‘Opera Highlights’ celebrates 50 years of Scottish Opera

Opera Highlights: (l-r) Eleanor Dennis, Nicky Spence, Gary Griffiths, pianists Ruth Wilkinson and Katie Gosset. Photo: Mark Hamilton

Opera Highlights: (l-r) Eleanor Dennis, Nicky Spence, Gary Griffiths, pianists Ruth Wilkinson and Katie Gosset. Photo: Mark Hamilton

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IN celebration of 50 years of Scottish Opera, a retrospective romp through music from some of the Company’s most memorable productions will be touring from Barra, Bathgate and Banchory, to Hawick, Tarbert and Killin, and many places more.

Sitting alongside familiar favourites from Verdi’s ‘La triviata’, Bizet’s ‘Carmen’, Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ and Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘The Gondoliers’ will be lesser-known gems mined from the archives like Bernstein’s ‘Candide’, Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘The Golden Cockerel’, MacMillan’s ‘Ines de Castro’ and Weber’s ‘Oberon’.

And to complete the celebrations, Opera Highlights will also feature the world première of a new piece of music by Scottish Opera’s first Composes in Residence Gareth Williams, creating especially for the tour which will see four singers and a pianist will visit 17 venues across the length and breadth of Scotland.

Packing their scores into their suitcases for this year’s tour are Scottish tenor Nicky Spence, Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Katie Grosset, and making their Scottish Opera débuts soprano Eleanor Dennis and baritone Duncan Rock, with Gary Griffiths singing for the final five performances.

Claire Haslin and Ruth Wilkinson share the role of Music Director and pianist, while Adrian Osmond directs.

The man in charge of putting together the anniversary is Scottish Opera Head of Music Derek Clark.

He said: “Opera Highlights is always a celebration of wonderful music and this year it’s even more special as we’ve been able to put together a programme which takes a joyful look back at some of Scottish Opera’s own highlights from across our 50 years.

“With such a varied selection of music there is plenty to enjoy whether you’re an opera novice, an opera buff, or anywhere in between.”

The Scottish Opera’s 50th birthday celebrations ‘Opera Highlights’ tour will call in to Castlebay Hall, Barra, on Saturday, February 2nd, 7.30pm – for tickets call 01871 810 291 – and again in Balivanich Hall, Benbecula, on Tuesday, February 5th, 7.30pm – tickets 01870 602 525.