Opera Scotland

Theatre Royal, Glasgow Glasgow

282 Hope Street (North End).

Scottish Opera Theatre Royal Ltd.

Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd.

1895 Charles John Phipps (1835-1897).
1975 Major Refurbishment by Arup Associates (Derek Sugden).
1997 Enlarged orchestra pit and redecoration by Law and Dunbar Nasmith.

1,547, divided into orchestra stalls and three balconies, with boxes at each level.

The first theatre on the site was the Royal Coliseum, opened in 1867 by James Baylis to designs by George Bell of Clarke & Bell. It was renamed the Theatre Royal two years later and was destroyed by fire in February 1879. Phipps’ first Theatre Royal opened in 1880. This was also destroyed by fire.

The present theatre opened in 1895. The capacity was originally 1,950. It operated successfully as a commercial theatre, staging a range of touring shows – plays, operas, ballets, and musical comedies, as well as pantomime and variety. In 1956 it was acquired by the newly formed Scottish Television for conversion to their headquarters and main studio.

By 1975 the building no longer suited their requirements. Following the construction of new studios nearby, the theatre was sold to Scottish Opera. A major operation followed to convert the building to modern theatrical standards. Sightlines were improved by the introduction of cantilevered supports to allow the removal of some pillars. Fortunately the classic late-Victorian auditorium remained largely intact and makes a surprisingly intimate venue even for large-scale shows. In 2014 a major reconstruction of the front of house sections made a significant improvement to circulation space and audience accommodation.

Iain Mackintosh & Michael Sell (eds.):
Curtains!!! Or a New Life for Old Theatres.
John Offord (Publications) Ltd, 1982.

John Earl & Michael Sell (eds.):
The Theatres Trust Guide to British Theatres 1750-1950, A Gazetteer.
A & C Black (Publishers) Ltd. 2000.

Graeme Smith:
The Theatre Royal – Entertaining a Nation.
Glasgow Publications, 2008.


World Premieres:

Leper's Flute (Ernest Bryson 1926)

Hedda Gabler (Edward Harper 1985)

Friend of the People (David Horne 1999)

Monster (Sally Beamish 2002)

Minotaur (Julian Evans 2004)


UK Premieres:

Idomeneo, re di Creta (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1934)

Trojans (Hector Berlioz 1935)

Beatrice and Benedict (Hector Berlioz 1936)

Regina (Marc Blitzstein 1991)


Scottish Premieres:

Rigoletto (Giuseppe Verdi 1867)

Bluebeard (Jacques Offenbach 1870)

Orpheus in the Underworld (Jacques Offenbach 1870)

Dinorah (Giacomo Meyerbeer 1870)

Talismano (Michael Balfe 1874)

Lohengrin (Richard Wagner 1875)

Fra Diavolo (Daniel Auber 1875)

Un ballo in maschera (Giuseppe Verdi 1875)

Ruy Blas (Filippo Marchetti 1878)

Star of the North (Giacomo Meyerbeer 1889)

Romeo and Juliet (Charles Gounod 1890)

Aïda (Giuseppe Verdi 1892)

Rustic Chivalry (Pietro Mascagni 1892)

Otello (Giuseppe Verdi 1892)

Tannhäuser (Richard Wagner 1893)

Golden Web (Arthur Goring Thomas 1893)

Rantzau (Pietro Mascagni 1893)

Rienzi (Richard Wagner 1894)

Vivandière (Benjamin Godard 1896)

Valkyrie (Richard Wagner 1896)

Bohème (Giacomo Puccini 1897)

Elektra (Richard Strauss 1912)

Louise (Gustave Charpentier 1912)

Contact Details


282 Hope Street

G2 3QA


Box Office 0870 060 6647

Booking Site

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