Opera Scotland

Marx in London!

Marx in London!

Scottish Opera has had an excellent record in recent years for the production of interesting and enjoyable new works.  Tuesday 13th sees the latest one make its British debut at Glasgow Theatre Royal.

An opera showing the philosopher Karl Marx and his family being rescued from penury by his wealthy industrialist sidekick Friedrich Engels might be expected to be even more serious than most new pieces.  Not so!  Not only is this work a comedy, but it has elemnts of farce, involving a chaotic...

Posted 11 Feb 2024 | Comments

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Alex Reedijk

OBE for Scottish Opera chief Alex Reedijk

It is not often that the operatic world, at least in Scotland, is able to celebrate when the regular announcements are made of new honours. 

However, it is hugely cheering to learn that the New Year Honours announced today include a well-deserved OBE for Scottish Opera's General Director, Alex Reedijk. 

We offer our warmest congratulations to him and the company on this recognition.

Posted 30 Dec 2023 | Comments

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The chorus in Daphne

Daphne in Edinburgh

Scottish Opera gave two performances of the hugely melodious Daphne, a very rare late (1937) opera by Richard Strauss, back in October, when the Glasgow audience loved it. 

The final performance of the three can be seen this Sunday afternoon, 10 December, in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. It begins at 3.00pm. The single act lasts just over an hour and a half. This production is semi-staged, so all the singers perform from memory and act out the drama - there is no scenery and costumes are taken...

Posted 6 Dec 2023 | Comments

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La Rondone programme cover 2023

Opera North in Newcastle

Opera North opened its Autumn visit to Newcastle's Theatre Royal on Tuesday, 31 October with its new production of Verdi's ever-welcome Falstaff. This presentation, which has been very favourably received, was repeated on Thursday, when the OpScot team met up for an indulgent weekend. 

The thoroughly enjoyable Falstaff performance was completely dominated by the fabulous orchestra under music director Garry Walker and an absolutely winning interpretation of the title role by company stalwart...

Posted 24 Oct 2023 | Comments

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Scottish Opera's Golden Years: book jacket

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.

Musicals

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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