Opera Scotland

Rusalka

Edinburgh Festival programme announced

After the complete loss of the Edinburgh International Festival 2020 programme and a very constrained 2021 Festival, it is a relief to discover that for 2022 matters appear to be returning to normal, with classical music events largely at the Usher Hall, Festival Theatre and Queen's Hall. Only one opera is fully staged - Rusalka. (illustrated). Two are to be given in concert form - Fidelio and Salome.

In addition, there are several works that can be included on the OperaScotland site as...

Posted 31 Mar 2022 | Comments

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Lindsay Johnson

Conservatoire takes Flight

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is giving four performances in Glasgow of Flight, the hugely successful opera by Jonathan Dove. Flight was launched in 1998 at Glyndebourne, and quickly gave rise to performances spread around the operatic world.

The text by April De Angelis, set in a stormbound airport, is at the same time both witty and thought provoking. It is also remarkably topical, with its emphasis on the problem of refugees arriving from the east. A minor sector of the plot...

Posted 13 Mar 2022 | Comments

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Scottish Opera's new production of Benjamin Britten's delightful comedy has received unanimous rave reviews from the press.  The only feature of the event that is cause for regret is the fact that only six performances could be scheduled.  Three were in Glasgow and three in Edinburgh, where the run ends on Saturday.  The staging is directed by Dominic Hill of the Glasgow Citz, with Stuart Stratford conducting.

The excellent cast includes Lawrence Zazzo and Catriona Hewitson as Oberon and...

Posted 3 Mar 2022 | Comments

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Students tackle Hansel and Gretel

One of the most cheering signs of the long hoped-for retreat of Covid-19 is the return to performance by the Glasgow-based students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  The choice fell on that distinctly serious folk-tale Hansel and Gretel, so often put on at Christmas.

It is a challenging piece for students.  The title roles - stroppy teenagers -  might seem tailored for young performers, but the vocal demands are substantial, near Wagnerian.  The parents, too, need big, dramatic...

Posted 23 Jan 2022 | Comments

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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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John Calder

Opera fan and influential force in the arts: John Calder

John Calder died on 13 August 2018 at the age of 91.


Most of the obituarists refer to his remarkable career as a publisher, to campaigns for freedom of expression, and to his support for writers and the book trade.


However to the team behind OperaScotland, he will be remembered as one of 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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