Opera Scotland

UK's first Dementia-Friendly Performance

Posted 30 Oct 2016

The UK's first dementia-friendly opera performance is being given at the Festival Theatre by Scottish Opera on Saturday 12 November 2016 at 3pm.

This landmark event follows the pioneering work by both Scottish Opera and the Festival Theatre, supported by the Life Changes Trust, to develop dementia-friendly communities at the heart of their work. This matinee offers a specially abridged performance of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. With a running time of 1 hour 45 minutes including an interval, the performance is carefully designed to make the theatrical experience more accessible to those living with dementia. Sound and lighting levels are adjusted for the comfort of the audience, and the strong cast is joined on stage by a narrator. Audiences will also be able to go in and out of the auditorium during the performance and see the show in the foyer areas on TV screens.

The performance is being staged as part of the run of Scottish Opera's Marriage of Figaro at Festival Theatre Edinburgh, from Wednesday 9 to Saturday 19 November. The dates also include an audio-described performance and touch tour for audience members with visual impairment, a free pre-show talk and an Unwrapped event, a free one-hour taster to encourage first time attenders to opera.

Directed by the great British baritone, Sir Thomas Allen, Mozart's irresistible masterpiece is full of humour, subtlety and wit. Telling the story of one day in the household of Count Almaviva and Figaro, his charming head of staff, the bubbling, energetic score sees Mozart at his theatrical best, with gorgeous period designs by Simon Higlett providing the backdrop.

In the dementia-friendly performance, the role of Figaro is performed by former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Andrew McTaggart, who is joined by Lucy Hall as Susanna, Pauls Putnins as Count Almaviva, Marie McLaughlin as Marcellina and Emma Kerr, a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist, as Cherubino. The narrator is Allan Dunn, and Timothy Burke conducts. 

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