Opera Scotland

Digital Opera Highlights

Scottish Opera presents a digital version of its hugely popular Opera Highlights, which will be released on October 25, World Opera Day, at 6pm.

While the Autumn tour usually sees the company travelling the highways and byways to many different venues in far reaching Scottish communities, this year’s online Opera Highlights is a celebration of opera, music and performance in the time of social distancing. This digital production, filmed in the theatre of The Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock,...

Posted 14 Oct 2020 | Comments

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Maria Theresia von Paradis

von Paradis

As lockdown continues, albeit in a somewhat reduced form, opera buffs have a variety of online options. 

At 7pm on Friday 25 September, an online documentary “The Making of Paradis” is to be shown on the Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival’s website www.tete-a-tete.org.uk/event/the-paradis-files/.  

The new chamber opera has music by Errollyn Wallen, working alongside playwright Nicola Werenowska and Graeae theatre director Jenny Sealey. The piece is dedicated to raising the profile of Maria Theresia...

Posted 15 Sep 2020 | Comments

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Opera Festival Scotland 2021

A Bright Light in 2021

Opera Festival Scotland, a completely new organisation, has announced their inaugural event, to be held in Dundee in September 2021. 

The headlining event of the Opera Festival is to be a Young Artists Singing Competition accompanied by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Centred in Dundee's Caird and Marryat Halls, one of the aims is to promote up-and-coming talent, offering an opportunity to perform in front of a large audience and a panel of industry professionals. 

Contributors to the...

Posted 24 Aug 2020 | Comments

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Florence Evelyn and Robert Radford

British National Opera Company (BNOC) in Scotland

Now added to the website is a complete record of performances in Scotland (numbering 327) by the British National Opera Company (BNOC). This important organisation, now largely forgotten, toured the UK during only seven years from 1922 to 1928.

During this period, the company had a hugely impressive record of producing new British operas – nine in total Fête Galante;  Savitri;  Boatswain’s Mate;  Leper’s Flute;  At the Boar’s Head;  Hugh the Drover;  Perfect Fool;  Alkestis and the Eve of St...

Posted 15 Aug 2020 | Comments

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Songs of Stevenson

Songs of Stevenson

That distinguished Scottish singer, Brian Bannatyne Scott, has annpounced the release of his first solo CD "Songs of Stevenson", produced by BBS Records and Birnam CD.

"Songs of Stevenson" features the first recordings of two song cycles by the Scottish composer Ronald Stevenson, "Hills of Home"...
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Progress on website

The team behind OperaScotland has been asked many times to consider expanding the range of entries to cover some non-operatic works with vocal content.   These would include concert items performed by important artists who did not appear much, if at all, in opera in Scotland.

We have made a...

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John Calder

Opera fan and influential force in the arts: John Calder

John Calder died on 13 August 2018 at the age of 91.

Most of the obituarists refer to his remarkable career as a publisher, to campaigns for freedom of expression, and to his support for writers and the book trade.

However to the team behind OperaScotland, he will be remembered as one of a...

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Controlling mission creep: how do you eat an elephant?

At OperaScotland, team members have been very anxious to avoid ‘mission creep’; there is so much history to tackle - from 1755 onwards, and perhaps earlier - that it always seems a struggle to focus on what is relevant. As the answer goes, we have to eat an elephant a mouthful at a time.

Having scoured different sources to come up with cast lists, we have become aware that every entry we make represents a considerable opportunity cost. Every time we enter a cast we could have to think in terms of an hour or more.


Obviously we think mainly in terms of operas performed in Scotland. However, content could be not just opera but also works ‘carried out by opera companies’. So recently when Opera North brought Kiss Me, Kate to Edinburgh we found ourselves posting data. Other musicals have been placed on the site from time to time, as have the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. But the thought of identifying and listing all perforances of 'Messiah', for example, makes us feel queasy.  Surely life is too short for this.

What about other works of vocal and dramatic interest?

Choral works

It seems logical to include listings for Verdi’s Requiem Mass , and Rossini’s Stabat Mater. Were these the first performances in Scotland? The team have been entering performances on the website when the discovery seems of interest. Examples include entries for Mahler’s 8th Symphony and Song of the Earth.  Other examples include Janacek’s Diary of One who Disappeared at Ledlanet and Glagolitic Mass at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Other important performances are being logged.

For instance, we have listed this year’s West Side Story on account of its appearance in the Edinburgh International Festival.

Other events of significance posted recently include Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis , the Dvorak Requiem and Brahms Requiem and the Bruckner Mass No 3. Check out the links.

Future developments

Look out for more information as time goes by…  Please tell your friends about us.

We continue to post all the information we can about performances past, present and future.  One day, we hope to have listed the date of first performance in Scotland for all the works above and more...

And please, please keep sending information in...

Posted 11 Aug 2019

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What's On29 May - 29 Jun

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