Opera Scotland

Alex Reedijk and Stuart Stratford

Fresh look for Scottish Opera's new season

Posted 5 Apr 2017

Scottish Opera has unveiled its 2017/18 Season which includes a world premiere, a Scottish premiere, four new productions and appearances at the Edinburgh International Festival, Manchester International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

In common with other publicly-funded organisations, the company has suffered a further cut in its core funding. Nevertheless there are plenty of good things in prospect and a truly international line-up of singers appears throughout the season. Collaboration with others – Investec Opera Holland Park, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - is evident too. 

Return of Traviata

Opening the new Season in October is Verdi’s La traviata, set in Paris during the 1880s.

This revival of the 2008 production by Sir David McVicar, who wowed audiences and critics alike earlier this year with Pelléas and Mélisande, is conducted by David Parry (Carmen 2016). The role of Violetta is shared by Russian-Dutch soprano Gulnara Shafigullina, who recently sang the role at St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, and Anush Hovhannisyan, who represents Armenia at this year’s Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Dutch tenor Peter Gijsbertsen is Alfredo, British baritone Stephen Gadd is Giorgio and three of Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists 2017/18, Laura Zigmantaite, Alex Otterburn and Catherine Backhouse, also take leading roles. 

Bringing Flight north

Jonathan Dove's hugely popular modern opera Flight - inspired by the true story of a refugee stranded at an airport - receives its Scottish professional premiere in February 2018. Director Stephen Barlow and his creative team reimagine their production, which originated at Investec Opera Holland Park, for the Scottish stage.

Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts a superb ensemble cast including Jennifer France (Ariodante 2016), Victoria Simmonds and James Laing, all reprising their highly-praised roles from Opera Holland Park. They perform alongside Stephanie Corley (Inés de Castro 2015), Graeme Broadbent and Marie McLaughlin (The Marriage of Figaro 2016), and former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Sioned Gwen Davies (The Mikado 2016).  

A new Ariadne 

Ariadne auf Naxos, by Richard Strauss, is designed and directed by Antony McDonald, last at Scottish Opera in 2016 with his five-star staging of Rusalka. A new co-production with Investec Opera Holland Park, supported by The Scottish Opera Syndicate, this playful opera is conducted by Brad Cohen, Music Director of Western Australia Opera.

The international cast includes American soprano Mardi Byers, making her first appearance in the UK, Dutch tenor Kor-Jan Dusseljee, and Jette Parker Young Artist Emily Edmonds. Legendary British baritone and Scottish Opera Music Advisor Sir Thomas Allen, who directed 2016’s The Marriage of Figaro, is the Music Master and Scottish tenor and BBC broadcaster Jamie MacDougall is the Dancing Master.

Following performances in Scotland, Ariadne auf Naxos will be presented at Investec Opera Holland Park in Summer 2018.


A new Onegin

A new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is directed by Oliver Mears (who recently took up post as Director of Opera at Royal Opera House), with Stuart Stratford conducting. This great masterpiece of Russian repertoire, based on Pushkin’s classic novel, has not been performed on Scottish Opera’s main stage since 1993.

Samuel Dale Johnson (The Marriage of Figaro 2016) takes the title role and Natalya Romaniw (Rusalka 2016) is Tatyana. They are joined by Peter Auty (L’amico Fritz 2016) and Sioned Gwen Davies. Eugene Onegin is supported by The Alexander Gibson Circle.


The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert  

Building on its success in the 2016/17 Season, The Sunday Series takes as its inspiration Stuart Stratford’s love for, and expertise in, Russian music, focusing on rarely-performed operas from Russia.

Featuring The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and a fabulous line-up of guest soloists, the Series includes three concerts at Theatre Royal Glasgow and one at City Halls. The Series opens in October at Theatre Royal Glasgow with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s last opera Iolanta conducted by Stuart Stratford. Originally premiered alongside The Nutcracker, Iolanta is rarely heard outside Russia. Stuart also takes the baton for the closing concert of the Series which features two operas by Rachmaninov – the first-ever performances of the composer’s work on the Scottish Opera stage. Adapted from a poem by Pushkin, Aleko was Rachmaninov’s first opera. It is paired with the Scottish premiere of Francesca da Rimini, which draws its plot from Dante’s Inferno.

The year ends with what looks like a very special offering. December’s concert sees Scottish Opera collaborating with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in a performance of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel. Conducted by Mikhail Agrest, resident for many years at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, the performing forces include Masters students from the Alexander Gibson Opera School and student instrumentalists from the Royal Conservatoire performing alongside professional soloists and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.                                                                                                







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