Scottish Opera celebrates 50th anniversary
Five facts about the company
1: Over its 50 years of existence, Scottish Opera has staged 223 new productions. Their furthest flung performance took place in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1970 – a four-night run of The Turn of the Screw directed by Anthony Besch.
2: Among the famous faces who have passed through Scottish Opera’s ranks are Billy Connolly, who had a speaking role in Die Fledermaus in 1979, Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli, who choreographed La Vie Parisienne, directed by Graham Vick for Scottish Opera in 1985, and reality TV star Darius Campbell, who appeared in the company’s production of Carmen at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden.
3: Their department of props has lent a hand to many external productions. A Compare the Market TV ad, which showed meerkats fighting mongooses in a 19th century conflict, used prop weapons built in Glasgow, while actors in the film Neds attacked each other with silicon rubber and stage-safe weaponry provided by Scottish Opera including bricks and frying pans.
4: Their Five:15 – Operas Made in Scotland model for commissioning new opera has inspired similar programmes in Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and London.
5: The costumes for the 2009 production of Manon required 15,000 metres of thread, 380 litres of glue, 375 metres of gold braid, 250 metres of French lace, 150 pairs of shoes and 85 wigs for the 131 performers … and there were 126 pairs of dirty tights to wash each night.
Scottish Opera’s Tosca is staged at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on Fri 25, Sun 27 & Thu 31 May and Sat 2 Jun before touring to Aberdeen.
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci is staged at City Halls, Glasgow, on Tue 5 Jun.
Other 2012 productions include The Lady from the Sea, In the Locked Room & Ghost Patrol and Clemency, all as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, La Traviata in Sep and The Magic Flute in Oct.
2013 productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Pirates of Penzance.