Scottish Opera celebrates 50th anniversary

Five facts about the company

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Scottish Opera celebrates 50th anniversary

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.

Scottish Opera: Tosca

The return of Anthony Besch's celebrated production of Puccini's merry tale of political oppression, betrayal, torture, murder and suicide. Susannah Glanville (star of Opera North's highly-praised 2009 production) takes the title role, with Robert Poulton as Scarpia and José Ferrero as Cavaradossi.

Scottish Opera: Tosca Unwrapped

A free introduction to the elements of Puccini's opera.

Scottish Opera: Clemency

Clemency offers a contemporary twist on the Biblical take of Sarah and Abraham. Written for string orchestra and five voices it re-unites composer James MacMillan and librettist Michael Symmons Roberts.

Scottish Opera: In the Locked Room & Ghost Patrol

A double bill exploring the power of the mind, from a locked door that sparks an obsession to a modern bar where three people trying to escape their past meet and uncover a terrible secret. Co-produced with Music Theatre Wales composers Huw Watkins and Stuart MacRae team up with poet David Harsent and crime novelist…

Scottish Opera: The Lady from the Sea

Ellida, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper longs for freedom from her narrow life with her older husband. Then the arrival of an unexpected stranger offers an escape. A re-telling of Ibsen's beautiful drama from author Zoe Strachan and film composer Craig Armstrong.

Scottish Opera 50th Anniversary Performance

Scottish Opera celebrates 50 years since its first night with concert performances of 'Cav and Pag', Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci; strange that two of the best-loved short operas should each be about small-town adultery and major characters being stabbed to death, but there you go. The casts…

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