Opera Scotland

Season brochure

Scottish Opera 2023/24

Scottish Opera's plans for next season have been announced.  The two long tours, including Aberdeen and Inverness, are revivals of Sir Thomas Allen's memorable Barber of Seville and Sir David McVicar's excellent Traviata.

The new production in the New Year is a UK premiere.  Following the success of Jonathan Dove's comedy Flight a few years ago, they commissioned a follow-up jointly with Bonn.  They now offer the UK premiere.  Marx in London does not, on the face of it, seem an obvious...

Posted 15 May 2023 | Comments

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Edinburgh International Festival 2023

The recently appointed Festival director, violinist Nicola Benedetti, has only had a few months in which to finalise her first programme.  In those circumstances a significant opera schedule could hardly be expected.  However a regular Festival guest, the Australian director Barrie Kosky, is bringing his Berliner Ensemble with a staging of Weill's Threepenny Opera.  Edinburgh-born conductor Sir Donald Runnicles also returns with his Berlin company for a concert performance of Tannhäuser. ...

Posted 14 May 2023 | Comments

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The elixir

Diva Opera in St Andrews

The 2023 Edinburgh International Festival, whatever the many attractions of its other offerings, seems rather light on opera due to the recent appointment of its new director - it takes longer that eight months to arrange such visits. We were therefore particularly pleased to note that the ambitious chamber opera company, Diva Opera, which last year hanselled the new St Andrews performing space in Laidlaw Music Centre with Così fan tutte, was returning to Scotland. In view of the...

Posted 29 Apr 2023 | Comments

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Trittico Success

Scottish Opera's production of Puccini's Trittico has been greeted with unanimous acclaim.  What was not previously announced is that the staging is a collaboration with Welsh National Opera and will be seen in Cardiff during WNO's autumn season.  This will follow after the performances of Golijov's Ainadamar which were already known about.  There is no doubt that these collaborations with other opera companies are an important device for maintaining standards.

Posted 20 Apr 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.


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 On28 Jun - 28 Jul

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