Media Release: A dream come true for opera students performing in Britten’s centenary

A dream come true for opera students to perform in Britten centenary

A Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Scottish Opera co-production

Friday 25 January and Saturday 26 January, 7.15pm, Theatre Royal Glasgow

Tuesday 29 January, 7.15pm, Eden Court, Inverness (semi-staged performance)

Thursday 31 January and Friday 1 February, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

THE Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Scottish Opera team up once again, this time with a superbly visual production of Britten’s opera, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The production, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, incorporates video design and physically demanding theatre into a performance perfectly pitched to showcasing the up and coming singers from the Conservatoire’s opera programme who will perform with players from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

Now in its eighth year, this ambitious collaboration is to be performed not only in Glasgow and Edinburgh but also, for the first time, in a semi-staged performance at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness.

The production is a revival of the 2005 critically-acclaimed staging by Olivia Fuchs at the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio.

Scottish Opera’s emerging artists, Rónan Busfield and Andrew McTaggart, both graduates of the Conservatoire’s Opera Masters programme, join the cast.

The piece presents a perfect opportunity for students and young artists to flex their muscles in an opera known for the sheer diversity of theatrical parts, ranging from the dramatic to the comedic, and the considered singing roles written for younger voices.

Joining them in the role of Puck is aerial artist, Jami Quarrell, who performed in the original production and who trained at the École Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq and at the École Internationale de Mimodrame de Paris Marcel Marceau.

Adapted from the Shakespeare play in collaboration with Peter Pears, Britten’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is centred on the ethereal word of the fairies rather than the human action at the heart of the original.

His extraordinary music brings to life the magic of the Shakespeare’s characters – from the romantic lovers to meddlesome Puck and mighty Oberon, unusually written for countertenor, and even the sighing, creaking and rustling of the forest itself.

Professor John Wallace, CBE, principal of the Royal Conservatoire, said: “Our partnership with Scottish Opera continues to go from strength to strength and our commitment to this collaboration has seen our ambitions grow.

“I am delighted that we are able to take this production to Inverness and I am sure that the audience there will be blown away by the calibre of performance we will stage.

“Our students, with the musicians and artisans of Scottish Opera by their side, receive an unrivalled experience.”

Alex Reedijk, general director of Scottish Opera, said: “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.”


Notes to editors:

Scottish Opera and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland created the Emerging Artists Programme in 2009, giving graduate singers a year of full-time work with Scottish Opera, to help them launch their careers.

It is currently supported by funding from Scottish Opera Emerging Artists Benefactors, The Robertson Scholarship Trust and The John Mather Charitable Trust


Conductor                             Timothy Dean

Director                                 Olivia Fuchs

Designer                                Niki Turner

Original Lighting                 Bruno Poet

Revival Lighting                   Warren Letton

Video Design                        Jon Driscoll


Fri 25 Jan and Sat 26 Jan, 7.15pm, Theatre Royal Glasgow. Phone 0844 871 7647 or online at www.atgtickets.com/Glasgow

Tue 29 Jan, 7.15pm, Eden Court, Inverness, (Semi-staged performance). Phone 01463 234 234 or online at www.eden-court.co.uk

Thu 31 Jan and Fri 1 Feb, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. Phone 0131 529 6000  or online at www.edtheatres.com

Sung in English with English supertitles

Running time 2 hrs 30 mins approximately.


General press information and press tickets:

Katie Bell, Media Relations Manager, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

0141 270 8387 (direct), k.bell@rcs.ac.uk

General press information:

Emma York, Press Officer, Scottish Opera

0141 242 0552 (direct), Emma.York@scottishopera.org.uk

Claudia Monteiro, Press Manager, Scottish Opera

0141 242 0511 (direct), claudia.monteiro@scottishopera.org.uk

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Contact: Claudia Monteiro
Phone: 01412420511
Email: claudia.monteiro@scottishopera.org.uk
Website: http://www.scottishopera.org.uk