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Edinburgh International Festival 2021 - programme cover

Edinburgh International Festival 2021

It is a great relief to all followers of opera in Scotland that the 2021 Festival has been announced. Clearly, a degree of imagination has been applied in order to produce events of an appropriate standard.

Only one operatic staging will take place in the Festival Theatre. That is Scottish Opera's new production by Sir David McVicar of Verdi's Falstaff, with Stuart Stratford conducting a cast led by Roland Wood and Elizabeth Llewellyn.  It opens first for an open-air run in July, outside...

Posted 8 Jun 2021 | Comments

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British National Opera Company 1922-28

During our Covid lockdowns, the OperaScotland team have continued to upload much new historical data. 

Of interest is the British National Opera Company (BNOC), which performed all round the UK, with annual visits to Glasgow and Edinburgh. They had also visited Dundee and Aberdeen before the company's collapse in 1928.

The repertoire was wide, with many Wagner performances. BNOC also launched several new works by composers including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst and Dame Ethel Smyth. ...

Posted 1 Mar 2021 | Comments

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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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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.

Musicals

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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