Scottish Opera national tour visits Stornoway

Toby Girling and Timothy Connor at the Elixir of Love rehearsals. Picture by Tim Morozzo.
Toby Girling and Timothy Connor at the Elixir of Love rehearsals. Picture by Tim Morozzo.

Scottish Opera’s new production of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love visits An Lanntair in Stornoway on Saturday 1 October at 7.30pm as the fifth venue on a 17-date national tour.

The production opens in Motherwell on 21 September, then travels to Stirling, Elgin, Ullapool, Stornoway, Thurso, Drumnadrochit, Ellon, Langholm, Newton Stewart, Kilmarnock, Greenock, Oban, St. Andrews, Perth, Galashiels and Musselburgh throughout Autumn.

The Company’s Music Director, Stuart Stratford – who attracted rave reviews for his work on Rusalka and Opera Holland Park’s Iris earlier this year – conducts the first six performances with Derek Clark, Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, taking over on the remaining dates.

Young British director Oliver Platt and designer Oliver Townsend (Rodelinda 2013) take inspiration from the world of PG Wodehouse for their staging of The Elixir of Love.

Ellie Laugharne (The Pirates of Penzance 2013) takes on the role of Adina and is joined by acclaimed baritones James Cleverton and Toby Girling, as well as Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Elgan Llyr Thomas, winner of 2015’s prestigious Stuart Burrows International Voice Award, and Glasgow-born Hazel McBain. A chorus of five singers joins the cast onstage.

Five players from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera will accompany the singers in a new instrumental arrangement for violin, viola, cello, horn and guitar by Derek Clark. Audiences can look forward to a decidedly tongue-in-cheek take on Donizetti’s lyrical score, highlights include ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ and Dulcamara’s patter songs.

Stuart Stratford said: ‘The Elixir of Love is full of fantastic melodies, a witty plot and it is shot through with a bolt of Italian sunshine which permeates all of the music.

“I am very excited to be conducting this new chamber realisation of the score arranged by our Head of Music Derek Clark, and can’t wait to visit the further reaches of our country to share this incredible piece with the people of Scotland.”