Opera Scotland

From Russia with Love 2018National Opera Studio

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In prep

Every year, Britain's major opera companies host residencies with the London-based National Opera Studio - the UK's leading training organisation for young opera professionals. This year is the Studio's fortieth anniversary, and this year’s trips began in Glasgow with a week-long residency culminating in a semi-staged performance directed by Max Hoehn featuring Russian-themed repertoire.  Curated by Music Director Stuart Stratford it was hosted at the Theatre Royal and accompanied by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

The singers on display were: Carly Owen, Lorena Paz Nieto (sopranos); Bethan Langford, Polly Leech, Sinéad O'Kelly (mezzo-sopranos); Feargal Mostyn-Williams (countertenor), Andrew Henley, Satriya Krisna, Bechara Moufarrej (tenors); Edmund Danon (baritone) and Emyr Wyn Jones (bass-baritone).

There were also four repetiteurs, who contributed to the actual performance by playing in the pit, variously on piano, celeste and harpsichord. These were Erika Gundesen, Igor Horvat, Satoshi Kubo and Florent Mourier.  They could also appear silently on stage when extras were required.

The programme was:

Rimsky-Korsakov: The Golden Cockerel (CO, F M-W)

Prelude; Astrologer's Aria (Act 1): Aria of the Queen of Shemakha (Act 2).

Rimsky-Korsakov: Kaschey the Immortal ((BL)

Kascheyevna's Aria (Scene 2). 

Tchaikovsky: Cherevichki (CO, BM) .

Scene and Vakula's Arioso (Act 1)

Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress (LPN, AH, ED)

Act 1 Scene 1; Anne's Aria(Act 1 Scene 3);Tom's Aria (Act 2 Scene 1).

Interval

Walton: The Bear (SO)

Popova's Aria.

Musorgsky: Khovanshchina (CO, PL, ED, EWJ)

Scene from Act 3 (Marfa, Susanna, Dosifey; Shaklovity's Monologue.

Musorgsky: Boris Godunov (SO)

Marina's Aria (Act 3).

Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin (SK, ED, EWJ)

Duel Scene.

This was a meticulously planned and executed programme, staged within the set for Flight currently in the repertoire - the three airport lifts were useful for fast entrances and exits.

Particular highlights were undoubtedly the extended excerpt from Khovanshchina, with Polly Leech's moving Marfa matched with Carly Owen's hysterical Susanna. The Duel Scene from Onegin was a lovely appetiser for the forthcoming staging, while Marina's aria (Sinéad O'Kelly) was a reminder that we have not seen Boris in Scotland for far too long. She earlier gave us a hilariously fiery account of the Walton. The demanding Stravinsky extracts were beautifully delivered and it was wonderful to be remided of one of the best productions from David Pountney's early career in Scotland, in The Golden Cockerel.

The two extreme rarities spotlighted Rimsky's short single act Kashchei piece, a frightening solo by Bethan Langford, If Rimsky's version of the Tsarina's slippers story, Christmas Eve, has been seen in Scotland, we have not previously heard anything from Tchaikovsky's treatment, Cherevichki. Here we had an excellent tenor aria, with Carly Owen as his love Oksana setting the scene for Bechara Moufarrej's attractively sung Vakula.

Performance DatesFrom Russia with Love 2018

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

25 Feb, 15.00

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