Opera Scotland

Alex Reedijk and Stuart Stratford

Scottish Opera repertoire for 2016-17 announced

Posted 27 Apr 2016

A varied and appealing programme is announced for next year, with performances ranging from the classics to contemporary opera, and offering something for most tastes. Considering the climate of cuts in government support for the arts, at first sight this looks surprisingly enterprising.

Opening the season is Sir Thomas Allen's staging of Marriage of Figaro, a revival of his 2010 interpretation of Mozart's masterpiece. Beautiful period designs by Simon Higlett provide the backdrop to this timeless comedy of social revolution and change.

Renowned director Sir David McVicar directs a new production of Debussy's Pelléas and Mélisande, and is joined by Rae Smith and Paule Constable, the design team behind War Horse, and Music Director Stuart Stratford who conducts.

In a new co-production between Scottish Opera and internationally acclaimed Scottish theatre company Vanishing Point, comes Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle. Directed by Vanishing Point's founder Matthew Lenton, it is presented in a double-bill with a new piece of music theatre, which he also directs and has co-created with Scottish Opera Composer in Residence, Lliam Paterson. Entitled the 8th Door, it is a fascinating prequel to Bluebeard's disturbing story. Director Renaud Doucet and designer André Barbe, the team behind 2014's Don Pasquale, return with a new production of Puccini's classic La bohème, inspired by the Jazz Age of Josephine Baker.

In another co-commission with Music Theatre Wales, following on from the success of 2016's The Devil Inside, Scottish Opera gives the Scottish premiere of Philip Glass's The Trial, based on Kafka's nightmarish novel. Directed by Michael McCarthy, it was created by Glass in collaboration with Christopher Hampton, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1989 for Dangerous Liaisons.

Scotland outwith the central belt again gets attention. Donizetti's The Elixir of Love tours to 17 smaller Scottish venues in the Autumn, with Stuart Stratford and Scottish Opera's Head of Music Derek Clark sharing conducting duties in a new arrangement for five players from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, who accompany a cast of soloists and a small chorus. The popular Opera Highlights – featuring four singers and a pianist – also travels around the country with a cast of fresh young talent, including two Scottish Opera Emerging Artists.

For those with easy access to Glasgow, there are further treats in store. Following the sell-out success of previous years' operas in concert and the popularity of the Sunday afternoon concerts, this season's The Sunday Series features performances of early and lesser-known works by masters of operatic writing with The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and world-class guest singers. Curated by Music Director Stuart Stratford, these performances at Theatre Royal Glasgow complement the staged productions and include Mascagni's L'amico Fritz, Debussy's L'enfant prodigue, Rossini's La scala di seta, and Puccini's Le Villi - believed to be a Scottish premiere.

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