Opera Scotland

RCS Double Bill

The spring opera production at the Conservatoire in Glasgow is a fascinating double bill of Scottish premieres. It opened on Monday 20 March, with two more performances on Wednesday and Friday at 7.15.

César Cui is the least known of Russia's 'Mighty Handful' of composers. A Feast in Time of Plague (set in London 1665) sets the text of one of Pushkin's short tragedies.  Cui's music, at least the orchestration, sounds more reminiscent of his younger colleague Tchaikovsky (though he was dead...

Posted 20 Mar 2023 | Comments

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Ukrainian Opera in Scotland

As part of their UK tour, Dnipro Opera are performing two operas in Scotland - Aïda and Madam Butterfly. They are giving performances this week in Ayr and Perth (Aïda); Hamilton, Ayr, Dunfermline and Dundee (Madam Butterfly).  Carmen is only being seen down south.

Posted 12 Feb 2023 | Comments

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UK Opera in crisis?

For a variety of reasons we find we are passing through the darkest of times for our economies and lives. For all the fine words about building growth and adding value, it would be a strange strategy that immediately started by taking an axe to our strengths.

Yet with effect from 4 November, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera and Glyndebourne Touring Opera have been presented with savage cuts to central government funding. Why are the arts in general, and opera in particular, under...

Posted 27 Nov 2022 | Comments

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Ainadamar - The Fountain of Tears

Scottish Opera's big staging for the Autumn was this hugely successful British stage premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar .  This superb piece of music theatre was first seen in the USA in 2003 at Tanglewood and has since been performed widely.  It is not hard to see why.  The dramas of Federico Garcia Lorca seem to have become less frequently performed of late, so it is good to be reminded of this important twentieth century figure.  The work itself centres on his life and especially...

Posted 13 Nov 2022 | Comments

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Scottish Opera's Golden Years: book jacket

2022 Scottish Opera’s Golden Years John Duffus

There have been histories of Scottish Opera before: Scottish Opera - the First Ten Years by Conrad Wilson (Collins, London and Glasgow 1972); It is a Curious Story The Tale of Scottish Opera (1962-1987) by Cordelia Oliver (Mainstream Publishing 1987); and most recently Fifty Years of Scottish...

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Songs of Stevenson

Songs of Stevenson

That distinguished Scottish singer, Brian Bannatyne Scott, has annpounced the release of his first solo CD "Songs of Stevenson", produced by BBS Records and Birnam CD.

"Songs of Stevenson" features the first recordings of two song cycles by the Scottish composer Ronald Stevenson, "Hills of Home"...
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Progress on website

The team behind OperaScotland has been asked many times to consider expanding the range of entries to cover some non-operatic works with vocal content.   These would include concert items performed by important artists who did not appear much, if at all, in opera in Scotland.

We have made a...

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Controlling mission creep: how do you eat an elephant?

At OperaScotland, team members have been very anxious to avoid ‘mission creep’; there is so much history to tackle - from 1755 onwards, and perhaps earlier - that it always seems a struggle to focus on what is relevant. As the answer goes, we have to eat an elephant a mouthful at a time.

Having scoured different sources to come up with cast lists, we have become aware that every entry we make represents a considerable opportunity cost. Every time we enter a cast we could have to think in terms of an hour or more.


Obviously we think mainly in terms of operas performed in Scotland. However, content could be not just opera but also works ‘carried out by opera companies’. So recently when Opera North brought Kiss Me, Kate to Edinburgh we found ourselves posting data. Other musicals have been placed on the site from time to time, as have the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. But the thought of identifying and listing all perforances of 'Messiah', for example, makes us feel queasy.  Surely life is too short for this.

What about other works of vocal and dramatic interest?

Choral works

It seems logical to include listings for Verdi’s Requiem Mass , and Rossini’s Stabat Mater. Were these the first performances in Scotland? The team have been entering performances on the website when the discovery seems of interest. Examples include entries for Mahler’s 8th Symphony and Song of the Earth.  Other examples include Janacek’s Diary of One who Disappeared at Ledlanet and Glagolitic Mass at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Other important performances are being logged.

For instance, we have listed this year’s West Side Story on account of its appearance in the Edinburgh International Festival.

Other events of significance posted recently include Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis , the Dvorak Requiem and Brahms Requiem and the Bruckner Mass No 3. Check out the links.

Future developments

Look out for more information as time goes by…  Please tell your friends about us.

We continue to post all the information we can about performances past, present and future.  One day, we hope to have listed the date of first performance in Scotland for all the works above and more...

And please, please keep sending information in...

Posted 11 Aug 2019

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What's On29 Mar - 29 Apr

Map List

Rake's Progress 2012

Scottish Opera

29 Mar 31 Mar

Lucia di Lammermoor 2012

Opera Bohemia

29 Mar 31 Mar 01 Apr 03 Apr

Friends of Scottish Opera March 2012

Friends of Scottish Opera

30 Mar 31 Mar

Rake's Progress (Pre-show talk) 2012

Scottish Opera

31 Mar

Friends of Scottish Opera April 2012

Friends of Scottish Opera

01 Apr 01 Apr 15 Apr 22 Apr 24 Apr 28 Apr

Manon (live cinema relay) 2012

Metropolitan Opera

07 Apr 07 Apr 07 Apr 07 Apr 07 Apr 07 Apr 10 Apr

Bohème 2012

Ellen Kent Productions

12 Apr

Patience 2012

Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society

12 Apr 13 Apr 14 Apr

Traviata 2012

Ellen Kent Productions

13 Apr

Night of Romantic Opera 2012

Swansea City Opera

13 Apr

Traviata (live cinema relay) 2012

Metropolitan Opera

14 Apr 14 Apr 14 Apr 14 Apr 14 Apr 17 Apr

Madam Butterfly 2012

Ellen Kent Productions

14 Apr 15 Apr

Così fan Tutte 2012

Swansea City Opera

14 Apr

Kaspar Hauser - Child of Europe 2012

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

19 Apr 20 Apr

Pass the Spoon! 2012

Magnetic North Theatre Productions

26 Apr 27 Apr 28 Apr

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