Lots To Be Seen In 2014!
11 December 2013
We may be taking a rest from performances over the festive period, but there’s lots of Scottish Opera to be seen in 2014!
We kick off the year in style with a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale from director and designer team Renaud Doucet and André Barbe. Chock full of endearingly eccentric characters, fabulous music and plenty of laughs, the opera is set in Rome on the cusp of the Swinging Sixties, the perfect setting for this titanic clash of the generations.
Don Pasquale opens in January
We celebrate 20 years of Opera Highlights at 18 venues across Scotland from 25 February. Four talented young singers and a pianist will visit Livingston, Ardfern, Mull, Ballachulish, Skye, Gairloch, Carrbridge, Orkney, Fortrose, Crieff, Midmar, Montrose, Cupar, Dalbeattie, Selkirk, Arran, Maybole and East Kilbride with their musical mix of opera highlights. This year’s programme will also feature the world premiere of a brand new work by Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence Gareth Williams.
The Curse of the MacCabbra Opera House will be scaring school pupils across Scotland between January and June as our annual Primary Schools Tour hits the road. Over 100 schools are taking part this year, with P5-P7 pupils in each of them learning the words and music for the 30-minute opera in their own classrooms, before being visited by a Scottish Opera team of arts education specialists and performers who spend a day with pupils to prepare them for a performance in their school for classmates, friends and family.
The Curse of the MacCabbra Opera House visits schools
In March Dominic Hill revives his brooding, atmospheric Macbeth in celebration of the 2014 Year of Homecoming. And we’re joined at the Usher Hall by Claire Rutter, Ryland Davies, Sir Willard White and José Ferrero in a concert performance of Turandot conducted by Francesco Corti.
The Connect Company continue from strength to strength with performances of John Lunn’s Misper as well as showcase concerts in the spring and work on Scottish Opera’s performance piece marking Glasgow’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games. Anamchara – Songs of Friendship has words from author Alexander McCall Smith, and will be performed at the Theatre Royal Glasgow in the run up to the Games.
Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artist singers for 2013/14 will be busy too, appearing in all of our main stage productions, as well as Opera Highlights, Anamchara – Songs of Friendship and their own showcases and concerts.
We mark the end of our 2013/14 season in May with Sir David McVicar’s classic, timeless and stylish production of Madama Butterfly returns. It’s been a firm favourite with audiences since it was first staged in 2000, and creates a rich cast of characters with unflinchingly human characteristics. The production will also mark the official reopening of the Theatre Royal after its redevelopment work.
We hope to see you in 2014!
Platypus in Boots Gets Top Billing This Christmas
3 December 2013
Beaks, banter and singing Brussels sprouts – we're inviting children to a new Christmas show with a difference!
Platypus in Boots is a fun-filled interactive mix of music, comedy and puppetry for children aged 3-5 years, following the fortunes of Sydney the Platypus as he visits Scotland in search of his first glimpse of snow.
The production opened in Glasgow on 27 November and travels to Lochgelly, Greenock, Edinburgh, Giffnock and Stirling.
With his trusty tartan welly boots on his wee webbed feet, Sydney the Platypus arrives in Glasgow from Australia ready to get out and about exploring the city and meeting its inhabitants. It’s no joke being a tourist though when you look a little different and you can’t quite get your beak around the Glesga banter, and soon Sydney’s left feeling confused and a little bit lonely. But with the help of a family of singing Brussels sprouts, Sydney soon discovers differences are worth celebrating, and if you believe in yourself you can do anything!
Platypus in Boots gives young audiences the chance to get involved with the story and singing, and help Sydney in his search for snow. There’s even a special surprise to take home at the end of the show.
Written for Scottish Opera by renowned theatre maker Martin O’Connor, Platypus in Boots is composed by Rachel Drury, with Music Director Laura Baxter conducting from the piano. Performer Steven Rae is Sydney the Platypus, with Scottish Opera Emerging Artists for 2013/14 Lissa Lorenzo directing, and singers Sarah Power and Sioned Gwen Davies performing a variety of roles – from Air Hostess, Tour Guide and Taxi Driver to Scottie the Dog and Brussels Sprout.
Scottish Opera’s Director of Education and Outreach Jane Davidson said: ‘Platypus in Boots really engages with children, so they’re not just watching but also getting involved in the story and performance. The word play in the production is a great way to encourage wee ones to expand their vocabulary, and the story is a chance to help them learn a little more about helping those who’re a little different feel at home.
‘The show’s also a great challenge for three of Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists to explore working with younger audiences, which is a great string to their bow at such an early point in their career.
‘Most of all though this is about having fun, and Platypus in Boots is a heart warming, funny tale that the whole family can enjoy. It really is a Christmas cracker of a show, and we think yule love it!’
Director Lissa Lorenzo said: ‘Sydney the Platypus is a delightful character, full of curiosity about the world around him. The children will love following him on his adventures as he explores Glasgow and learns more about its people and history. The story has a lot of heart, and explores what it means to find your place in the world. It's all brought to life by a brilliant cast of singers and fantastic puppets and offers something just a little bit different for families this Christmas.’
Theatre Royal Transformation Reaches £12m Milestone
18 November 2013
£12m has now been raised towards the £12.45m target to transform Scottish Opera's home, Glasgow’s Theatre Royal.
This key milestone has been reached as the Company launches a public campaign to help raise the remaining funds towards the completion of the project.
Support has already come from The Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Glasgow City Council and Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as an array of trusts and foundations, and over 900 individual donors.
An aerial view of new foyers being built at Theatre Royal
Glasgow showing distinctive oval shape of new building
Work is well underway to build a dramatic new entrance that will improve the theatre’s public spaces, house new facilities and greatly improve access to all levels. With new lifts, spacious foyers, better bars, more toilets, arts education rooms and a roof-top terrace, the theatre will be brought firmly into the 21st century - and all in time for Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Members of the public will be able to use the theatre during the day, not just during performances, as a new café will open, offering a welcoming environment for a coffee with friends or a business meeting.
Scottish Opera’s General Director Alex Reedijk said: 'We couldn’t have done this without our supporters and I’m particularly thrilled by the warmth of feeling towards the theatre that has seen over 900 individual donors generously help us to get this far. We’re now reaching out to everyone who’s enjoyed nights out at the Theatre Royal and everyone who believes that Glasgow deserves a world-class theatre to ask them to get involved, give their support to the campaign and help us achieve our target.'
Chairman of Scottish Opera’s board, Colin McClatchie said: 'It is a tribute to Alex Reedijk and his team that the transformation of the Theatre Royal is inspiring such confidence from donors. Glasgow has a wonderful cultural tradition, recognised through being both a European City of Culture and a UNESCO City of Music and the Theatre Royal has played its part in those achievements over its 146 year history. These improvements to the theatre’s public spaces will give Glasgow a theatre to be proud of and ensure it continues to provide enjoyment for its audiences for many more years to come.'
First Costume Trainee Appointed
15 November 2013
A bright future in theatrical costumes is all sewn up for Scottish Opera’s latest new recruit!
Charlotte Campbell has been appointed the Company’s first ever Leverhulme Trust Costume Trainee.
Charlotte, who recently graduated from Wimbledon College of Art with a degree in Costume Interpretation, was selected from over 70 applicants for the role, and began work at the Edington Street Production Studios this week.
Charlotte has already begun work at the Wardrobe Department
The year of on-the-job training will cover all areas of the Wardrobe department – from costume-making and running wardrobe to costume hire – allowing Charlotte to learn from our experienced team of skilled artisans, as well the chance to work with the production designers visiting the department over the coming 12 months.
The appointment has been made possible by funding from the Leverhulme Trust, and will see 3 trainees hone their skills over consecutive years, marking another expansion of Scottish Opera’s already successful Emerging Artists Programme, which already includes 3 singers, a director, repetiteur and Composer in Residence.
Congratulations Charlotte and welcome to Scottish Opera!
Watch a film of the journey a costume takes from page to stage.
Could you support the work of Scottish Opera?
Arts & Business Awards
5 November 2013
Scottish Opera’s partnership with Accenture has been Commended at the Arts & Business Scotland Awards.
This is the second year in a row Scottish Opera and Accenture have been nominated for the Sustained Partnership Award.
The Arts & Business Scotland Awards celebrate the most outstanding and creative partnerships between business and arts organisations in Scotland, and were handed out on Wednesday 30th October at Aberdeen’s Music Hall.
In 2009 Scottish Opera and Accenture won the Arts and Business Scotland Cultural Branding Award for the three year partnership on Five:15: Operas Made In Scotland. The partnership started in January 2008 and Accenture are committed to sponsoring Scottish Opera until August 2014.
To find out more about supporting Scottish Opera follow this link.
Cast Change: Don Giovanni
28 October 2013
Due to the continued indisposition of Susan Gritton...
Due to the continued indisposition of Susan Gritton, the role of Donna Anna in our production of Don Giovanni will now be sung by Anita Watson for the remainder of the performances.
Anita Watson gained a BMus from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, then graduated with Honours from the Australian Opera Studio. She was a member of the Cologne Opera Studio (2006–7) and the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House (2007–9). She has won prizes in the Australian Singing Competition, the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Neue Stimmen in Germany and Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition. In 2009 she was awarded first prize and the audience award at the ARD Music Competition in Munich, and in 2010 the SWR Emmerich Smola Prize.
Scottish Opera appearances: Opera Highlights 2012.
Operatic engagements include: title role Rita, Naiad Ariadne auf Naxos, Gretel/Dew Fairy Hänsel und Gretel, 1st Lady Die Zauberflöte, Flowergirl Parsifal, 2nd Woman Dido and Aeneas (Royal Opera House); Governess The Turn of the Screw, Donna Anna Don Giovanni (La Fenice Venice); 5th Maid Elektra (Salzburg Festival); Mimì La bohème (Nationale Reisopera Netherlands); Donna Anna (Landestheater Salzburg, Opera Australia); Alice Ford Falstaff (Iford Opera).
Scottish Opera Wins Top Theatre Award
22 October 2013
Scottish Opera saw off strong competition to win The Renee Stepham Award for Best Presentation of Touring Theatre at the UK Theatre Awards this weekend.
The Company was up against Sadler's Wells Theatre and Shakespear's Globe.
The award recognises Scottish Opera’s 50 Venues for 50 Years tour - which celebrated the Company’s 50th Anniversary - and comes as audiences around Scotland continue to enjoy the 2013 touring production of Handel’s Rodelinda.
The 50 Venues for 50 Years tour encompassed La traviata in both piano and chamber orchestra accompanied performances and Opera Highlights 2013.
General Director of Scottish Opera, Alex Reedijk said: “It’s a real honour for Scottish Opera to win this award.
“Presenting high quality performances to audiences all over Scotland has been a vital part of our DNA for over 30 years. I’m particularly proud of the fact that this extended tour, in celebration of the company's 50th anniversary, brought a Scottish Opera performance within a 30 minute drive of 90% of the Scottish population.
“It's fantastic to have that achievement recognised by UK Theatre.”
Don Giovanni: Pictures, Cast Interviews and More!
16 October 2013
You can now see the first pictures of our atmospheric new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni – and much, much more!
The tale of passion and danger is directed by Sir Thomas Allen and is designed by Simon Higlett, with lighting from Mark Jonathan.
Jacques Imbrailo is Don Giovanni, with Peter Kalman as Leporello, Lisa Milne as Donna Elvira, Ed Lyon as Don Ottavio and Susan Gritton as Donna Anna.
We were also lucky enough to catch the cast in rehearsal in the run up to opening night.
Jacques Imbrailo makes his Scottish Opera debut in the role of Don Giovanni, you can find out more about him by reading this exclusive Q&A
This is the fourth time Allen and Higlett have already thrilled audiences across Scotland over recent seasons with their definitive productions for Scottish Opera of The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute – and now they turn their attentions to Mozart’s most dramatic masterpiece.
You can hear Sir Thomas Allen talk about why he thinks Lorenzo Da Ponte should be getting equal billing with Mozart on the operas the collaborated on by following this link
And if that still isn’t enough Don Giovanni, why not download our exclusive ringtone?
Having performed the title role over 300 times, we could think of noone better to help us record our Don Giovanni ringtone than Director Sir Thomas Allen. Hailing from County Durham, he finally gets the chance to give the Don a Wearside edge!
Follow this link for instructions on downloading the ringtone.
Don Giovanni is at the Theatre Royal Glasgow until 26 October, before heading to Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh.
Full venue and ticket information.
Rodelinda: Hear and See More
3 October 2013
‘The music is just absolutely beautiful…’
Scottish Opera’s touring production of Rodelinda is now out on the road touring to 16 venues across Scotland. This is the first time Scottish Opera has staged a production of Handel’s back-stabbing baroque opera .
In an exclusive podcast, singers Sarah Power and Andrew Radley, along with the production’s Music Director and Harpsichordist Susannah Wapshott, talk more about why they love the opera, and what audiences can expect from the production.
Scottish Opera's Head of Music Derek Clark also gives us a taste of the sumptuous music from the opera, as well as talking more about Handel, countertenors and why the opera works so well in smaller venues.
You can also see the cast in action on stage at our production picture gallery.
Emmanuel Joel-Hornak Withdraws as Scottish Opera Music Director
27 September 2013
Scottish Opera is sad to announce that Emmanuel Joel-Hornak has withdrawn from the role of Music Director for personal reasons.
Scottish Opera has now begun the process of finding a new Music Director.
The Company will shortly announce a replacement conductor for the work Emmanuel had been scheduled to do in 2014. In the meantime it has been necessary to postpone the St Andrews in the Square Concert, scheduled for the 6th October.