Opera Scotland

Emma Bell

Mascagni's Silvano: the Scottish premiere

Posted 13 Feb 2019

In April, Scottish Opera’s 2018/19 Opera in Concert series concludes with the Scottish premiere of Silvano by Pietro Mascagni.

Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts a cast that features former Kathleen Ferrier Award-winner and acclaimed soprano Emma Bell (pictured) as Matilde. Emma is making her debut with Scottish Opera.

She is joined by Alexey Dolgov (Iolanta 2017), David Stout (The Burning Fiery Furnace 2018) and Leah-Marian Jones (Rusalka 2016), with chorus and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. The semi-staged performances are directed by Roxana Haines (Edgar 2018).   

The work

The plot centres on a disastrous love triangle that ends in death and despair. Mascagni revels in this drama and the score, which includes the Barcarolle famously used in Scorsese’s film Raging Bull, displays both his signature lyrical lines and a spicy chromaticism that echoes much of Wagner’s work.

Not just one hit

Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford said: ‘One thing I was determined to do when I became Music Director at Scottish Opera was to champion lesser-known pieces by great composers. Mascagni is unjustly cast as a ‘one hit wonder’ and, with the roaring success of Cavalleria Rusticana, most of his other works get overlooked.

‘I was delighted we included his L’amico Fritz in the first Opera in Concert series in 2016, and now it is the turn of Silvano. Mascagni’s writing in this period is deliciously unique and I am sure will inspire you to explore his other neglected works.’

Two opportunities only

For opera fans who love rarities, you have only two chances to see this passionate seafaring tale; at City Halls in Glasgow on Sunday 14 April at 3pm, and Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Tuesday 16 April, at 7.30pm. See our listings here.

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