow. Filmed on 24 March, Scottish Opera’s Head of Music Derek Clark is joined by Emerging Artists Margo Arsane and Catriona Hewitson for a playlist including Bizet’s Carmen, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and more from the likes of Puccini, Mozart and Delibes, with an introduction from Rutherglen Town Hall’s Venue Manager, Colin McWilliams. In association with South Lanarkshire Council, Live in South Lanarkshire will be available to watch on our website.
Keep an eye on our website and social media for full dates, times and venues in the coming weeks.