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2019 - Scottish Opera
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Stuart MacRae (born Inverness 1976)


Louise Welsh



First Performance: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 24 January 2019.



This partnership of composer and librettist was a notable combination that emerged from Scottish Opera's experimental programmes of 15-minute operas a few years ago. Since then, they have worked together on two larger pieces, also with great success. This fourth collaboration continued to contain important elements of the macabre.

The title Anthropocene, as well as being the name of the ship on which events are set, is the term coined to represent the era of geological time in which the Earth environment has been significantly affected by the activities of humankind.



Ice (soprano)

Harry King, a tycoon and expedition sponsor (tenor)

Daisy, his daughter, a photographer (mezzo-soprano)

Professor Prentice, a scientist (soprano)

Charles, her husband, also a scientist (baritone)

Miles, a journalist (baritone)

Captain Ross, commander of the Anthropocene (bass)

Vasco, ship's engineer (tenor)


Plot Summary

(In prep)

The advance publicity is brief: 'In the frozen Arctic wastelands, an expeditionary team of scientists becomes trapped. Tensions rise and relationships crumble; and then something appears, out of the ice......'

The scene throughout is the deck of the research ship King's Anthropocene. The ship has been paid for by Harry King, an extremely wealthy self-made business tycoon. He has also funded this expedition to search for evidence of early life on earth by taking samples from ancient ice. His additinal motivation is clearly an element of self-glorification. He has brought his daughter, Daisy, to document the voyage by photography. He has also commisioned a journalist, Miles, to document the progress of events.

The Cast

Captain Ross
 Commander of the 'King's Anthropocenr'
 a scientist, Professor Prentice's husband
 a photographer, daughter of Lord King
Harry King
 a wealthy entrepreneur, backer of the expedition
 a journalist
Professor Prentice
 a scientist, the expedition leader
 ship's engineer of the 'King's Anthropocene'

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