Opera Scotland

Opera Highlights 2019Scottish Opera

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The 2019 Tour

On Saturday 16th March 2019, the intimate space of the Wynd Auditorium, a converted former church in Paisley, was the eighteenth and final venue for Scottish Opera’s touring Opera Highlights.  Commencing on 5th February, four young singers, a pianist and a small technical crew journeyed across Scotland from Durness to Duns and from Benbecula to Boat of Garten, performing every two or three days.

Performers and Programme

In this year’s team were Scots soprano Lucy Anderson, one of this season’s Scottish Opera Emerging Artists, Scots mezzo-soprano Heather Ireson, tenor Tom Smith and baritone Harry Thatcher.  The programme, devised by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, spanned the centuries from Georg Handel and Christoph Willibald Gluck to André Previn and Jonathan Dove, some twenty two numbers in total.  Along the way, the familiar programme included Mozart, Bizet, Sullivan, Flotow, Rutland Boughton and Britten, invariably in the original language. 

The final night

Heather Ireson made much of an aria from Dove’s Flight.  Lucy Anderson brought the first half to a close with a spirited ‘Cśardaś’ from Die Fledermaus in ’Hungarian English’.  The show closed with a quartet from ‘The Saga of Jenny’ from Lady in the Dark by Kurt Weill.  But there were also some rarities.  Baritone Thatcher sang a smuggler’s song from Federico Ricci’s 1838 opera La prigione di Edimborgo, a tale based on Sir Walter Scott’s The Heart of Midlothian and tenor and baritone combined in a comic duet from Der Vogelhändler an opera from 1891 by Carl Zeller.  All four singers sang strongly and fully characterised their roles with minimal props and stage furniture.

The excellent music director / pianist was Elizabeth Rowe, a familiar face to Scottish Opera audiences through her previous Opera Highlights appearances.  The show was directed / choreographed by Sara Brodie, an experienced opera director hailing from New Zealand.  She also provided brief dialogues linking each number, drawing her inspiration from Voltaire and Tennessee Williams amongst others.  The singers declaimed these links with confidence and humour and the evening was warmly appreciated by a near capacity audience.

                                                                                                                                David Roger


The 2017/18 season of Scottish Opera

The season opened at the Edinburgh International Festival with a new production of Greek, the modern classic by Mark-Antony Turnage, which had its British premiere at the 1988 Festival. There were further performances in Glasgow in January. The main season began with a welcome and overdue revival of Sir David McVicar's powerful production of La traviata. In the New Year there were fresh stagings of another successful recent piece, Flight (Jonathan Dove) as well as Ariadne auf Naxos and Eugene Onegin. As a follow-up to the four operatic rareties mounted as Sunday concerts in 2016/17, the new subjects were rare Russian operas - Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, Prokofiev's Fiery Angel and a Rachmaninov double bill - Aleko and Francesca da Rimini. The fourth of these concerts was a digest of Russian pieces performed by students from the National Opera Studio under the title From Russia With Love. There was also the regular Highlights tour round the Highlands and Islands, this time in two phases, autumn and spring.

Performance DatesOpera Highlights 2019

Map List

East Kilbride Village Theatre | East Kilbride

5 Feb, 19.30

Public Hall, Strathmiglo | Strathmiglo, Fife

7 Feb, 19.30

Cumbernauld Theatre | Cumbernauld

9 Feb, 19.30

Village Hall, Craignish | Lochgilphead

12 Feb, 19.30

Northbay Hall | Barra

14 Feb, 19.30

Sgoil Lionacleit, Benbecula | Benbecula Isle

16 Feb, 19.30

Village Hall, Tarbert | Tarbert

19 Feb, 19.30

Gairloch Community Hall, Raonmor | Achtercairn Brae

21 Feb, 19.30

Community Hall, Ardross | Ardross, Ross-shire

23 Feb, 19.30

Volunteer Hall, Duns | Duns, Berwickshire

26 Feb, 19.30

Town Hall, Blairgowrie | Blairgowrie

28 Feb, 19.30

Town Hall, Maybole | Maybole, Ayrshire

2 Mar, 19.30

Village Hall, Durness | Durness

5 Mar, 19.30

Community Hall, Boat of Garten | Boat of Garten

7 Mar, 19.30

Deeside Theatre | Aboyne, Aberdeenshire

9 Mar, 19.30

Village Hall, Whiting Bay | Arran

12 Mar, 19.30

Victoria Hall, Dunblane | Dunblane

12 Mar, 19.30

Wynd Centre, Paisley | Paisley

16 Mar, 19.30

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