Scottish Opera – Five: 15 (4 stars)

Scottish Opera – Five: 15


Following on from the great success of last year’s showcase of five new, short operas from Scottish composers and writers, the latest batch of Scottish Opera’s Five: 15 once again shows that the company is onto a winner. Taking five completely diverse subjects and making operas from them is collectively impressive. At an individual level, we know that if they don’t much like one, another will be along in a few minutes.

Traditionally strong emotive opera themes of love, death, sex, murder, betrayal are all there, although there’s not much humour in any of them, with the possible exception of Happy Story by David Fennessy and Nicholas Bone. Skilfully moving through six scenes in its 15 minutes, Happy Story is thoroughly refined writing, and the easiest of the five to listen to.

More powerful is the darker drama of Death of a Scientist, by John and Zinnie Harris, where spine-chilling menace highlights the vulnerability of the main character – based on tragic government scientist David Kelly – through totally integrated script and score.

Oran Mor, Glasgow, Fri 20 Feb

Five: 15 continues at the Hub, Edinburgh, Sat 7 & Sun 8 Mar.

Scottish Opera - Five:15

  • 4 stars

Following the success of last year's 'Five:15', Scottish Opera has again teamed up with some of Scotland's leading creative figures to produce a new set of 15-minute operas. All different in character, style and subject matter, they provide an informal introduction to where opera is headed in the 21st century. 'Part of…

Scottish Opera - Five:15 Discussion

  • 4 stars

An hour-long informal discussion which gives audiences the chance to meet the creative teams behind the current showing of Five: 15 Operas Made in Scotland. Any questions about the process of making a new opera? Now is the chance to have them answered.

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