Opera Scotland

Fiery Angel in Scotland

The Fiery Angel received its first performance in Scotland on 24 August 1970 at the King's Theatre Edinburgh, as the opening event of that year's International Festival. The performers were the Frankfurt Opera under conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi.

The Frankfurt cast was led by the magnetic dramatic soprano Anja Silja as Renata. She gave a hugely impressive performance of the exhausting role. Rudolf Constantin played the knight Ruprecht, also on stage a lot. The fortune teller at the...

Posted 17 Nov 2017 | Comments

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Tchaikovsky

Iolanta in Scotland

 Iolanta received its first performance in Scotland on 26 August 1992, at the King's Theatre, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. The staging by Martin Duncan was created by Opera North to mark the centenary of the opera's St Petersburg premiere, and, as on that occasion, it was paired in a substantial evening with Tchaikovsky's last great ballet, The Nutcracker.

While the opera was highly regarded, it was again the ballet that proved to be the lasting success, as it marked a...

Posted 29 Oct 2017 | Comments

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La traviata in Scotland

La traviata received its first Scottish performance in Glasgow at the old Dunlop Street Theatre Royal on 20 February 1857. The Grand Italian Opera Company moved to Edinburgh the following week. This was only a few months after the British premiere.

The performances aroused great controversy, with church sermons widely advertised against ''The Immoralities of the Italian Opera.'' The notoriety seems to have been useful. The ''Popular Amusements'' column of the Glasgow Herald reports...

Posted 10 Oct 2017 | Comments

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Original poster

La bohème in Scotland

La Bohème was first performed in Scotland (under the title The Bohemians) on 30 April 1897 at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow.

 Just eight days previously in Manchester, Carl Rosa Opera had given the first British performance watched by Puccini himself, as well as his publisher, Tito Ricordi. Their Glasgow soloists were identical. The conductor was Claude Jaquinot, and the cast was headed by a leading American soprano as Mimì. Alice Esty, having already sung at the Met, had now made her home in...

Posted 15 Apr 2017 | Comments

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Welcome to Scotland's History

The Opera Scotland team have started to piece together Scotland's operatic history, something now largely forgotten. We have been working with the contents of libraries and archives as well as through on-line searches. We have been identifying singers, performances, touring companies and Scottish premieres.

We shall continue to build up what we believe will become a comprehensive picture, fleshing out the bare details and bringing to life an almost forgotten aspect of Scotland's cultural life. We are sure there is much more to discover.

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