Opera Scotland

British National Opera Company (BNOC)

In preparation

The OperaScotland team have now added to the website a complete record of performances in Scotland (numbering 327) by the British National Opera Company (BNOC) during the 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 Galant; Savitri; Bosun’s Mate; Leper’s Flute; At the Boar’s Head; Hugh the Drover; Perfect Fool; Alkestis and the Eve of St John.

The company also performed seven...

Posted 15 Aug 2020 | Comments

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Heroic Handel

Baroque music ensemble Eboracum Baroque, remembered from their appearances on the Edinburgh Fringe, and award-winning York Gin are teaming up to present ‘Heroic Handel’, a lockdown concert celebrating Handel’s music and the gin craze of his time.

Recorded and filmed in isolation, Eboracum Baroque’s musicians from across the UK and Europe will bring virtuosic arias from Handel’s operas Rinaldo and Giulio Cesare to life, as well as characterful instrumental music. This online offering...

Posted 16 Jul 2020 | Comments

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Erik Chisholm

See Erik Chisholm's Simoon

Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland (McOpera) will release the YouTube Premiere of Erik Chisholm’s one-act opera Simoon on Wednesday 8th July 2020 at 7pm. 

While the current Covid-19 lockdown enforces a complete vacuum in relation to live opera performance, we are lucky that modern technology allows us to watch opera in other ways, and home-grown work at that. This online premiere forms part of the hugely welcome UK-wide artistic response.

An exhausted French Legionnaire is caught in the brutal...

Posted 6 Jul 2020 | Comments

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New to your Website

The OperaScotland team have been working as best they can through lockdown to put more information online for you.  

For some time, we’ve wanted to help you move between different productions on the same tour by offering internal links between entries. 

This backstage work is time consuming, first because of the need to be sure of all the performances on the tour. Then once we have listed these, we have to identify casts.

Unfortunately, the only options for such historic performances lie in...

Posted 19 Jun 2020 | Comments

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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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Looking for a speaker?

Iain, Peter and Stephen Fraser, co-founders of OperaScotland and researchers into Carl Rosa Opera, offer organisations such as Probus and Arts societies the chance to learn about the origin and development of this website and the influential life of Carl Rosa.

Carl Rosa: from ‘juvenile Paganini’...

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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 On15 Feb - 15 Mar

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