Opera Scotland

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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Rachmaninov's Operas in Scotland

Rachmaninov composed three one-act operas: Aleko (Moscow 1893), The Miserly Knight (Moscow 1906) and Francesca da Rimini (Moscow 1906).

Aleko received its first performance in Scotland on 24 August 2008 in the Usher Hall as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.  The performers were the Mariinsky Opera of St Petersburg under their Musical Director, Valery Gergiev.

The cast of this concert performance included the bass Yevgeny Nikitin in the title role.  His wife Zemfira was sung by...

Posted 15 Feb 2022 | Comments

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Mavra in Scotland

Mavra received its first performance in the UK at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, on 21 August 1956.  The Hamburg State Opera were making their second visit to the Festival.  The evening consisted of a Stravinskian double-bill, with the farcical Mavra as light relief after the distinctly tragic Oedipus Rex - perhaps as the classical Greeks might have performed their dramas.

The company's principal conductor, Leopold Ludwig, was on the podium, in a staging directed by Günther Rennert. ...

Posted 3 Jan 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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