A new Venetian-themed production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni directed by Thomas Allen and a touring chamber version of Handel’s Rodelinda are among the highlights of Scottish Opera’s 2013/14 season, unveiled by general director Alex Reedijk on 21 May. Also in the company’s 51st year is a new production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale from the director/designer duo Renaud Doucet and André Barbe, whose Manon was well received by critics in 2009.
The new season begins in August with a substantially increased presence from Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh festivals. At the Edinburgh International Festival, the company gives two performances of American Lulu, Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth’s radical updating of Berg’s Lulu to the US civil rights period, in a co-production with the Opera Group directed by John Fulljames. And Scottish Opera takes up residence in a new Fringe venue, Patterson’s Land, for six smaller-scale productions, including interactive operas for toddlers BabyO and SensoryO as well as the recently commissioned Last One Out by Gareth Williams and The Garden by John Harris.
‘I really am proud of the depth of quality and the breadth and variety of appeal that we are offering with this season,’ said Reedijk. ‘With so much on offer, I hope people will find much to enjoy and that many may be tempted to try opera for the first time.’
The closure for renovation of Scottish Opera’s Glasgow home, the Theatre Royal, between February and May 2014 has led the company to reduce its main-stage offerings from the customary four to three in the 2013/14 season. A revival of David McVicar’s 2000 production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, the opera that launched the company in 1962, marks the Theatre Royal’s reopening, and the production returns in July 2014 to coincide with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Madama Butterfly is conducted by Scottish Opera’s incoming music director Emmanuel Joel-Hornak, who is also on the podium for a chamber-orchestra version of Verdi’s Macbeth while the Theatre Royal is closed. Outgoing music director Francesco Corti bids farewell to the company with a concert performance of Puccini’s Turandot in March 2014.
‘We’ll be taking audiences from 17th-century Venice to the smoky 1960s jazz bars of America’s deep south,’ said Reedijk. ‘It’s a pretty good romp through the canon.’