Opera Scotland

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.


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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Antonio Pini-Corsi

Falstaff in Scotland

Verdi's Falstaff was first performed in Scotland at Edinburgh's Lyceum Theatre on 11 September 1894. This took place only some eighteen months after the Milan premiere of this, Verdi's final operatic work.

The performers were Sir Augustus Harris's Royal Italian Opera Company. The cast was led by the American baritone David Bispham in the title role. Of greatest interest is the fact that the baritone and tenor singing Ford and Fenton in Edinburgh were Antonio Pini-Corsi (pictured) and Paolo...

Posted 6 Sep 2021 | Comments

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John Adams

John Adams's operas in Scotland

Nixon in China was the first opera by John Adams (pictured), and received its first British performance in Edinburgh on 01 September 1988, less than a year after its premiere in Houston.  This was a hugely successful event at the Playhouse, with the Houston company repeating the staging by Peter Sellars.  Most of the singers were familiar with their roles from that occasion, with the Nixons played by James Maddalena and Carolann Page.   James Duykers played Mao Tse-Tung, Sanford Sylvan was...

Posted 20 Feb 2020 | 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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