Opera Scotland

Traviata 2018Tayside Opera

Read more about the opera Traviata

Tayside Opera are this year celebrating their fiftieth anniversary, with an enjoyable production.

Most of the old amateur opera groups in Scotland have either fallen by the wayside or abandoned opera in favour of musicals. The most recent to give up performing after last year's swansong was Opera Camerata in Edinburgh. How refreshing then to see that Tayside Opera, after several years in the doldrums, now look as though they are heading very much in the right direction. Last year, for Nabucco, they revealed some healthy new (young) blood in the chorus. For this year's 50th anniversary celebration, not only did they have a healthy chorus of twenty-one voices, but, for the first time in a decade or so they had stretched to an orchestra. The eighteen players included several familiar and welcome names that ensured a useful standard under the regular conductor, Richard Johnstone. The opera chosen was Verdi's great middle period masterpiece, La traviata.

Further evidence that the company are moving in the right direction again came with the appointment of a new director for this production, in Alan Borthwick, He was, for several decades, a leading tenor soloist for several Scottish companies, most notably the Edinburgh Gilbert & Sullivan Society, with whom he performed not only all the tenor roles in G & S, but several parts composed by Sullivan with other wordsmiths. Indeed as a singer he worked with Tayside in its early years, as lead tenor in Lucia, Ernani and Carmen, as well as La traviata. Now a busy director working up and down the country, he was a very welcome guest.

Another novelty was the use of two new performance venues. St Andrews Town Hall has a flat floor, which is not ideal for sightlines, but is an attractive size. So is the Space, a performance venue at Dundee College on the Kingsway, more often used for dance.

Most of the leading roles were sung by the company stalwarts who have helped hold things together in recent years. The new tenor, Michael Doroszenko, is gaining experience with other Scottish companies and also working down south. This was his first experience with Tayside. It is also good to see some new faces in the smaller parts.

In truth, this was a well rehearsed and performed 'team' production of Verdi's great work, with the orchestra giving a fine account of the score.

This is a very hopeful sign for the future, and it is certainly to be hoped that Tayside will now go from strength to strength. Welcome back.

Performance Cast

Violetta Valéry a courtesan

Moira Docherty (May 24; June 2)

Frances Taylor (May 25; Jun 1)

Baron Douphol Violetta's protector, a rival of Alfredo

Michael Turner

Doctor Grenvil

Jordan Lynch

Flora Bervoix Violetta's friend

Susan Jenkin

Marquis d' Obigny

Michael Jamieson

Gaston Vicomte de Letorières, a man about town

Paul McKay

Alfredo Germont Gaston's friend

Michael Doroszenko

Annina Violetta's maid

Kirsten Mann

Giorgio Germont Alfredo's father

Russell Malcolm (May 24; Jun 2)

Alister Allan (May 25; Jun 1)

Performance DatesTraviata 2018

Map List

City Hall, Brechin | Brechin, Angus

24 May, 19.30

Town Hall, St Andrews | St Andrews

25 May, 19.30

Space, Kingsway Campus | Dundee

1 Jun, 19.30 2 Jun, 19.30

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