Scottish Opera new 2015–16 season announced

World premiere of supernatural opera The Devil Inside, adaptated from Robert Louis Stevenson's short story, among the highlights

Scottish Opera new season

L-R: Scottish Opera's Stuart Stratford, Alex Reedijk and Sir Thomas Allen / credit: James Glossop

From popular classics Carmen and The Mikado to a brand new stage work by writer Louise Welsh and composer Stuart MacRae, Scottish Opera’s 2015–16 season, announced today, features seven productions and a total of 111 performances in 41 towns across Scotland and beyond.

The season’s most ambitious offering is the world premiere of The Devil Inside (Jan 2016), a new opera based on a short story by Robert Louis Stevenson from novelist Louise Welsh and composer Stuart MacRae, whose previous collaboration Ghost Patrol was highly praised at its premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012.

Also getting new productions are Handel’s Ariodante (Feb 2016) and a small-scale version of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, which tours Scotland from September to November 2015. The main-stage season kicks off with Bizet’s Carmen (Oct 2015), with a restaging of Grange Park Opera’s production of Dvorak’s fairytale Rusalka in April 2016, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (a co-production with D’Oyly Carte Opera Company) in May and June 2016.

In addition, Scottish Opera’s highly successful KidO for three- to four-year-olds tours to small venues across Scotland, and its community Connect Company for 14- to 21-year-olds gives the world premiere of the brand new The Cabinet of Dr Caligari at The Arches, Glasgow.

The season announcement follows news that Scottish Opera has appointed British conductor Stuart Stratford as its new music director. He joins renowned baritone and director Thomas Allen, who has worked with the company as music advisor since 2014 following the sudden and unexpected departure of its previous music director, Emmanuel Joel-Hornak, in September 2013 after less than two months in the role.

Scottish Opera: Carmen

Bizet's Carmen has everything you want from an opera: tunes, drama, sex, violence and hordes of sizzling gypsies. Director Benjamin Davies revives the 1999 co-production with Welsh National Opera, bringing in Lithuanian mezzo-soprano Justina Gringyte (who was 13 at the time of that original production) as the titular…

Scottish Opera: Ariodante

Ginevra, the somewhat improbably-named daughter of the King of Scotland, is in love with Ariodante, but the jealous Polinesso succeeds in persuading Ariodante that he himself is Ginevra's true love. Then it gets complicated. Handel's 1735 opera is one of his best-loved works, with a fine breeches role in Ariodante, here…

Scottish Opera: Rusalka

Dvořák's 1901 opera tells the tale of Rusalka, a water nymph who is seduced and then callously abandoned by a prince, and whose response is to turn into a spirit of death that lures men to their doom in the lake, which is admittedly more enterprising than curling up on the sofa and binge-watching Grey's Anatomy. Anne…

Scottish Opera: The Mikado

'Besides, I don't see how a man can cut off his own head.' 'A man might try.' 'Even if you only succeeded in cutting it half off, that would be something.' If Oscar Wilde had written the screenplay for Saw, it still wouldn't have been as good as Gilbert & Sullivan's subversive masterpiece, the funniest comedy about…

Scottish Opera & Music Theatre Wales: The Devil Inside

  • Directed by: Michael Rafferty (cond)
  • Written by: Louise Welsh

A new opera from writer Louise Welsh and composer Stuart MacRae, based on Robert Louis Stevenson's story The Bottle Imp. James finds a magical bottle that can grant his heart's desire, with certain conditions; he uses it to get all he ever dreamed of, but it all begins to go wrong. Rachel Kelly, Nicholas Sharratt and…

Scottish Opera: Così fan tutte

When Ferrando and Guglielmo decide to test their lovers' fidelity, they do so by disguising themselves as Albanians (the way you do) and stopping at nothing to seduce each other's sweetheart. Surprise, it works; surprise two, this is a comedy. Mozart's most cynical opera is directed by Lissa Lorenzo and designed by Robbie…


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