Monday 2 June 2008

Scottish Opera new season

Scottish Opera's 2008/09 season does not contain anything quite as exciting as their evening of short contemporary operas, but it is still a creditable and interesting season. There are 5 operas, 2 are relatively small scale - Cimarosa's The Secret Marriage and Smetana's Two Widows. The Cimarosa opera has a strong cast which includes Rebecca Bottone as Caroline; the opera will be sung in English which makes a great deal of sense in this character driven comedy. Smetana's comedy will star Kate Valentine and Jane Irwin as the two widows and will be conducted by Scottish Opera's new musical director, Francesco Corti; it is being designed by Tobias Hoheisel and directed by Hoheisel in tandem with Imogen Kogge so should be striking and stylish.

David McVicar is doing a new production of La Traviata, he is very much becoming a house flavour both here and at the London Coliseum, but it is good to see that he is continuing to support the Scottish company, even though they can hardly be paying him the sort of top level fees that he could surely command elsewhere. McVicar and his designer Tanya McCallin promise an authentic take on the opera, with a 19th century setting. Carmen Giannattasio and Federico Lepre sing the lovers.

McVicar re-appears in Cosi van tutte as his Opera National du Rhin production is revived in Scotland for the first time. Marie McLaughlin gives us her sparkling Despina and Peter Rose is Don Alfonso, Caitlin Hulcup sings Dorabella.

The other big new production is Massenet's Manon. This is being directed by choreographer Renaud Doucet and conducted by Francesco Corti (Corti is in charge of 2 of the 5 operas in the season). Doucet is a choreographer and we are promised a very full version with choreographed ballet scenes. Anne Sophie Duprels sings Manon and Paul Charles Clarke sings Des Grieux so this should certainly be a production worth catching. Scottish Opera are performing it in Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

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