Opera Scotland

Pop-up Opera returns

Posted 6 May 2017

Scottish Opera’s much-loved Pop-up Opera is back on the road in 2017, and takes to the waves on Scotland's first floating opera house, the converted pilot cutter Murray McDavid, kindly provided by Murray McDavid Scotch Whisky.

 Pop-up audiences can catch three 25-minute shows this year; A Little Bit of La bohème, A Little Bit of Pirates of Penzance and A Little Bit of Bubble McBea, which is for children aged four to seven. Each bite-sized production is brought to life by a narrator, singers, musicians and a series of colourful illustrations.

 Scottish Opera’s fully accessible travelling opera house – a specially adapted trailer designed to look like a miniature Theatre Royal Glasgow – is the venue for all three productions at festivals and events across Scotland.

 This year, there will also be performances of A Little Bit of Pirates of Penzance and A Little Bit of Bubble McBea on the converted pilot cutter Murray McDavid – sailing into marinas 'doon the watter' throughout Summer. The public performances on the Murray McDavid will be complemented with special shows for schools in marinas down the Clyde, enabling Scottish Opera to extend its reach into communities it has not previously visited.

Echoing Scottish Opera’s main-stage production of La bohème (9 May – 17 June), A Little Bit of La bohème offers the best bits of Puccini’s well-known and much-loved opera, which tells the hopelessly romantic story of Rodolfo and Mimi’s ill-fated love.

 One of Gilbert and Sullivan's most popular comic operas, The Pirates of Penzance, has been trimmed down to create A Little Bit of Pirates of Penzance. Frederic has fallen for Mabel, but he is apprentice to a pirate king and his blundering band of rogues. Frederic struggles to find a way to escape his ties and live happily ever after.

A Little Bit of Bubble McBea is a story for children aged four to seven. Bubble lives happily on a Scottish island with her dad, Barnacle McBea. She is joined by friends Shonny the Pony, the Sole Sisters and Alex Salmon, as she explores life under the sea, and learns about how little mistakes can cause big problems.

 From 26 May to 1 July 2017, Pop-up Opera tours on land and sea to destinations including Perth Arts Festival, Mount Stuart Isle of Bute, Prestwick, Girvan, Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival, Port Bannatyne Marina, Portavadie Marina, Troon Yacht Haven, Clyde Marina Ardrossan, Largs Yacht Haven, Theatre Modo Peterhead, Pollok House Glasgow, Haddington Show and on board The Tall Ship, Glasgow. There are also schools performances in Glasgow, Rhu, Greenock, Troon, Ardrossan, Perth, Rothesay and Peterhead.

 Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach and Education, Jane Davidson, said: ‘Once again, Scottish Opera is taking both high and low roads across Scotland to bring these miniature productions to festivals and events managed and run by local people. And this year we’re adding water to the mix! We’re delighted to be sailing into coastal resorts along the Clyde estuary aboard the Murray McDavid with operatic tales of pirates, pollution and preposterous puzzles! Our travelling opera houses are unique in the UK and we look forward very much to engaging with new audiences of all ages wherever they live and whatever their interests.

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