City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Scottish Opera announces 2017/18 season


By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 07 April 2017

• New productions of Ariadne auf Naxos, Eugene Onegin, Greek and Pagliacci (The Clowns)
• Sir David McVicar’s production of Verdi’s La traviata opens the Season
• Scottish Opera’s first production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight
• World premiere of BambinO, an opera for babies by Scottish Opera Composer in Residence, Lliam Paterson, directed by Phelim McDermott: at Manchester International Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in Glasgow
• Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek at 2017 Edinburgh International Festival and in Glasgow next year
• Four concerts featuring rarely-performed Russian operas in The Sunday Series: Opera in Concert, curated by Music Director Stuart Stratford, including the Scottish premiere of Rachmaninov’s Francesca da Rimini
• Pop-up Opera takes to the waves on Scotland’s first floating opera house

Opening the new Season in October 2017 is Verdi’s La traviata, set in Paris during the 1880s. This revival of the 2008 production by Sir David McVicar, who wowed audiences and critics alike earlier this year with Pelléas and Mélisande, is conducted by David Parry (Carmen 2016). The role of Violetta is shared by Russian-Dutch soprano Gulnara Shafigullina, who recently sang the role at St Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, and Anush Hovhannisyan, who represents Armenia at this year’s Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Dutch tenor Peter Gijsbertsen is Alfredo, British baritone Stephen Gadd is Giorgio and three of Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists 2017/18, Laura Zigmantaite, Alex Otterburn and Catherine Backhouse, also take leading roles. The performance on 28 November will coincide with the 150th anniversary of the opening of Theatre Royal Glasgow. There will also be two Dementia Friendly performances of La traviata in Glasgow and Edinburgh, for people living with dementia and their carers.

Jonathan Dove's hugely popular modern opera Flight - inspired by the true story of a refugee stranded at an airport - receives its Scottish professional premiere in February 2018. Director Stephen Barlow and his creative team reimagine their production, which originated at Investec Opera Holland Park, for the Scottish stage. Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts a superb ensemble cast including Jennifer France (Ariodante 2016), Victoria Simmonds and James Laing, all reprising their highly-praised roles in the Opera Holland Park production, alongside Stephanie Corley (Inés de Castro 2015), Graeme Broadbent and Marie McLaughlin (The Marriage of Figaro 2016), and former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Sioned Gwen Davies (The Mikado 2016). Dunard Fund supports this production.

Ariadne auf Naxos, by Richard Strauss, is designed and directed by Antony McDonald, last at Scottish Opera in 2016 with his five-star staging of Rusalka. A new co-production with Investec Opera Holland Park, supported by The Scottish Opera Syndicate, this playful opera is conducted by Brad Cohen, Music Director of Western Australia Opera. The international cast includes American soprano Mardi Byers, making her first appearance in the UK, Dutch tenor Kor-Jan Dusseljee, and Jette Parker Young Artist Emily Edmonds. Legendary British baritone and Scottish Opera Music Advisor Sir Thomas Allen, who directed 2016’s The Marriage of Figaro, is the Music Master and Scottish tenor and BBC broadcaster Jamie MacDougall is the Dancing Master. Following performances in Scotland, Ariadne auf Naxos will be presented at Investec Opera Holland Park in Summer 2018.

A new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin is directed by Oliver Mears (who recently took up post as Director of Opera at Royal Opera House), with Stuart Stratford conducting. This great masterpiece of Russian repertoire, based on Pushkin’s classic novel, has not been performed on Scottish Opera’s main stage since 1993. Samuel Dale Johnson (The Marriage of Figaro 2016) takes the title role and Natayla Romaniw (Rusalka 2016) is Tatyana. They are joined by Peter Auty (L’amico Fritz 2016) and Sioned Gwen Davies. Eugene Onegin is supported by The Alexander Gibson Circle.

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