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 On21 Apr - 21 May

Map List

Rigoletto 1979

Scottish Opera

21 Apr 24 Apr 26 Apr 28 Apr 19 May

Kátya Kabanová 1979

Scottish Opera

15 May 18 May

Zauberflöte 1979

Welsh National Opera

15 May 17 May 18 May

Elektra 1979

Welsh National Opera

16 May 19 May

Traviata 1979

Scottish Opera

18 May

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