Commissioned by Scottish Opera in 1996, James MacMillan’s extraordinary first opera, after the play by Jo Clifford, has established itself as a modern masterpiece. Shocking, intense and utterly compelling, it is all the more macabre for being based in fact. This new production is directed by Olivia Fuchs (A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2013) and is conducted for the first time by the composer himself, bringing new musical insights to the fore.
Inés de Castro, Spanish mistress to Pedro, Crown Prince of Portugal, finds herself caught in fast-growing tension between their two countries. Goaded by his scheming advisor Pacheco, the King prepares to banish her for the good of the State, but Pacheco has more extreme measures in mind. As war erupts, Pedro leaves to lead his men and, left to fend for herself, Inés falls into a nightmare of political intrigue, where much more than her position is at stake.
An epic tale that encompasses everything from love, duty and betrayal to politics, torture and infanticide, MacMillan shies away from nothing. His music is rooted in the oldest of operatic traditions but looks at it all with fresh eyes in a unique, visceral experience that has all the grandeur of Verdi. Scottish Opera favourites Stephanie Corley and Paul Carey Jones are joined by Susannah Glanville (Tosca 2013) and British stars, tenor Peter Wedd and bass Brindley Sherratt.
Age Guidance 14+Sung in English with English supertitles 2 hrs 15 mins approximately