University Partnership Encouraging New Opera
3 March 2014
Scottish Opera has joined forces with the University of Aberdeen to support four young composers and librettists to write two new operas.
The new works will be premiered on 2nd November 2014 as part of the North East's Sound Festival.
The University of Aberdeen & Scottish Opera: Encouraging New Opera programme has been developed with the support of the Leverhulme Trust, and is a scholarship programme which includes expert mentoring through the entire writing process up to, and including, the final performances.
The process began in 2013 with applications open to University of Aberdeen students, 9 students engaged in workshops, that led to more than 20 short works ranging from tweet-sized to seven minute self-contained operas.The workshop stage concluded with professional performances of the works. Following the performances an intense debate and discussion between the judging panel – featuring Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence Gareth Williams, Director of Education and Outreach Jane Davidson and Education Manager (Outreach) Katy Cooper, and director Mathew Richardson and University of Aberdeen Depute Head of Music (Performance)/Director Scottish Opera's Connect Company Chris Gray – four students were selected for the final stage of the programme.
The final four scholars are composers Joe Stollery and Mark Mcnamee and librettists Ruth Potts and James G. Leonard. They will now pair up to begin work on their new operas.
Opera Highlights tour begins in Livingston
Scottish Opera celebrates 20 years of Opera Highlights in style with an 18-date tour of Scotland, which opens this evening in Livingston’s Howden Park Centre.
Perfect for opera fans and novices alike, Opera Highlights features music from some of the world’s most popular operas, as well as lesser known gems mined from the operatic archives. The programme is brought to life by four talented young singers and a pianist, packed into a trusty transit van full of props and costumes – proving great things do come in small packages!
(c) Colin Hattersley
The annual tour has been bringing its musical mix of the best opera tunes to some of the country’s smallest and most remote venues since 1994, when it started life as Essential Scottish Opera. This year’s tour visits Livingston, Ardfern, Mull, Ballachulish, Skye, Gairloch, Carrbridge, Orkney, Fortrose, Crieff, Midmar, Montrose, Cupar, Dalbeattie, Selkirk, Arran, Maybole and East Kilbride from 25 February to 5 April.
This year’s programme also includes a world premiere from Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence Gareth Williams. ‘Until the Glass Shattered’ - with lyrics by David Brock – is inspired by Gareth and David’s recent work on Breath Cycle, a Scottish Opera project in partnership with Gartnavel Hospital involving sufferers of cystic fibrosis.
Choosing the set list is Scottish Opera Head of Music Derek Clark, he said ‘It’s both an honour and a responsibility to be in charge of putting together the programme for the 20th anniversary of Opera Highlights.
‘Opera is known for its epic love stories, and in this year’s Opera Highlights we’re really exploring that. From declarations of love to weeping for missed chances; love unrequited or wholeheartedly returned; love ignored, mocked, faked, sincere or stolen – we’ll be running the full gamut of the emotion as imagined by some of the world’s most brilliant composers and writers.
‘Even if you don’t know a single tune when you come to see us, I guarantee you’ll be singing at least one of them on the journey home!’
Opera Highlights showcases the talents of four of Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists for 2013/14 this year. As well as the world premiere from Composer in Residence Gareth Williams, soprano Sarah Power and baritone Andrew McTaggart perform, while Lissa Lorenzo directs.
Completing the cast are mezzo soprano Maire Flavin, back at Scottish Opera for the first time since her triumphant turn as Public Opinion in 2011’s Orpheus in the Underworld, and tenor Paul Curievici who was last seen by Scottish Opera audiences in 2013’s American Lulu. Pianists Ruth Wilkinson and Claire Haslin share playing and Music Director duties.
Howden Park Centre, Livingston
Tue 25 February, 7.30pm
Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern
Thu 27 February, 7.30pm
Bunessan Community Centre, Mull
Sat 1 Mar, 7.30pm
Ballachulish Village Hall
Tue 4 Mar, 7.30pm
Seall at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Skye
Thu 6 Mar, 7.30pm
Gairloch Community Hall
Sat 8 Mar, 7.30pm
Carrbridge Village Hall
Tue 11 Mar, 7.30pm
Orkney Theatre, Kirkwall
Thu 13 Mar, 7.30pm
Fortrose Community Theatre
Sat 15 Mar, 7.30pm
Morrison’s Academy Hall, Crieff
Tue 18 Mar, 7.30pm
Midmar Village Hall
Thu 20 Mar, 7.30pm
Montrose Town Hall
Sat 22 Mar, 7.30pm
Corn Exchange, Cupar
Tue 25 Mar, 7.30pm
Dalbeattie Town Hall
Thu 27 Mar, 7.30pm
Victoria Hall, Selkirk
Sat 29 Mar, 7.30pm
Whiting Bay Village Hall, Arran
Tue 1 Apr, 7.30pm
Maybole Town Hall
Thu 3 Apr, 7.30pm
Village Theatre, East Kilbride
Sat 5 Apr, 7.30pm
Breath Cycle Website Launched
7 February 2014
You can now find out more about Scottish Opera’s Breath Cycle project – working with patients with cystic fibrosis – at a new website.
At BreathCycle.com you can find out more about the project, the clinical and artistic outcomes of the work, and use online resources including vocal and breathing exercises and video tutorials from our vocal coach Marie Claire Breen.
Vocal coach Marie Claire Breen practices vocal
and breathing exercises with aparticipant
Scottish Opera and Gartnavel General Hospital Cystic Fibrosis service began working on the Breath Cycle in early 2013, exploring whether learning classical singing techniques, including breath control, can improve the well being of cystic fibrosis patients. Due to the high risk of infection for those with cystic fibrosis, the project also explored how patients might interact safely with each other, using the internet as a means of meeting, learning and building new communities.
To find out more about the project and its outcomes simply follow this link to BreathCycle.com.
5 February 2014
Scottish Opera’s annual collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland continues with two concerts inspired by the works of Sir Walter Scott.
Scott’s Opera includes performances from Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Sarah Power, former Emerging Artist Michel de Souza and former Conservatoire pupil Elin Pritchard. Vocal students from the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio will also perform with The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, conducted by Stuart Stratford.
The programme includes scenes from Bellini’s I Puritani, Rossini’s La donna del lago and Donzetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.
The concerts are at The Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh on Friday 7th February and the City Halls in Glasgow on Sunday 9th February.
Don Pasquale – Photos, Reviews & More!
27 January 2014
‘A real treat’, ‘a tour de force’, ‘as good as it gets’ – the reviews for Don Pasquale are in!
You can read more of what the critics thought of our new production of Donizetti’s comic masterpiece by following this link.
There’s also a chance to get a first look at the production at our Don Pasquale gallery.
You can also find out more about the hard work going on behind-the-scenes to get Don Pasquale ready for an audience in this film about the painting of the production’s back cloth and pictures of the photoromanza photo shoot in action.
For all the performance and ticket details follow this link.
27 January 2014
We’re on the look out for young actors for our upcoming production of Macbeth.
You need to be aged between 8 and 11 years old, and available to audition on Friday 31 January from 4pm.
The production is being performed at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow and Kings Theatre Edinburgh in March and April this year. Six children are required for the non-singing roles, boys and girls, and will have to be able to make a variety of rehearsals.
Full details of audition, rehearsal and performance schedules and how to get in touch are on our website
You can find out more about the production here.
Pirates Pilfer Praise!
14 January 2014
Scottish Opera and D’Oyly Carte’s co-production of The Pirates of Penzance has been nominated for a Manchester Theatre Award.
The Pirates of Penzance is up for Best Visiting Production for its stint at the Manchester Opera House in June 2013. The production is nominated alongside Birdsong, The Full Monty, The Ladykillers, Twelfth Night and War Horse for the trophy.
Touring Scotland and the UK from May to July 2013, The Pirates of Penzance was the final production in Scottish Opera’s hugely successful 50th anniversary season.
Chosen by an entirely independent panel of theatre experts, the Manchester Theatre Awards cover all forms of performance from musicals, dance and opera to acting categories.
The Pirates of Penzance marked D’Oyly Carte Opera Company’s return to the stage after a 10 year absence, and was seen by audiences in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness, Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Oxford and Cardiff.
Combining Scottish Opera’s world class reputation for touring with D’Oyly Carte’s century-long association with Gilbert and Sullivan, the production featured The Orchestra of Scottish Opera playing for a 39-strong cast and chorus. Directed by Martin Lloyd-Evans, the stellar ensemble cast included G&S stalwarts Richard Suart as Major-General Stanley and Steven Page as The Pirate King, with Samuel Furness and Nicholas Sharratt sharing the role of young hero Frederic, and Rebecca Bottone as his love interest Mabel.
The awards will be handed out at a glittering ceremony hosed by performer Justin Moorhouse at Manchester’s iconic Royal Exchange theatre on March 7th.
We are absolutely thrilled to be nominated! Good luck to all the nominees!
Tales of a Trainee
10 January 2014
Wardrobe trainee Charlotte Campbell talks industrial sewing machines and being chucked in at the deep end in her new blog.
Charlotte began work with Scottish Opera in November 2013, as the first Leverhulme Trust Costume Trainee. Her year of on-the-job training will cover all areas of the Wardrobe Department, allowing Charlotte to learn from our experienced team of skilled artisans.Her appointment marks another expansion of Scottish Opera’s already successful Emerging Artists Programme, which already includes 3 singers, a director, repetiteur and Composer in Residence.
Charlotte, who recently graduated from Wimbledon College of Art with a degree in Costume Interpretation, was selected from over 70 applicants for the role.
Don Pasquale Brings Warmth of Rome to Scottish Winter
7 January 2014
Audiences in Edinburgh and Glasgow will be treated to a Roman holiday in January and February as Scottish Opera presents Donizetti’s masterpiece Don Pasquale for the first time since 1977.
Rome on the cusp of the Swinging Sixties provides the vibrant backdrop to this generational clash in a brand new production for Scottish Opera. Director Renaud Doucet and designer André Barbe bring their spellbinding storytelling back to Scotland after their five star production of Manon in 2009.
Don Pasquale opens on 24 January
This production of Donizetti’s opera buffa tells the story of Don Pasquale, who owns a run-down boarding house and has a fondness for – but a tragic allergy to – cats. As his years advance, he worries that his nephew Ernesto will squander his inheritance by marrying the impoverished young widow Norina, so he determines to find a wife of his own to share his time – and his money - with. But married life does not turn out to be the solution for Don Pasquale, who finds himself at the mercy of the young couple’s trickery in his old age.
Director, Renaud Doucet said: ‘We’re really looking forward to bringing the warmth of Rome to Scottish audiences this winter. It’s the perfect story to lift the spirits – quirky, quick-witted and colourful.’
Designer André Barbe said: ‘We feel that the creative energy of Rome in the 1960s presents the perfect setting to showcase the clash of generations. By working faithfully with Donizetti’s dramatic score and the libretto, we want use the passion and energy of the setting to help tell this wonderful story.’
Alfonso Antoniozzi brings extensive opera buffa experience to the role of Don Pasquale, Nicholas Lester sings Dr Malatesta while internationally acclaimed tenor Aldo Di Toro is Ernesto. Ruth Jenkins-Róbertsson, fresh from Scottish Opera’s production of Don Giovanni is Norina, while Scottish Opera Emerging Artist, Andrew McTaggart sings the baritone Notary.
Former Scottish Opera Music Director Francesco Corti is warmly welcomed back to conduct The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.