Scottish Opera's 2016/17 mainstage season opens with a revival of Sir Thomas Allen's excellent production of The Marriage of Figaro, first mounted in 2010. The new stagings include Pelléas et Mélisande, which the company has not mounted in forty years. Duke Bluebeard's Castle appears in tandem with a new piece with music by Lliam Paterson The 8th Door. A new staging of La bohème is followed by the company's first Philip Glass production, his adaptation of Kafka's The Trial. The medium scale work, touring smaller venues in the autumn, is a new treatment of The Elixir of Love. A new departure is the scheme to present Sunday afternoon concert performances of rare works - by Mascagni (L'amico Fritz), Debussy (L'enfant prodigue), Rossini (La scala di seta) and Puccini (Le villi).
To make a full evening in the theatre, the Bartók opera has been tried in a number of combinations. The Hungarian State Opera and Ballet, who have twice brought it to the Edinburgh Festival, have tied it with Bartók ballets (The Miraculous Mandarin and The Wooden Prince). Other companies have given us Stravinsky (the ballet Petrouchka or Oedipus Rex) or Schoenberg (Erwartung). This time a piece is composed specially to accompany Bluebeard, conceived by the director Matthew Lenton and the composer Lliam Paterson. This should be a very interesting departure.
Siån Edwards has shown herself to have a masterly touch with great works of the twentieth century. The pairing of Karen Cargill and Robert Hayward is certainly a high-octane one and should provide a very dramatic combination.
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