Media Release: Murder, intrigue and betrayal as Handel’s Rodelinda hits Scottish stages

Rodelinda. Promo image. Scottish Opera.

FOR the first time in its 51-year history, Scottish Opera brings Handel’s back-stabbing baroque opera, Rodelinda, to the stage.

The new production will tour to 16 venues across Scotland this autumn, with a cast of six singers accompanied by three players on harpsichord, violin and cello.

The opera opens at a time of turmoil in the royal household of Lombardy.

The queen, Rodelinda, is in despair, believing her husband Bertarido – the rightful king – to have been killed in battle by usurper, Grimoaldo, and his scheming sidekick, Garibaldo.

With enemies all around, Rodelinda is faced with a devastating choice, to marry Grimoaldo and keep her crown, or refuse him, and risk the life of her baby son…

Director, Chris Rolls, said: “Rodelinda has an epic plot any soap-opera script writer would envy: passion, ambition, blackmail, grief and revenge are all in there; as well as big doses of loyalty and betrayal.

“I’m fascinated by Rodelinda and the situation she finds herself in, a young mother desperately clinging to her integrity and power and using her fierce intelligence and mother’s instincts to survive in a cut-throat male world.

“What I find exciting is how contemporary the story really is, and I think audiences will love the drama of the production, as well as the great music and singing.”

Scottish Opera head of music, Derek Clark, said: “The music for Rodelinda is full of contrast, from poignant love songs to energetic arias about passion and revenge.

“Working with harpsichord, violin and cello, my task has been to maintain the marvellous emotional content of the music while giving audiences a flavour of the orchestra Handel wrote for.”

Soprano, Sarah Power, sings Rodelinda alongside fellow Scottish Opera emerging artists Andrew McTaggart and Sioned Gwen Davies as Garibaldo and Eduige. Counter-tenors Andrew Radley and Reno Troilus are Bertarido and his loyal servant, Unulfo, with Richard Rowe as the usurping ruler Grimoaldo.

Music director, Susannah Wapshott, leads the performance from the harpsichord, playing alongside cellist, Andrew Drummond Huggan, and violinist, Gabi Maas.

So even if you’ve never tried opera before, why not come along and get caught up in the power, passion, murder and intrigue of Handel’s Rodelinda?


Notes to editors:

1. Scottish Opera’s Autumn tour of Rodelinda will travel to 16 venues in Greenock, Fort William, Ullapool, Stornoway, Wick, Inverness, Ellon, Stirling, Dumfries, Helensburgh, Dundee, Aboyne, Nairn, Dunfermline, Kelso and Musselburgh from 26 September to 2 November. Full performance diary below.

2. Tickets cost between £5 and £16. For full venue and ticket information go to

3. Rodelinda is sung in English, with a running time of approximately two hours and 20 minutes.

4. Scottish Opera’s Emerging Artists programme gives young artists the opportunity of a lifetime – a period of full-time work with the Company to help them launch their careers. Initially set up in partnership with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to nurture outstanding young singers, the programme now also includes positions for a director, a repetiteur and composer-in-residence.

5. Andrew McTaggart is The Robertson Scholarship Trust Emerging Artist.

Performance diary

The Beacon, Greenock

Thu 26 Sep 7.30pm

01475 723 723

Nevis Centre, Fort William

Tue 1 Oct 7.30pm

01397 700 707

Macphail Theatre, Ullapool

Thu 3 Oct 7.30pm

01854 613 336

An Lanntair, Stornoway

Sat 5 Oct 7.30pm

01851 708 480

Wick High School

Tue 8 Oct 7.30pm

01955 602 547 or 01847 892 364

One Touch, Eden Court, Inverness

Thu 10 Oct 7.30pm

01463 234 234

Haddo House, Ellon

Sat 12 Oct 7.30pm

0844 8700 887

Macrobert, Stirling

Tue 15 Oct 7.30pm

01786 466 666

Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries

Thu 17 Oct 7.30pm

01387 253 383

Victoria Halls, Helensburgh

Sat 19 Oct 7.30pm

01436 678 848 or 01436 842 401

Gardyne Theatre, Dundee

Tue 22 Oct 7.30pm

01382 434 940

Deeside Theatre, Aboyne

Thu 24 Oct 7.30pm

01339 886 222

Nairn Community & Arts Centre

Sat 26 Oct 7.30pm

01667 453 476

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline

Tue 29 Oct 7.30pm

01383 602 302

Tait Hall, Kelso

Thu 31 Oct 7.30pm

01573 224 269

The Brunton, Musselburgh

Sat 2 Nov 7.30pm

0131 665 2240

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Scottish Opera. You too can post media releases (aka press releases). For more information, email us, here.

Contact: Emma York
Phone: 0141 242 0552