Opera Scotland

Edinburgh Studio Opera

The roots of Edinburgh Studio Opera can be traced back to the formation of  Edinburgh University Opera Club in 1968. 

Formed under the guidance of University professors and lecturers, its aim was much as it is now, to perform high standard opera. The first performance was of Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo.  For more details of the Opera Club's history, see here.

Since those days, there has been much change, its name altering a number of times before reaching its present incarnation as Edinburgh Studio Opera (ESO).

ESO aims to involve as many students as possible not only in the running and organisation, but also from the creative side of things (set design, tech, stage management). However it also welcomes other performers living in the area.

Generally young professional directors and musical directors take overall responsibility for the productions, the opportunity to work with professional artists proving an invaluable experience for members. It provides a richer final production for the audience, and helps further young professionals’ career paths.

ESO's production of the Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky) in 2003 saw a shift in the reputation of ESO. As the Herald said “…at no point did they seem to have taken on more than they could handle…”. And in 2009 ESO's production of Clemenza di Tito directed by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones received their best reviews yet in modern times, with a comment from the Scotsman nationally recognising our ‘wealth of outstanding young singing talent’. 

ESO's premiere production of Julian Wagstaff’s opera the Turing Test on the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe was a sell-out success, becoming one of the hottest tickets on the Fringe. The production also received excellent reviews in the national and theatre press.

Following on from this, in 2009 ESO decided to undertake another Fringe show, a fully-staged production of Karl Orff’s Carmina Burana, devised by director Antonia Alonzo. 


Information taken from the ESO website www.edinburghstudioopera.com

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