Opera Scotland

Massenet in Scotland

Jules Massenet was a highly successful composer with some twenty-eight operas to his credit. It may therefore seem surprising that only eight of them have been performed in Scotland.  And as we have noted, even those have not all been performed professionally. 

Manon

The first opera by Massenet to be seen in Scotland was Manon, given by the Carl Rosa company at the Edinburgh Lyceum on 11 November 1885. It was seen at Glasgow Grand the following week. The Carl Rosa had given its UK premiere...

Posted 4 Aug 2022 | Comments

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Candide in Scotland

Candide received its first production in Scotland at the 1981 Edinburgh International Festival, opening on 19 August. 

The Birmingham Rep company, led by their director Clive Perry, who had previously run Edinburgh's theatres, were making their second visit to the Festival. They performed again at the Church of Scotland's Assembly Hall on the Mound, a favourite venue during the first half-century of the Festival's existence.

The Assembly Hall was usually the host to classic theatre...

Posted 9 Jul 2022 | Comments

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Don Giovanni in Scotland

Mozart's operas generally came late to Britain. The first performance here of Don Giovanni, sung in Italian, was at His Majesty's Theatre, London, on 12 April 1817. Immediately the opera proved immensely popular, and had an extended run. An English version was given on 20 May 1817 at Covent Garden. 

Just over a year later, on 9 September 1818, it was being performed in Edinburgh's Pantheon, in a one act form in Italian with well-known singers Madame Fodor, Signora Corri and Signor Angrisani....

Posted 20 Apr 2022 | Comments

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Stravinsky's Operas in Scotland

Five of Stravinsky's operas and music-theatre pieces have been performed in Scotland.  They are The Soldier's Tale (Lausanne 1918), Renard (Paris 1922), Mavra (Paris 1922), Oedipus Rex (Paris 1927) and The Rake's Progress (Venice 1951).  The Nightingale (Paria 1914) and Perséphone (Paris 1934) do not yet appear to have been seen here.

The Soldier's Tale

1967 was Stravinsky Year at the Edinburgh Festival, and Scottish Opera mounted a staging of The Soldier's Tale in the Assembly Hall on the...

Posted 15 Feb 2022 | 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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