Music, Opera

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Dido and Aeneas/Bluebeard’s Castle - Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 24 Aug 2013

27 Aug 20134 stars

Oper Frankfurt present a contrasting programme of warm, doomed love and psychological nightmare

In combining Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Oper Frankfurt have created a deeply powerful theatrical and musical experience for their audiences. Both productions are provocative but in quite different ways. While Barrie…

Review: Scottish Opera’s KidO

30 Mar 20153 stars

Musical feet and fruity sounds for pre-school audiences

There are certain places we expect musical sounds to emanate from – and a pineapple isn’t one of them. Such strange and delightful occurrences are par for the course in Scottish Opera’s new show, Kid O however. Advised to take off their shoes and…

Edinburgh International Festival lineup announced

18 Mar 2015

Includes: FFS, Sufjan Stevens, Chilly Gonzales, King Creosote, Complicite and Lepage’s Ex Machina

Pop musicians Sparks, Franz Ferdinand and Sufjan Stevens, international theatre makers Complicite and Robert Lepage’s Ex Machina, and a grand, free, outdoor opening spectacular are among the events unveiled today by director Fergus Linehan for his first…

Scottish Opera take on Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice

10 Feb 2015

1762 opera tells the tale of Orpheus in song and dance

It’s a well-known tale. And one especially so in the world of opera, as the great myth of Orpheus and his determination to rescue his beloved wife from the underworld is one which inspired what is generally regarded as the first great opera…

Preview: Inés de Castro

13 Jan 2015

James MacMillan conducts and Olivia Fuchs directs Spanish tragedy for Scottish Opera

First seen in 1996, James MacMillan’s first large-scale opera, Inés de Castro, makes a welcome return to the Scottish Opera stage. Based on the play by Jo Clifford, it tells of the horrific fate of Inés, the Spanish lover of the 14th-century crown…

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Scottish Opera set to bring Rossini's La Cenerentola to Edinburgh and Glasgow

22 Oct 2014

Show promises to be an '18th-century funked up' dark comedy based on classic fairytale Cinderella

It is a familiar enough story. The rags to riches Cinderella is the beautiful princess who reaches the dizzy heights of fairytale romance with her handsome prince, leaving her cruel stepmother and two ugly sisters seething in her wake. Opening their…

Les Troyens

1 Sep 20143 stars

Mariinsky Opera delivers stylised Berlioz production at the Edinburgh International Festival

Anticipated as one of the must-sees of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, Mariinsky Opera’s visit with Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens (The Trojans) was a mixed bag. Running for five and a half hours, admittedly with two extended intervals, the…

The War

13 Aug 20143 stars

Epic Russian opera detailing the horrors of WWI, staged at the Edinburgh International Festival

A multi-lingual co-production from the Chekhov International Theatre Festival, this grandiose imagining of the futility of war, specifically World War One, is likely to leave audiences somewhat shell-shocked; loud, bombastic and brutal, it’s short on…

Longlist announced for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 2014

23 Jul 2014

The award recognises Fringe shows that encourage audiences to consider their environmental impact

The shortlist for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, which celebrates the greenest and most sustainable shows of the fringe that encourage audiences to take responsibility for their own environmental impact, has been announced, with 22…

Edinburgh International Festival 2014: 10 unmissable programme highlights

22 Jul 2014

Featuring Kronos Quartet, Helen Lawrence and Ganesh Versus the Third Reich

Czech Philharmonic Two concerts from the orchestra conducted by Jiri Belohlavek. The first features Nicola Benedetti as they tackle Janácek, Korngold and Martinu together, while the second has mezzo soprano Bernarda Fink singing the powerful ‘Biblical…

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Scottish Opera's Anamchara 'takes us through the journey of what friendship is'

14 Jul 2014

Co-director Lissa Lorenzo discusses the new Alexander McCall Smith-penned production

Scottish Opera makes its mark on the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme with a new opera – Anamchara. The title, meaning ‘soul-friend’, is taken from ancient Celtic tradition, and it’s the inspiration for the work’s ‘Songs of Friendship’, written by…

Scottish Opera: Madama Butterfly

11 Jun 20144 stars

Korean soprano Hye-Youn Lee and Spanish tenor José Ferrero shine in Elaine Kidd's Puccini revival

As Madama Butterfly, one of Scottish Opera’s all-time favourites over the company’s 50-year history, reaches its inevitable final bars, there can hardly be a dry eye in the house. No matter whether seeing Puccini’s universally popular opera for the…

Jazz, Juliette Binoche and a calendar change on cards for Edinburgh International Festival 2015

8 May 2014

Incoming director designate Fergus Linehan outlines his plans for change at the EIF

Fifteen months before the start of his first event, Edinburgh International Festival director designate Fergus Linehan has taken the unusual step of revealing some of his thinking behind the 2015 programme – as well as sharing details of a few of its…

Anne Sophie Duprels and Hye-Youn Lee take on Cio-Cio San in Scottish Opera's Madama Butterfly

2 May 2014

The cast also includes Andrew McTaggart and Hanna Hipp, with Marco Guidarini conducting

If you’ve never been to an opera before, this is for you. If you’re a seasoned opera lover, this is also for you. Great story, great music and a revival of a favourite production combine in Scottish Opera’s staging of one of the most popular operas ever…

Interview: baritone David Stephenson on Verdi's Macbeth

18 Mar 2014

Scottish Opera's revival of the Shakespearean tale is to be staged again by Dominic Hill

Macbeth, the ‘Scottish play’ that is one of Shakespeare’s very finest tragedies, has been relentlessly adapted for film, television, novels and comic strips. But Verdi’s operatic version is one that should unfailingly hit the audience between the eyes.

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War and peace announced as themes for Edinburgh International Festival 2014

18 Mar 2014

Programme highlights includes works involving The Kronos Quartet and Handspring Puppet Company

War and peace, conflict and conciliation are the grand themes being tackled in Jonathan Mills’ final year as director of the Edinburgh International Festival. The 2014 programme, announced today, explores music, dance, theatre and other arts not just…

Louise Welsh recommends... Scottish Opera's Don Pasquale

21 Jan 2014

Donizetti's comic opera has been updated to the generational battles of the 1960s

Let’s play word association; ‘Comic opera?’ ‘Not funny’. The phrase ‘Comic opera’ conjures images of rude noises on the bassoon and fat ladies falling over. Don Pasquale is an old man who determines to find himself a young wife, so far so Donald McGill…

Chemistry-themed opera Breathe Freely sheds light on the story of Stanislaw Hempel

21 Oct 2013

The Polish independence fighter came to Edinburgh to undertake scientific research in WWII

Apparently, listening to music releases a chemical in the brain that puts us in a good mood. How apt then that Edinburgh University’s School of Chemistry celebrates its 300th birthday with a brand new short opera. Scottish composer Julian Wagstaff’s…

Scottish Chamber Orchestra marks 40 years with Berlioz's Beatrice and Benedict

25 Sep 2013

The opera opens a new season, with performances from Llŷr Williams and Christian Zacharias

For 40 years, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra has been bringing the very best of orchestral music to Edinburgh and Glasgow doorsteps, as well as much further afield. Their education work over has been rightly lauded for its pioneering ambition…

Last One Out

23 Aug 20134 stars

A non-traditional opera featuring text from Johnny McKnight and music from Gareth Williams

Last One Out is hardly an opera in the traditional sense – it’s more of a poignant, highly evocative mystery tale that happens to be sung. In any case, much of its music comes from an onstage radio – in the form of composer Gareth Williams’ masterful…

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Interview: American soprano Angel Blue set for 2013 Edinburgh Festival with American Lulu

15 Jul 2013

Young opera singer in production of unfinished opera relocated to jazz bars of Deep South

When American soprano Angel Blue isn’t performing or rehearsing operas, there are two places she would rather be. First is in her Toyota Avalon, cruising about her hometown of Los Angeles. ‘I miss my car so much when I’m here working in the UK,’ she…

New Scottish Opera production of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman

18 Mar 2013

Opera relocated to Wagner's origianllocation of Scotland’s North East

If he hadn’t had such a keen eye for nifty marketing, Richard Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman could have put Scotland as firmly on the geographic opera map as Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Both operas date from 1839, a time when Gothic…

Programme for the Edinburgh International Festival 2013 puts artists and technology centre-stage

12 Mar 2013

Tod Machover, the Wooster Group and Oper Frankfurt among the EIF programme highlights

A crowd sourced orchestral work by boundary breaker Tod Machover is just one of the many highlights of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival programme. Set over three weeks this August, the EIF’s line-up includes an homage to Allen Ginsberg with…

Profile: Scottish Opera - Scotland’s national opera company

7 Nov 2012

Facts and statistics on Scottish Opera as it celebrates its 50th anniversary

Founded in 1962 by Sir Alexander Gibson, Scotland’s national opera company celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012/13. Not without its dramas off-stage as well as on-stage over the years, Scottish Opera is one of five national performing companies that…

Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde: Act I - Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 30 Sep

17 Oct 20124 stars

The SSO bring intense depth and exquisite insight to Wagner’s tremendous score

Kicking off their 2012/13 season with an all-star concert performance of the first act of one of the world’s most celebrated operas, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra once again proved themselves to be amongst the UK’s leading orchestras. Featuring…