Scottish Opera Welcomes Stuart Stratford as Music Director


21 April 2015


After an international search, British conductor Stuart Stratford is to join Scottish Opera as Music Director.


Stuart impressed audiences and critics during his recent engagement with Scottish Opera, conducting Janáček’s dramatic masterpiece Jenůfa (2015).


This is Stuart’s first role as Music Director of a major company and, in joining Scottish Opera, he will build on a wealth of professional experience conducting in the UK and internationally, with opera at the core of his activities. In the UK, Stuart has conducted for companies including English National Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera, Birmingham Opera Company and conducts regularly at Opera Holland Park. He has conducted most of the UK’s major orchestras and has a particularly strong association with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia. Abroad he has recently conducted operas at Finnish National Opera and in St. Gallen, Switzerland and concerts in Portugal and Russia.


He will officially join the Company on 1 June, and his first performances as Music Director will be announced at the launch of our 2015/16 Season in May.


General Director of Scottish Opera, Alex Reedijk said:


‘I have been aware of Stuart’s work for a number of years, always admiring the quality of his performances. As I’ve got to know him better, he’s proven to be a wonderful musician and a very generous artist who really understands opera and carefully crafts every stage of the preparations for an opera performance, making singers, players and the creative team feel safe as he guides, challenges and shapes the artistic and musical outcomes.’


Music Director Stuart Stratford said:


‘I am honoured and proud to have been appointed Music Director at Scottish Opera. My time here on Jenůfa has shown me what a vibrant company Scottish Opera is. I look forward to working with the fantastic team to provide artistic and musical

leadership in the coming years.’


Stuart Stratford. Scottish Opera 2015. Credit James Glossop.


Scottish Opera production in demand in Spain

20 April 2015
A Scottish Opera production is set to wow Spanish audiences as La traviata opens tonight at the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Originally directed by Sir David McVicar and designed by Tanya McCallin, the set and costumes were all made in Glasgow by the talented team at Scottish Opera’s very own production studios.

Between October 2008 and February 2009, our co-production of La traviata with Welsh National Opera toured throughout Scotland before heading to Belfast for the final two performances. Now, the production has travelled even further afield to Spain’s capital city.


Five stars for Jenůfa

13 April 2015
'This is a show not to miss' - that's what The Herald thought of our five star Jenůfa, which opened in Glasgow on 7 April and tours to Edinburgh on 16 and 18 April.


The show has been a massive hit with audiences and critics alike with The Guardian calling it 'intelligent and sensitive' and The Stage describing it as 'a major success'. 


Kathryn Harries as Kostelnička and Anne-Marie Owens as Grandmother


Listen to Stuart Stratford discuss Janáček's score. See the production images, watch an interview with soprano Lee Bisset and read the reviews. 


Lee Bisset as Jenůfa


Find out more and book!


Kathryn Harries as Kostelnička and Sam Furness as Števa


KidO kicks off

24 March 2015
KidO, o
ur brand new production for 3-4 year olds and their carers, kicked off its 20 performance tour at Cottiers Theatre in Glasgow, and audiences and reviewers have been charmed by this 45 minute show. 


Frances Morrison-Allen, Stuart Semple and Andrew McTaggart


'It's a simple, cheerful, easy-to-follow narrative but behind its playful appeal lies a creative team...with a generous understanding of how to make music engage nursery-age imaginations.' **** The Herald



KidO tours to Edinburgh, Greenock, Inverness, Birnam and Lochgelly. Find out more here. 


Photography by Mark Hamilton. 





Orfeo ed Euridice - photos, interviews and more!

Our brand new production of  Orfeo ed Euridice opened on Thursday 19 February and audiences are loving it! "Absolutely brilliant", "amazing", "exquisite" - just some of the comments so far. Listen to more here. 


You can also see the production images, and watch an interview with Caitlin Hulcup, who sings the role of Orfeo. 


Find out more about the production here. 


Opera Highlights takes to the road!

2 Feb 2015
We're celebrating the 21st anniversary of Opera Highlights with a 17-date tour of Scotland.


Arias from Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Verdi’s La traviata will be showcased alongside the famous Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen and Gilbert & Sullivan classics from HMS Pinafore and The Gondoliers. This year’s Opera Highlights programme also includes a world premiere from Scottish Opera’s new Composer in Residence, Lliam Paterson, entitled Touching Eden.


This year’s singers are former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Sioned Gwen Davies and tenor Sam Furness, who performed as Kate and Frederic in 2013’s The Pirates of Penzance. They are joined by Welsh tenor Joshua Owen Mills, Ben McAteer, winner of NI Opera’s inaugural Festival of Voice competition in 2011, and soprano Reisha Adams, winner of the 2012 Ian Stoutzker prize for outstanding musicianship. They will be accompanied by pianist Ina Selvelieva and the production is directed by Max Webster.


Find out where the show is touring to, see the production imagesand find out what opera singers do on their days off with our tongue-in-cheek trailer. 



Five stars for Ines de Castro

Scottish Opera audiences were able to enjoy the brand new foyers of the Theatre Royal Glasgow for the first time as Ines de Castro opened on Thursday 22 January before moving on to Edinburgh Festival Theatre. 


Stephanie Corley (Inés) with Ordinary People - Ronan Busfield, Laura Margaret Smith, Rosalind Coad & Andrew McTaggart.


A 'macabre tale in a richly embroidered musical robe', 'beautifully sung and superbly acted', read extracts of what the critics are saying about the production.


Peter Wedd and Brindley Sherratt


See the rest of the production photographs and listen to what the audience thoughtof the prodution. 



Glasgow's Theatre Royal opens new foyers today

16 Dec 2014
The doors of Theatre Royal Glasgow's new foyers were opened to the public today, after a major project to transform the 19th-century theatre, led by Scottish Opera.


The work to dramatically improve the theatre’s public spaces involved the building of spacious foyers housing facilities including a new box office, better bars, more toilets and a roof-top terrace. And new lifts have opened up access, meaning for the first time in the theatre's 147 year history, all audience members can reach all levels.


Purpose-built education rooms, supported by The Robertson Trust, have been created, and will provide much-needed space for education and outreach activity run by Scottish Opera and The Ambassador Theatre Group, managers of the theatre.


Alongside the building work, a heritage project - supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund - aims to share the theatre's rich architectural and performance history which has helped shape the face of popular entertainment in Glasgow. Interactive touchscreens tell the story of the theatre from its early days staging variety shows, to life as the home of Howard and Wyndham (fathers of modern pantomime), the birthplace of Scottish Television, and its transformation from TV studio back to a theatre, becoming the performance home of Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet. A heritage exhibition will open in the theatre's previous foyers on Hope Street later in the month.


The project was funded by the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Glasgow City Council, as well as a host of trusts and foundations, corporate supporters and donations from private individuals.


Scottish Opera’s General Director, Alex Reedijk said:

“I’m tremendously proud of the newly transformed Theatre Royal. We wanted to create 21st century facilities fit for the next 100 years of Glasgow theatre-goers and also to deliver a great new addition to the city’s social and cultural life.


“It was past time to bring the Victorian public spaces up to the standards that today’s audiences expect and I know audience members will enjoy the facilities and access that the new foyers provide.


"But it's also a great new space that is open all day now, as well as for performances, and I hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to pop in and spend some time there."


Johan Engels

11 Nov 2014
We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and unexpected death of designer Johan Engels.

Scottish Opera’s thoughts are with his family and friends, and we join them and the international opera community in mourning his loss.

Johan had an incredible international career, designing theatre and opera sets for some of the world’s most well-known companies, including in 2013 an extraordinary Magic Flute for Bregenz Festival.

Johan had recently been working with Scottish Opera to design our forthcoming production of Orfeo ed Euridice.


Puffy sets sail

28 October 2014
Scottish Opera have enjoyed taking to the waterways of Scotland with our recent performances of Puffy MacPuffer & the Crabbit Canals.

Commissioned in collaboration with Scottish Canals, the production told the adventures of Puffy, the bold, coal guzzling steam boat, as he sailed with cargo through Scotland’s canals.


Photo Credit Bartosz Madejski


Our Director of Education, Jane Davidson was delighted with the production,

“It was an exciting production which really engaged youngsters through song and music. We wanted to make a show that both entertained and informed youngsters about the key role that the canals played in the social and economic life of Scotland’s past, but which also highlighted the many and varied activities on offer for families visiting the canals in the present day.”


Photo Credit Bartosz Madejski

The production began at the Falkirk Wheel and concluded its tour at the Summerlee Museum in Coatbridge.


Look out for more children’s performances later in our 2014/15 season especially with Mister MacNeep has lost his Sheep!