Scottish Opera Takes Its Highlights Tour Across Scotland This Autumn

To mark its 60th Anniversary, Scottish Opera (SO) takes its hugely popular Opera Highlights on the road across the country from Castle Douglas to the North Isles of Shetland.

Starting on 22nd September, the tour forms part of the Company’s commitment to bring opera to over 60 communities across all points of the compass around Scotland this Season. The tour will take in  Dundee, Markinch, Fraserburgh, Forres, Banchory, Cullivoe, Lerwick, Linlithgow, Town Yetholm, Stranraer, Castle Douglas, Dunlop, Gartmore, Biggar, Lochailort, Gairloch and Durness.

The cast, sporting 1970s inspired costumes, includes SO’s 2022/23 Emerging Artists Zoe Drummond and Osian Wyn Bowen who both performed in The Gondoliers and Utopia, Limited 2022, alongside Christopher Nairne and Shakira Tsindos. They are led from the piano by SO’s 2022/23 Emerging Artist repetiteur Kristina Yorgova, and the production is directed by Emma Jenkins and designed by Janis Hart.

The production also features the world premiere of a modern  re-working of Macbeth in a new piece entitled Told By An Idiot  by SO’s 2021/22 Emerging Artist and composer Toby Hession, with libretto by Emma Jenkins.

Head of Music at SO, Derek Clark, combines repertoire favourites with lesser-known pieces including classics from Mozart’s The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Verdi’s Macbeth and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers Duet alongside music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Gounod and music written by Mendelssohn when he was just 12 years old. The concerts are the ideal opportunity to experience a selection of Opera Highlights in a two-hour performance.

Director Emma Jenkins said “Four young singers in search of an identity find themselves, like Alice in Wonderland or the children of Narnia, propelled along an operatic rollercoaster of love and loss, devotion and desire, jealousy and jubilation. The overriding theme of the Opera Highlights is LOVE. Love in all its forms, both positive and negative. Our singers put on and take off various roles as if possessed by the force of love in a fast-paced performance that celebrates not only the voice, but also ensemble work and physical theatre. All this against the backdrop of Janis Hart’s stunning design which combines a retro 70s feel with an anarchic theatrical space in which one feels that anything could happen!”

Derek Clark added “The programme is the usual mixture of the familiar and the less well-known, so we are confident that there will be something for everyone to enjoy, whether you are an experienced opera goer, or coming to see us for the first time.”

Opera Highlights is supported by The Friends of Scottish Opera and JTH Charitable Trust.

Tickets are on sale now at www.scottishopera.org.uk/shows/opera-highlights-202223/

The production will also be touring in the Spring from 14th February to 25th March 2023, travelling to: East Kilbride, Crail, Garvald, Perth, Stonehaven, Boat of Garten, Invergarry, Wick, Kirkwall, Ullapool, Torridon, Isle of Skye, Oban, Campbeltown, Bowmore, Gretna, Hawick and Ayr. Tickets will go on sale in winter 2022.

Irene Brown

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