Opera Scotland

Macbeth 2019Tayside Opera

Read more about the opera Macbeth

For the third time in their fifty years' history, Tayside Opera tackled the 'Scottish' opera.

The performance in St Andrews offered much to enjoy. This was a well conceived production devised by the experienced Alan Borthwick and his team.  The performance offered the audience a packed stage full of well-rehearsed artists. Verdi's great work, neglected for so long in Scotland, worked its spell once again. 

Lady Macbeth is one of the great dramatic parts, demanding throughout a wide vocal range and fine acting.  Moira Docherty was in grand form, in a role which tested her bottom register in particular, her voice showing both steadiness  and beauty.  She was partnered by another familiar singer, Russell Malcolm, whose Macbeth was also  in fine voice and well acted.

Other roles - Piran Legg as Banquo, Michael Doroszenko as Macduff and Paul McKay as Malcolm - were all striking, and all the smaller parts too were well delivered.  The producer's touch was evident in the murder of Banquo and the successful escape of his son Fleance, a difficult event to make convincing. In this case, Banquo was murdered in the wings, and Fleance (performed by Sarah Rae) runs away across to the other side of the stage and off, an effective solution.

The chorus sang with great enthusiasm, and moved impressively too.

There was a limited set, and effective use of a handful of props. The lighting provided an appropriate atmosphere, notably in the cauldron scene and when Banquo entered as an apparition.

The musical accompaniment was provided in a fine performence by pianist Robert Duncan; the conductor was the company's Music Director, Richard Johnston.

Sadly, there was a disappointingly small  audience, something that could have been discouraging to the performers, and indeed the production team.  They let nothing of their disappointment show, and provided a moving performance. When one sees and senses the effort to perform opera at this level, let us hope Tayside Opera will be back next year and be given more support from the town.

Tickets from Tayside Opera Box Office 07505 837313 or online from the Tayside Opera Website

Performance Cast

Macbeth a general in King Duncan's army

Alister Allan (May 23, 30; Jun 1)

Russell Malcolm (May 24, 26, 31)

Banquo a general in King Duncan's army

Piran Legg

Lady Macbeth

Frances Taylor (May 23, 30; Jun 1)

Moira Docherty (May 24, 26, 31)

Servant of Macbeth

Philip Kearns

Macduff Thane of Fife

Michael Doroszenko

Lady in waiting

Flora Caldwell (May 23, 30; Jun 1)

Sonya Boyd (May 24, 26, 31)

Malcolm son of King Duncan

Paul McKay

Fleance son of Banquo

Sarah Rae


Michael Turner

First Apparition

Michael Turner

Second Apparition

Eleanor Smith


Struan Davidson

Performance DatesMacbeth 2019

Map List

Arts Centre, Birnam | Dunkeld

23 May, 19.30

City Hall, Brechin | Brechin, Angus

24 May, 19.30

Town Hall, St Andrews | St Andrews

26 May, 19.30

Space, Kingsway Campus | Dundee

30 May, 19.30 31 May, 19.30 1 Jun, 19.30

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