Opera Scotland

Manon 2009Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Manon

Massenet has been seriously neglected in Scotland. Only one of his operas has been staged at the Edinburgh Festival, Don Quichotte in 1962 (with Thaïs only as a concert in 2011). And Scottish Opera's sole contribution was a short-lived and none too special Werther. The most interesting contribution is probably the Edinburgh Grand production of a great rarity, Hérodiade, in 1990. At last, Scottish Opera returned to the fray with this rather good version of Manon. Directed by a Canadian team, it looked super, and centred round the near-perfect interpretation of the title role by Anne Sophie Duprels, tiny and beautiful, always with an air of vulnerability about her, even at her most wilful. The necessary delicacy was not always found by Paul Charles Clarke, or by the conductor, who occasionally gave the impression that he was giving us Puccini's version of the story (and that hasn't been given here for a long time, either).


2009/10 season of Scottish Opera

The season contained four full main-stage productions plus one small-scall-tour. The two works the company had never touched before were the young Rossini's frothy Italian Girl in Algiers and Leoš Janáček'a Adventures of Mr Brouček. The two revivals were an ultra-traditional Elisir d'amore and an ultra-modern Bohème. There was also  a piano-accompanied tour of a second Janáček piece, Kátya Kabanová.

There were some additional elements, however, including a third programme of new short chamber pieces under the 5:15 umbrella. There was also a 'Scenes & Arias' tour by four  young singers and a pianist, the old Essential Scottish Opera format now revised as Opera Highlights. There was a new 'Interactive Opera for 3 to 6 Year Olds', entitled Auntie Janet Saves The Planet. Two well-contrasted co-productions also featured. Music Theatre Wales brought a new chamber piece by Eleanor Alberga, Letters of a Love Betrayed, while the RSAMD joined forces with the orchestra and technical staff of Scottish Opera to mount the Scottish premiere of Prokofiev's wonderful Tolstoy adaptation War and Peace.

Scottish Opera had twice before staged Janáček operas with piano accompaniment for the annual small-scale tour. After the success of Jenůfa (1986) and The Makropulos Case it was only a matter of time before the company tried Kátya. It worked very effectiveley in this form too.

Performance DatesManon 2009

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

20 May, 19.30 23 May, 19.30 29 May, 19.30 31 May, 19.30

Empire Theatre, Eden Court | Inverness

5 Jun, 19.30

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

12 Jun, 19.30

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

20 Jun, 19.30 24 Jun, 19.30 26 Jun, 19.30

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