Opera Scotland

La Traviata in Scotland

La traviata received its first Scottish performance in Glasgow at the old Dunlop Street Theatre Royal on 20 February 1857. The Grand Italian Opera Company moved to Edinburgh the following week. This was only a few months after the British premiere.

The performances aroused great controversy, with church sermons widely advertised against ''The Immoralities of the Italian Opera.'' The notoriety seems to have been useful. The ''Popular Amusements'' column of the Glasgow Herald reports ''crowded...

Posted 2 Mar 2024 | Comments

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Jonathan Dove's Operas in Scotland

Jonathan Dove's comic opera Flight, with a libretto by April De Angelis, must be counted as one of the most popular and successful operas of recent years, having had many stagings all over the world.  The events are dominated by a resident refugee, the airport controller, two airline staff, and various passengers awaiting departure.

The  premiere took place at Glyndebourne on 24 September 1998 before joining that Autumn's tour.  The first performance in Scotland was by students at the (then)...

Posted 8 Jan 2024 | Comments

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Hansel and Gretel in Scotland

Hansel and Gretel was first performed in Scotland at the Royalty Theatre, Glasgow on 24 April 1895, a mere four months after its London premiere.  This was, in turn, only twelve months since its launching in Weimar. The Carl Rosa company clearly picked it up very quickly, also taking it to Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Marie Linck and Minnie Hunt took the title roles, with Alice Barth and Homer Lind as the parents and Luise Meisslinger as the Witch.  Leo Feld conducted.  Further performances were...

Posted 8 Nov 2023 | Comments

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The Barber of Seville in Scotland

The Barber of Seville is recorded as having its first Scottish performance on 10 March 1820 in Edinburgh.  This is mentioned in the Caledonian Mercury, but gives no detail other than it was successful enough to have a second performance on the 11th.  The next confirmed performance in Scotland was on 21 June 1824 at the Theatre Royal in Shakespeare Square, Edinburgh.  The music was adapted by Sir Henry Bishop, standard practice at the time, and the cast included the star Edinburgh-born...

Posted 23 Aug 2023 | Comments

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Welcome to Scotland's History

The Opera Scotland team have started to piece together Scotland's operatic history, something now largely forgotten. We have been working with the contents of libraries and archives as well as through on-line searches. We have been identifying singers, performances, touring companies and Scottish premieres.

We shall continue to build up what we believe will become a comprehensive picture, fleshing out the bare details and bringing to life an almost forgotten aspect of Scotland's cultural life. We are sure there is much more to discover.

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