Scottish Opera has announced its 2014/15 season of five main-stage operas, opening in October with Rossini’s La Cenerentola (directed by Sandrine Anglade) in a co-production with Opéra national du Rhin. A new production of James MacMillan’s Inés de Castro, which was originally commissioned by the company for its 1996 season, will see in the new year, directed by Olivia Fuchs and conducted by the composer; and in February 2015 a new production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice will be directed and choreographed by Ashley Page.
In April, a co-production with Den Jyske Opera of Janácek’s Jenufa will be directed by Annilese Miskimmon, who was also behind the company’s 2013 Traviata, and in May 2015 the season will close with a revival of Il trovatore, directed by Peter Watson, first seen in 2001.
General director Alex Reedijk told CM that he is pleased to be announcing ‘a bloody good season featuring five really important productions, with fantastic singers and fantastic conductors’.
La Cenerentola will include Victoria Yarovaya as Angelina, with Rebecca Bottone and Richard Burkhard. Inés de Castro features Paul Carey Jones, Peter Wedd, Stephanie Corley, Susannah Glanville and Brindlay Sherratt; and Caitlin Hulcup will sing Orfeo. Lee Bisset will sing Jenufa opposite Kathryn Harries’ Kostelnicka; and Il trovatore will feature Gwyn Hughes Jones with Roland Wood, Anne Mason, Matthew Best and Claire Rutter.
Conductors for staged and concert performance during the season will include Marco Guidarini, William Lacey, James MacMillan, Kenneth Montgomery, Stuart Stratford, Tobias Ringborg, Michael Christie, Jean Luc Tingaud and former Scottish Opera music director Francesco Corti.
‘Across the Season there are works of passion and intensity that I know will thrill our regular opera-goers, but with such a varied and dramatic programme, I hope we will also continue to see people tempted to come and enjoy opera for the first time,’ said Reedijk.
‘A particular highlight for me will be welcoming James MacMillan back to Scottish Opera. It’s a great honour for us that he will conduct Inés de Castro for the first time and that, 19 years after its world premiere, he will take this opportunity to revisit aspects of this important opera. These performances will be genuinely special evenings for Scottish Opera and our audiences.’
The company has yet to recruit a music director following the sudden departure of Emmanuel Joel-Hornak in September 2013 before his tenure had even begun. ‘Such an appointment will usually take 12 to 18 months to make,’ Reedijk told CM. ‘But of course under more conventional circumstances, the process would happen behind the scenes.’
In meantime, Sir Thomas Allen will be working with the company as music adviser. ‘We very much wanted someone, while we were looking for a music director, to turn to for advice and support and commentary,’ said Reedijk. ’He is a good friend of the company, and for the four shows he’s directed here in the past, he’s felt very at home.’
As part of the cultural programme of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Scottish Opera will produce a new community opera with a libretto by Alexander McCall Smith, called Anamchara ‒ Songs of Friendship. It will feature a cast of over 120, including young professionals from Commonwealth countries, as well as the company’s Connect Chorus and Orchestra and a specially convened community choir.
The company also announced its touring programme, including a piano-accompanied Macbeth visiting 15 venues, as well an operatic highlights show touring a further 17 small venues.