Opera Scotland

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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A Midsummer Night's Dream in Scotland

A Midsummer Night's Dream received its Scottish Premiere on 22 August 1961 at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.  This was just over a year since the first performance at Aldeburgh.  The company was the Covent Garden Opera under their newly-appointed music director, the Hungarian Georg Solti.

This staging was directed by the great Shakespearian actor, Sir John Gielgud, in designs by John Piper.  The cast included Joan Carlyle (Tytania) and Russell...

Posted 3 Jan 2022 | Comments

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G&S reunited with D'oyly Carte

Utopia, Limited in Scotland

Utopia, Limited received its first performance in Scotland on 29 January 1894 at the Royalty Theatre, Glasgow. 

The D'Oyly Carte company remained there for four weeks before moving to the Edinburgh Lyceum for a further two. Later on, in that summer, the company gave a further fortnight in each of the central belt cities. This total of seventy performances was an astonishing figure for the time.  While the critical reception was mixed, it is clear that the work was a popular success.

There...

Posted 25 Sep 2021 | Comments

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The gavotte

The Gondoliers in Scotland

The Gondoliers received its first performance in Scotland on 26 May 1890 at the Royalty Theatre, Glasgow.

An unusual feature is that the performers were billed as the D'Oyly Carte  'American' company. They had just returned from giving the opening run of the work in New York. This Scottish tour was brief, with just single weeks in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

One veteran in the company was the bass Richard Temple. He had created nine roles in the London premieres of all the G&S...

Posted 9 Sep 2021 | 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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