THIS month, a brand new production of Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery marks the seventh annual collaboration between Scottish Opera and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Believed to be only the second professionally-staged production of this comic opera in the UK, it follows the highly successful Love for Three Oranges in 2009 and the world premiere of War and Peace last year, which was critically acclaimed and shortlisted for an RPS Music Award.
Principal, John Wallace CBE, explained the importance of the collaboration: “Forging a partnership that really works is rare, and we’ve worked to create an environment in Scotland where young vocal and operatic talent can flourish and have the opportunities to achieve international standards.
“This year the exploration of a great twentieth-century composer’s works continues.
“We don’t dabble in anything. We go in really deep and, together with Scottish Opera, must be the only organisations in recent history that have had this intense Prokofiev focus.”
Scottish Opera’s general director, Alex Reedijk added: ”This partnership is vital in so many ways – not only does it allow both the Royal Conservatoire and Scottish Opera to present interesting and unique productions each year, which we might not get to individually, it also ensures ever closer links between the training ground and the professional arena for the young artists, technicians and artisans of Scotland’s future.”
The collaboration involves opera students, orchestral musicians, costume makers, set builders, lighting operators and stage technicians at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, who are mentored by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera and Scottish Opera’s specialist artisans and technicians.
The production will also feature Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Ross McInroy, who has just finished touring with the company’s production of Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.
Director, Rodula Gaitanou, who has just finished reviving Verdi’s La traviata at Covent Garden, is charged with bringing this score to life on the stage, while conductor and head of Opera, Tim Dean, will again lead from the pit.
Singing the role of Duenna, mezzo-soprano, Lynda-Jane Nelson, said: “The opportunity to sing a role on a professional stage with a professional orchestra is quite unique. This kind of exposure gives a real insight to the working world and sometimes it’s hard to believe we get these opportunities while studying in Scotland. Certainly it gives us the best possible start.”
Betrothal in a Monastery is full of panto-style antics including Don Jerome’s virtuosic solo on wine glasses – one of Prokofiev’s most playful inspirations. This is Prokofiev’s last complete opera and celebrates all that is young love in his most lyrical music since Romeo and Juliet.
Betrothal in a Monastery will be sung in English with English supertitles.
The first professional performance of Betrothal in a Monastery was presented by Glyndebourne in 2006, although the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – then RSAMD – had already staged the work in 1996.
Scottish Opera, in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, also created the Emerging Artists Programme in 2009, giving graduate singers a year of full-time work with the company to help them launch their careers. It is currently supported by funding from our Emerging Artists Benefactors, The Scottish Opera Endowment Trust, the John Mather Charitable Trust and The Robertson Scholarship Trust.
Prokofiev’s Betrothal in a Monastery
A Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Scottish Opera Co-Production
Rodula Gaitanou director
Timothy Dean conductor
Jamie Vartan designer
Simon Corder lighting designer
With the Orchestra of Scottish Opera
7.15pm, Fri 20th and Sat 21st Jan 2012
Theatre Royal Glasgow
7.15pm, Thu 26th and Sat 28th Jan 2012
Festival Theatre Edinburgh
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Kerryn Kirkpatrick, Press Manager, Scottish Opera
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