Scottish Opera is Scotland's national opera company and the largest performing arts organisation in Scotland.

PMF involvement:

Education

1991-1995
Scottish Opera For Youth
A project proposed by Peter Moores and John Boyle which took the Company on two tours to Barbados (1991 and 1994/5), and on a tour of UK primary schools in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham (1993/4) – all areas where there are large populations of Afro-Caribbean descent.
On the first overseas tour, Scottish Opera performed a piece called A day at the races, and in 1994/5 on the second tour, Market Forces, a piece specially commissioned by Scottish Opera.

1996 Scottish Opera For All
A cross-border project to perform in Ireland The Ballroom of Romance, an opera by David Munro based on the novel by William Trevor, itself inspired by the Rainbow Ballroom in Glenfarne, Co. Leitrim. The opera was performed in the Kiltyclogher Community Centre, Co. Leitrim.

New Work

1991
BBC Television broadcast recording of Judith Weir’s The Vanishing Bridegroom
PMF co-sponsored the TV broadcast with Amerada Hess Ltd

1996 Ines de Castro - music and libretto by James MacMillan
World premiere at Edinburgh International Festival in August 1996.
Vocal scores produced through additional funding from PMF.

1999 Friend of the People – music by David Horne, libretto by Robert Maclennan
World premiere at Theatre Royal Glasgow in November 1999 then performances in Edinburgh and Sunderland.
Vocal scores produced through additional funding from PMF.

Opera productions and touring

1990
Berlioz’ Les Troyens - Performances at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

1993/4 Bellini’s Norma
The first production in an initiative proposed and funded by the PMF to encourage the staging of important but rarely performed works of 19th-century Italian bel canto opera by UK opera companies. The initiative supported productions by Scottish Opera, Opera North and Welsh National Opera.

1994/5 Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda - Funded under the same initiative.

2007 Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor - Performances in Stoke-on-Trent

Over the years, Scottish Opera has engaged many singers who received valuable scholarships from the PMF, which helped them to complete their studies and often provided support in the early stages of their careers. Amongst these artists are:

Jane Eaglen
Simon Keenlyside
Phillip Joll
Lee Bissett
Annie Gill
Njabulo Madlala
Ian Storey
Joan Rodgers
Dean Robinson
Roland Wood
Richard Coxon

Peter Moores was on the Board of Scottish Opera from 1988-1992
MacMillan's Ines de Castro
The Scotsman

'...a classic example of the fusion of a brilliant musical score with gut wrenching theatre... It is gripping from start to finish... Underpinning it all is music that has everything - floating lyricism, overpowering emotion, and a fundamental Wagnerian concept of encapsulating and driving the narrative.'

The Wall Street Journal

'Inés de Castro is a complex, ambitious work, a modern attempt at grand opera in the tradition of Verdi and Mussorgsky... Mr MacMillan is a serious gifted composer with a public that cares deeply about his work - the first such creature in Britain since the death of Benjamin Britten.'
Puccini’s Madama Butterfly
The Guardian

‘It's a triumph. Nothing is superfluous. Everything is important. This economy of scale encourages an abundance of emotion and gives Puccini's glorious, impressionistic music masses of room to dominate and drive the action. Central to the whole piece, of course, is the performance of Butterfly herself, and here Scottish Opera score 11 out of 10 for casting Rebecca Nash, who sings with such grace and elegance that we quite forget the ludicrous requirement of the libretto that she be 15 years old. Age is immaterial here: Cio-Cio-San represents all abandoned women the world over. In a landmark performance, Nash moves from naivete, through denial to eventual despair with a measured intelligence that matches her magical, honeyed voice. It's an extraordinary achievement. She leads a rock-solid cast of principals.’
Donizetti’s Lucia Di Lammermoor
The Guardian

‘The abiding dourness will not be to all tastes, especially when juxtaposed with the excesses of Donizetti's music, but it adds to the atmosphere of claustrophobic intensity surrounding the characters. Lucia is two parts drama, one part vocal pyrotechnics, and in this production the latter is never allowed to dominate for once.

There is, however, some excellent singing, particularly from South African soprano Sally Silver as Lucia. Bulent Bezduz is an impassioned Edgardo, while Andrew Schroeder comes across strangely sympathetically as Enrico. Most charismatic of all, however, is Alan Fairs's splendidly stentorian Raimondo... It is a striking and stylish production, which also has strong support in the pit from the Scottish Opera Orchestra and bel canto veteran Julian Smith.’
17 April 2014