Saturday 28 May 2011

Scottish Opera 2011/12

For their new season Scottish opera continued to be constrained by financial issues, so that there are only 4 major operas. But within these constraints the season is not without interest. The main operas are The Barber of Seville, Handel and Gretel, The Rakes Progress and Tosca.

The Rossini is a welcome revival of Thomas Allen's 2007 production. Hansel and Gretel will be directed by Bill Bankes-Jones, with Aiulih Tynan as Gretel and the Estonian Mezzo, Kai Ruutel as Hansel. David McVicar will be directing his first Rakes Progress, with Edgaras Montvidas as the Rake and Carolyn Sampson, better known for her Baroque repertoire, as Anne Truelove; Steven Page is Nick Shadow. Tosca is a revival of the wonderful 1980 Anthony Besch production, set in Fascist Rome. I have happy memories of seeing this when it was new, now it is being revived with Susannah Glanville as Tosca.

But in addition to there are a number of smaller operas, to enliven the season. Brecht and Weill's Seven Deadly Sins is being given as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe directed by choreographer Kally Lloyd-Jones. Music Theatre Wales are bringing their production of Mark Anthony Turnage's Greek. And Orpheus in the Underworld goes on an extensive tour in a small scale production, with reduced orchestra (and piano accompaniment in some places), 17 venues in all.

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